Crowdsourcing and Outsourcing Notes

Timothy Kenny
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Author of "Accelerated Learning for Entrepreneurs"
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English [Auto] Crowdsourcing and outsourcing your notes what is this about. I've gotten a lot of questions about this because people know that I do a lot of outsourcing I have a whole course on how to outsource your learning. But I wanted to include a little piece here at the beginning because crowdsourcing can be something that's really valuable and outsourcing as well. So we'll talk about outsourcing next. Crowdsourcing is this idea of working together Cognitive Surplus is a new trend. It's part of why we keep pedia is one of the number one sites on the Internet because people come together and give away their work for free in order that they can produce a shared resource that is above and beyond wouldn't they. But it could create on their own. So the idea of splitting up work isn't new but doing it digitally is and doing it digitally in a way where it works is even more difficult especially when it's a bunch of volunteers and maybe you don't have a lot of connection besides being in the same class. So I'll tell you the story about this guy that I interviewed. He now runs a multi million dollar startup in Silicon Valley. But when he was in college he had this strategy and what he'd do is each class he took he'd create a Facebook group for that class and he'd say be a private group secret group and you could only get into the group if you gave notes for at least one section of the textbook or at least one chapter of whatever the required reading was. The idea was everybody would pool together their resources. And so his plan was a little bit different from what we're going for in this course. But it's something that you can definitely apply and it may apply more to certain courses you're taking not as much to the other areas where you want to put more your focus. So his strategy was I don't want to get straight A's. I just want to get a passing grade and all my classes because all I really care about is getting the degree. I don't care what my GPA is. I just want to get through school as quickly as possible. So he was I think he graduated when he's 18 or 19 years old the graduate high school in his mid teens I think he was 16 years old or 15. And so his goal was just I want to get through this because I want to get started in entrepreneurship. I want to get started in the business world. So his strategy was a little bit different but that can play a part in your strategy. Maybe you have certain courses that you just want to get through and you don't care about getting a really good grade on them. So it depends what you're going for. Either way though crowdsourcing can be something that's valuable. So figure out what's the best way to use it for you. If it's something that's worth doing if you're really shooting for that top spot and you want really high performance you probably aren't comfortable trusting other people to take really great notes and you have your own process. So for a lot of you if that's what you're shooting for this probably isn't an option for you but it has its place. So just think about well where would this work best and maybe there's a specific instance where it would work for you. The other thing besides crowdsourcing is outsourcing. So I didn't know about this until a few years ago and it really blew my mind the idea that you could have an English speaking college graduate in another country as your full time assistant for only four hundred dollars per month. And obviously that's the low end range. That's probably somebody who just got out of college or is maybe still in college but still the just the difference in living expenses is so much different in different parts of the world. And some of the primary countries if you're wondering for outsourcing are countries like Indonesia but especially India and also the Philippines and a lot of people will get assistance from the Philippines because English is one of the languages they learn from the time they're four or five years old. And it's they have good English generally at the better English than somebody at the equivalent price range or experience range in India. So they have great English and they're also just easy to work with and there is a whole culture there. So you can outsource things that you don't want to do a lot of things that are the easiest to outsource or the things that the most boring to do yourself and feel like it's not really worth your time. So things like data entry you're collecting a lot of information from the web or just I'll give you an example. There was a series of 20 or 30 articles from this one Web site and I wanted to print them out and read them all but I don't want to copy and paste and format it and get the pictures resized for every single one of those. So that's something that's really easy to just outsource and not have to do yourself. Now the thing you should know is that it does take a little bit of time to get started with outsourcing if you've never done it before if you've never hired somebody before. Knowing how to put together a job post so this is something there's a huge amount of potential here to really get a lot more out of your time and be amazingly productive compared to most other students so it's really you don't have to spend a ton of money. And it gives you a whole new perspective also instead of thinking from just an employee mindset you start thinking from an employer mindset and you start thinking about how can I get results and how can I get them more quickly. How can I save money on it. How can I delegate things so I'm really working on what my specialty is what I'm really great at and not wasting your time on stuff that really would be better suited for somebody else. So that's the idea there. And it may not be something if you have a final coming up in a week from now that you can implement but think about next semester this could be something that look for opportunities. So it's not just about well what am I doing right now and how could I delegate or outsource part of that. But it's also what am I not doing right now because I think it would take up too much of my time. But if I was able to delegate or outsource a significant amount of that maybe I could take on additional things. So think about the possibilities there. And if you're interested in that check out my outsourcing your learning course because that gives you more details on that. And then eventually and then also come out with just a outsourcing 101 a general outsourcing course also so keep an eye out for that depends if you're if you're getting this right when it comes out that's not going to be available. Also just a little note here on professors outsourcing to graduate students often as reading a paper recently about how or maybe was a book about how just kind of off hand professors often want to keep their best graduate students in school instead of having them graduate because that helps them with their the Professor with their own research goals. So this isn't a new concept of outsourcing intellectual labor. And our our whole economy is becoming more and more information based and the knowledge information based economy. So this is part of the future. This is something that is just going to be useful now but it's going to be getting more and more important as the years go on.