Wired on Outsourcing

Copy cat post from <a href=”http://www.corfield.org/blog/past/2004_02.html#000282″>da Corfield Organization</a>.

<a href=”http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.02/india.html?pg=1&topic=&topic_set=”>Good Outsourcing article on Wired</a>

I find myself so fascinated with outsourcing, I’m not sure why. I guess where others see their demise, I see opportunity. Until I can actually profit from it, though, if I get laid off, I’ll just try to join my government in some tech or militaristic fashion. If that doesn’t work, I’ll grab my fiancee and head to Sydney, Australia, and prostrate myself on the sidewalk outside of Daemon HQ. If they say no, I’ll hold Andrew hostage. If that doesn’t work, I’ll head to Mumbai (Bombay) and open a dance club and do contract work part-time. Do they have rave’s and/or a club scene in India?

What blew me away is that one of the peeps from India had read “Who Moved My Cheese?”. That blew the writer (and me) away. That book made such a difference in my life so it’s neat to see the Indian’s already gaining perspective on change when it’s in a positive direction; pretty cool. The reason that book did so well, in my eyes, was boom bust here, so it’s nice to see it doing well on a positive note instead of a negative one.

The first 5 pages are where the good stuff is. The writer certainly did their research, and talked with real people from the affected demographics: Those in India riding the wave, those in the US forming coup’s, and even a politician taking notice. I feel there were some innacuracies, strong opinions, and even some “psyche formation”, where the writer tries to actually get you emotionally involed in someway, and take you some placed based on that emotion. Any good writer does that, so I went with it. It helped you see the points the writer made better.

My favorite line was the foreshadowing of designer’s saving our arses:
“And these creations must be explained to customers and marketed to suppliers and entered into the swirl of commerce in a fashion that people notice, all of which require aptitudes that are more difficult to outsource – imagination, empathy, and the ability to forge relationships. After a week in India, it seems clear that the white-collar jobs with any lasting potential in the US won’t be classically high tech. Instead, they’ll be high concept and high touch.”

Taken out of context, but you can see what I mean.

8 Replies to “Wired on Outsourcing”

  1. Who moved my cheese was hit here in Japan too. But it blew through town pretty quick unfortunately. Excellent book, I’d recommend it to anyone.

    On your first note of outsourcing…. I have seen both sides of this story. At my work we outsource to India and China ALL the time. Quite a few travel here from their home countries to work for a few weeks or months to get a project finished up and then go back. I had a pretty deep conversation with one of the guys here about outsourcing as I was half against it mainly because the quality of work is much lower than most would hope for (in this situation) and I felt that it might be better to do these kinds of things in-house and outsource lower priority work. Well, in the end my opinion had been turned around, and I see the light now. Outsourcing is a major money saver for one. Most Chinese or Indian workers will work for up to 1/6 of what the locals would get paid. They may take a bit longer, but they work their butts off (when you are wathing them, but hey.. who doesn’t haha) and because now you have invested a bit of cash in cheaper labor, you can take advantage of that again in the future and they will fly to your door.

    Take the other side of the fence. You pay a local worker to do the project, and you pay up to six times the cash and you’ve now invested that money into one person who maybe did the job a bit better and faster but now you have to rely on that expensive investment to continue doing your work. Plus all the costs of hiring locally…

    Here’s the part that really woke me up. Most jobs that get outsourced are usually menial jobs. Things that we don’t really want to mess with (data input, code crunching, research maybe) so if these jobs can be sent out of the company this offers time, energy and money to other directions. All the whiners out there (I was one of them) are not seeing this. They want to be comfortable with their slippers on and a coffee on their desk. I say grab that opportunity, come up with new ideas, concepts, projects and lead them to completion. There are so many options, and there is no real excuse to not jump on them. Then when you are on a roll, outsource part of that project so you can move on to the next opportunity.

    just a few thoughts there… might have rambled a bit..

  2. I think what I wanted to say is to take advantage of the window that has been left open. Don’t consider these people your enemy or people who want your job. Use them as they use you. You create work for them (by coming up with new ideas project and convincing the upper management to go through with it) and you use them to see that project through (cheaply, which helps convince upper management it’s worth it). Everybody wins, it’s just how you look at it.

  3. damn… another friggin coment by me.. I just finished reading the entire article (I had only read one page when I wrote the above articles). This article should be posted on everybodys desk. An excellent article, and exactly what I said above..and more.

  4. I’m not sure what part you are referring to of Graeme’s, but if it is the quality of work, I think that is merely his experience. If you read the article, supposedly there are statistics that rate India pretty high in software quality, and some companies so far are getting the results they require. I apologize I cannot quantify mine as I don’t really know.

  5. Brajeshwar, just saying it as it is. Which doesn’t mean I’m cold to the relationship as it works out for all and is only business. But also thanks to that business I have met a lot of really cool people (most from India to be honest) and made some good friends. Nothings wrong when everybody wins in all areas.

    Though this is just a start. I guarantee more jobs will get sent to India (way more than China). The quality is great, and the people are extremely motivated and energetic. I have yet to meet a worker from India that has come here that I have found below what I would expect out of anyone. If I made out in my post any differently then I apologize. Though I know that all from India (at least all the people I have met so far) understand the relationship as well as I have said it, if not more. To put it any milder wouldn’t be worth the post.

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