What happens when a successful US-based computer programmer, who lost his lucrative job to outsourcing, travels to India to try to get it back?
Will he discover the secret of India’s success, or that sending jobs overseas is an unstable gamble?
The videos below share his incredible experience. It’s a fascinating and humanizing portrait of real Indians in Bangalore, the “Silicon Valley of India”.
This inside look shows how ridiculous it is to throw around terms like “slave labor” and “stealing jobs” without understanding the realities of this unusual world where best jobs start at 6pm and end at 3am…
1. Keep in mind which jobs are displacing foreign workers and which are not.
2. Notice the level of complaining among Indian workers. It’s almost non-existent.
3. Give the videos a minute to load. Patience, young Jedi.
This is hard-to-find coverage that will change how you think about “your” job. Highly recommended.
[Ed. note: the videos were originally sourced from truveo.com and are unfortunately no longer available. The clips were from the 2nd season of Morgan Spurlock’s “30 Days” TV series, episode 2, “Outsourcing.” The DVD is available at Amazon.com (https://www.amazon.com/30-Days-Season-Morgan-Spurlock/dp/B000WGYMII/?tag=offsitoftimfe-20).]
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102 Replies to “Trading Places with Indian Outsourcers”
This was done on the “30 Days” series on FX hosted by Morgan Spurlock. It was very entertaining and thought-provoking for the guy who went to India, the Indians themselves and, of course, those of us watching.
I have two comments:
1. I’ve worked with outsourcing for 2 years (managing a team overseas) and it is very frustrating to get someone to understand your business needs. Indian counterparts are very good at doing exactly what you ask them to do, provided you’ve come up with that. But if you only have a vague idea and are asking for their expertise, it can be a frustrating job.
2. Americans need to come to terms with the idea that a job as the sole provider of income is a very dangerous thing to have. You are working hard but not building any assets or multiple sources of income (a 401K does not have enough pull) When hard times come around, what are you going to fall back on? Savings? 401K?
Those were incredible. I teach Procurements & Contracts online and one of the primary issues we discuss is outsourcing. I shared the link with my students because I think it provides a perspective that is often lacking in discussions about this sensitive topic.
I just wanted to say thanx for an awesome book. I have been able to follow your advice and I now have pretty close to a 4hr work week. The reset of the time I am working on my startup…but you info game me the leverage.
I outsource quite a bit and i asked my lead provider about the quality of life he get from what I pay him $60 per day for programming Flash and PHP.
He stated ” That for what you pay me, I can afford to have a BMW, live in the most expensive city, and make more than the highest paying government employee….and I am very happy with the work you provide me”
I wanted to make sure that he was happy with what he was earning, and in turn I have good Karma.
This is ridiculous. I live in India. BMW costs Rs. 30 Lakhs in India (60K USD).
To buy a BMW he must work for 1000 days continuously (no weekends off) at a salary you pay him (60 USD per day). What it means is that he has to work for 3 years to get the BMW with no expenses altogether and no taxes.
You need to find other places to get your Karma boost!
As Americans we forget that our value comes from our ideas and a culture that supports innovation. Having this perspective gives us the ability to outsource and leverage our dollar for greater productivity and results. Think of the manufacturing worker who gets laid off due to outsourcing, goes to college, and starts the next great company …. he will outsource some of his work!
I think at the pre-trip dinner, Chris’ father had a good point: With a middle class emerging in India, those people are going to then afford to buy American products and services.
Tim, I think this ties very nicely in with your constant reminder that spending time in foreign countries can be cheaper than spending time at “home”… and that there are inexpensive places that are very nice and Americanized. In that light, probably the best thing an American can do is build a business that creates income independent of working a set amount of time in a set location… and then spend time in locations with a very good ratio of cost of living to quality of living. This, of course, suggests locations outside of the U.S.
Have you traveled to India yet, Tim?
Thanks soooo much Tim for posting these videos! I love Morgan Spurlock.
I think most Americans have an obsession with complaining. The video showed an amazing juxtaposition of poor and middle class in India. My hope is that Americans realize how blessed we all are. I know I am thankful to Eisenhower for helping build our infrastructure. I pray that after losing a job we are all able to find the confidence to create our future not dependent on corporations but on ourselves. My hope is that the US economic downturn will bring strangers together to become families that help each other live more like the human family we all are.
Outsourcing is good and bad. Definitely puts a perspective on American jobs. The one issue that I have is “culture.” Outsourcers may be able to learn the language and rid themselves of their accents, but they still lack to cultural knowledge. I have recently discontinued to services that I use just because the culture clash over the phone was unbearable. It made me want to switch. Now, I find myself asking customer service reps, “What country are you from?” Because I expect it.
Yay “30 Days”. There’s a whole new season out this year (I have it Tivo’ed for Tuesday’s at 10pm here on the pacific coast.
Had to give credit to Morgan Spurlock since it’s literally the entire show being posted here. The show’s website is here:
The one from the first season where he lives off of minimum wage is great also.
I’ve worked with technical teams remotely in India in the past and while it is a more economical choice, the turnaround in responses to simple questions can be extremely slow.
As Ergest pointed out above, Indian teams (from my experience) are fantastic at following instructions if you know exactly every little detail before the project starts, however, with even the smallest ambiguity, they’ll ask for instructions instead of making a decision. This can be frustrating due to the lag in turnaround time for email responses.
There are of course extremely talented and responsible tech workers in India, but are harder to find, since they are either employed by foreign companies or are living abroad working for a foreign companies.
Thanks for sharing, Tim!
Outsourcing is really just a variation on the word “competition.” To be against free competition in the market place is an absolute proof of one’s ignorance of economics.
In the early 1900’s, workers in the agricultural sector all had their jobs outsourced. The percent of Americans working as farmers dropped from about half of the nation to the single percentage points. They lost their jobs to people who could perform them more effectively and inefficiently in other states or areas (people with mechanized tractors). As China opened up in the 70s, textiles and clothing manufacturers closed up shop and outsourced the jobs. Then came everything else that is manufactured in Asia. Basically, the US has a history of outsourcing.
How has this history treated the US? It made it the most prosperous nation on earth, because companies were free to operate efficiently in areas that are better suited toward making their products. Areas that have a competitive advantage *should* be able to produce whatever they want without government stepping in. It allows both countries to prosper because each nation specializes at what it is most efficient at.
Outsourcing is a never an “either-or” issue where one countries is a loser and one country is a winner. It is always a win-win situation. Government restrictions on outsourcing is always a lose-lose situation. If groups want to “keep outsourcing in check” in the US succeed with their laws, they will force American businesses to be uncompetitive and wasteful in the long run. That destroys the economy.
Morgan Spurlock did a “30 Days” episode very similar to this. It was fascinating–if you haven’t seen it you should check it out. In the end, the US guy who had been laid off decided his job was more meaningful to the people over there, but it didn’t explain what he ended up doing afterward.
I think that seeing things like this really put things into prospective. I used to work at a call center as well and could see the steady flow of jobs moving to either another country or cheaper areas of the country to save one costs.
This is a really interesting show, the 3rd season has just started and Morgan Spurlock spent 30 days as a coal miner. It really gives you a better look at some of these issues, he seems to have a very good nack at getting both sides of the issue without casting judgment either way.
Morgan Spurlock isn’t really known for his in depth, balanced documentaries. His programs are entertaining but little more than that. In this case he managed to find one happy family working in a call center where everyone was happy but who also knew that cameras where filming and their jobs probably depended on it. Now I work in Silicon valley for an Indian who made his money in the tech industry and I know there are a lot of super talented Indians when it comes to technology and in such a poor country I’m sure the one’s who have jobs are happy and don’t complain much. But this video shows one family from a director who is known more for the entertainment factor of his films than his in depth reporting. There is another movie about outsourcing called “Roger and me” it’s not exactly about tech but it does show how a major city was practically destroyed due to outsourcing. The fact of the matter is that the United States is a capitalist country and we outsource to save/make more money but you can’t ignore the consequences of not taking care of people in your own country. Keep in mind that although the man in the videos view point of the people taking his job may have changed, he still doesn’t have a job.
Hi. Thanks for this. A lot more fluff in this piece than I had time for, but it’s interesting. I would have really liked to understand why it is that I am your 4th comment (unless someone slides in while I am typing) and most of us have the same opinion that outsourcing is extremely hard to do when you want people to think. I don’t mean outside the box thinking, I just mean common sense.
I am having issues now since what I requested wasn’t in the ‘scope’ of the project. It’s a website that supplies requested information, only each request opens up another browser window, so if you make 10 requests, you have 10 windows open. I didn’t request that this NOT happen, but who would ever assume that it would be created in such a way. Small silly example, but indicative of a much bigger problem. The issues can then be solved, but it takes longer, will cost more (its not their fault you have different expectations), will aggravate, and invariably some other issue comes up . I hate to sound like I am generalizing, it just generally happens to me 🙂
I am now thinking I will save money if I hire people who will ‘get it’ not just ‘do it’
Thanks for sharing!
An unstable gamble.
The creativity and venture capital startups are still mainly in the States, which is why so many tens of thousands of bright Indian and Chinese young people find a way to get here and not the other way around.
I was just at the Society for Technical Communication Convention in Philadelphia, PA. There was much talk of “localization” and “outsourcing.” According to a number of speakers, many companies that thought they could outsource programming to India have pulled it back to the States. The same has happened with technical communications and localization work.
There will always be companies for whom the cheapest route is the best (read Microsoft) and they will outsource to India and China. Others who value quality will keep the work Stateside.
I know this is a contrarian view and one you will not hear in the mainstream media or Gates ever pushing, but many companies have pulled back from India. They have a different ethos. It is one of those intangibles that cannot be measured easily in survey or by the academics, but it is real nonetheless.
Companies like Avaya who only want it cheap, cheap, cheap will continue to go to India, but many others have pulled back because they’ve been burned…and the word is spreading.
I’m kinda surprised that it took spending a month there for this guy to realize some of the things he said at the end. Like how they don’t control the world over there, and many people over there are impoverished and resentful.
I mean, really… shouldn’t that have been obvious?
Thanks for sharing this story. I have worked face to face with Indian computer programmers for many years as a manager in a US company. I have also worked with remote teams based in Chandagahr, Delhi, and Bangalore. I was fortunately to meet many Indian Managers while getting my MBA at Thunderbird Graduate School of Management. I have always been thankful for the excellent level of service that Indian trained workers provided, but now have a much clearer understanding of what life looks like on their end. They say that the heart or pulse of India is in the villages, but it is apparent that the rich culture still lives within the homes, even in Bangalore.
I agree with some of the readers here. Outsourcing occurs everywhere and every level. I think American are too fixated on the outsourcing that happens overseas. I work for one of the big 4 consulting firms. American companies hire us (a form of outsourcing) for their IT work. We in turn outsource it to smaller and cheaper companies, as well as outsourcing it to our India office to try to remain competitive. People need to get off their high horse and face the reality that you have to become innovative and create value in order to remain competitive.
With huge multi-million dollar contracts that happen all the time in the States, it is not surprising at all to see the winning bid, outsource pieces of their work to medium sizes firms which then outsource their work to even smaller firms. It creates work all around.
Research has shown that when it comes to ideals and prices, people talk with their wallets. Sure you want that pair of sneakers not to come from a sweat shop in China, but when it comes down to it, more often than not, people go with the cheaper option.
How is it possible that a person can work at a firm in any country around the world for six years, rise to the level of manager, and still essentially live in squalor?
I’m certainly no expert on India, nor nation-building, but I have to imagine that either we were not presented with the full story of this man’s plight; the government of India has a LOT more work to do to take care of its citizens; American companies investing in India are not doing enough to be sure their investments are not just going into the new middle class’ pockets at the expense of everyone else, or the majority of this rising middle class couldn’t give a hoot about the poorest of the poor in their country.
I wish I knew the answer to this question, and my suspicion is it’s a combination of all three. I take no issue with sending money abroad, outsourcing is an historical and economic fact of life. What I do dislike passionately, though, is people (anyone) getting ahead of someone else at the others expense. That’s unfortunately, correct or not, the message I took away from this film.
Thanks for sharing, Tim.
Sweet vids!!!! Thus, my experience with outsourcers in India and Romania has been nothing but a pleasant experience.
I really appreciate you sharing this story. It opened my eyes to 2 things:
1. the way indians live with massive corporations providing them with a job and yet balancing their lives with family etc
2. and the opportunities available in western countries…like Australia from where i am from. we have an opportunity to redefine ourselves…they dont.
you get a deeper sense of life after being reminded that there are people in the world who just dont have the same luxury that i might have.
Thanks for posting these.
Outsourcing is just an incidence of free-market capitalism…
The idea is to have all capitals exchanges run without external control (like control from a government).
And these capitals exchanges include man labor (which is one form of capital). Thus outsourcing. If it’s cheaper to buy a tree on the other side of the planet, let’s do it. If someone is willing to do your work but cheaper, let’s employ him, wherever he lives.
This concept leads to globalization, a term we hear a lot these days.
The good part of it: it helps poor countries to develop their economy, and it brings more markets to rich countries. And it brings some kind of control over the world (countries are less likely to make wars between themselves if they share economic interests)
The bad part of it: it makes everyone around the world lose their own culture for a global one. E.g., in China, tea used to be the most popular drink, now it is coca-cola. Is it bad? Well, when everybody on earth will eat burgers and fries, if a disease such as mad cow’s happens, or worse, or if some bacteria would destroy potatoes plants, all the earth population would be in big trouble.
That was fascinating, Thanks Tim.
This movie brought me to tears. I am so grateful for my life. Thanks for the enlightening videos.
“I’m certainly no expert on India, nor nation-building, but I have to imagine that either we were not presented with the full story of this man’s plight; the government of India has a LOT more work to do to take care of its citizens; American companies investing in India are not doing enough to be sure their investments are not just going into the new middle class’ pockets at the expense of everyone else, or the majority of this rising middle class couldn’t give a hoot about the poorest of the poor in their country.”
Um… you have to have wealth to redistribute it. Guess how wealth is built? Through hard work & savings (i.e. the accumulation of capital)
Would you have the Indian gov’t take the little wealth the middle class there has accumulated and spread it out over the rest of the population, making them marginally better off for a few years, but destroying what little wealth they have earned and any incentive to continue working to improve their lives?
And why is it okay to steal in this context (the gov’t stealing from the middle class) and not others (you going into your neighbor’s house and taking half of what he owns)?
Do you realize that if what you are suggesting were implemented (ie sharing most of the fruits of the labor of India’s middle class with the rest of India), that India would be even poorer? After all, would you be willing to work your ass off for even less than the guy in the video?
I am reading your book at the moment and exploring the possibilities. I have learnt many things from both your book and your blog.
This video on outsourcing was very insightful, educational and very moving. It has given me a look into the daily lives and challenges of my outsource guys in India – whom I have a great working relationship with and after viewing this video, an even greater respect than I had before.
Thank you for sharing this with all of us.
Smiles to you
The movie applies to China as well, just that the Chinese do not speak as well as the persons in the videos. I work in a Consultancy firm and have to travel all over China. China’s situation is almost the same, except for the fact, it’s not technology/ call center, but the manufacturing side of things.
Factory workers who are paid US$150 per month are, 3 day’s train ride away from home, very willing to take up jobs 10-12 hours a day in the factory. That are their alternatives to working in the farm.
These workers stay in some dormitory provided by their employers and go home 10 days a year. These are better compensated people in the country. I’ve heard, many people in other part of China has an average salary of US$200 PER YEAR.
I guess, we have to accept the world as it is; but at the same time, we need to realize what special talents that you have to offer to the “world” of value; otherwise, we are doing a disservice to the people are desperately dying out there…
The 4HWW has lots of great suggestions. I can’t wait ’til I can outsource and travel and have mini-retirements…BUT…The 4 hour workweek seems to hinge on Internet marketing! HELP! I spent over 20K last year supposedly learning all about Internet marketing…with capture pages and auto-responders, blogs and my own information product…nothing. I tried two topics: the Law of Attraction and Creativity. It didn’t work. What will be different this time? How can I find the right niche so as not to waste my time again? I am actually an artist but have not figured out how to cash in on that particular talent…Any suggestions? Thanks!
Thanks for the comment. The 4HWW doesn’t hinge on Internet marketing, it just used online testing as a fast and affordable method for micro-testing business models and products, if you choose to be an entrepreneur.
Since you seem to have already chosen that path, I’d encourage you to reread the “Finding the Muse” chapter about markets and testing. I’d also consider you not to focus too much on income generation until you calculate your TMI and look at the options that mobility as an artist would create.
Hope that helps!
I enjoyed watching the videos, and have sent the link to a number of friends.
I am in Hamilton, New Zealand, and have been working in a call centre for a few years, (until recently I was a trainer there).
Currently my company is trialling outsourcing, (in Manila, Phillipines -not India), and many of the workers in the call centre are concerned about their jobs. Most are either young students or Mothers working part or full time.
The reality is that this was always going to happen at some point. The difference is that people in societies, like New Zealand or USA, have choices. Something that people in other countries often don’t have. It is often hard for us to understand that, and I think that this is what the guy in the film realised.
I have never been to India, but I have lived in Spain and Morocco for a couple of years and India looks very similar to Tangiers. The conditions there surprised me quite a bit at the time.
If this subject interests you, I suggest you read Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat. I read this before reading Tim’s excellent book, which is also good. I recommend Friedman’s book to anyone who can handle a ‘heavy’ read, while Tim’s is a much easier read, and more practically based.
I think you may have misunderstood my message a bit, and I apologize if I wasn’t as clear as I could have been. Thanks for your response. My immediate impression was that this man, whose plight we were purposely shown to illustrate the divide between the middle and lower class (remember India does have an historical caste system), must be earning far less than what would be considered an equitable wage in relation to his duty as a manager of 60 people.
If my impression is correct, and he is paid a sum much less than what one would consider fair, than I wondered why this was the case, and thought about how we might be able to help change the disparity. I then laid out a few possible conclusions as to why there was such an unequal distribution of wealth in India.
As India continues to grow, it is my hope that Indian firms and MNCs, their employees and their investors, recognize more clearly their changing roles as “global citizens,” and act as if they are not operating in another country but in their own backyard.
No longer are we living in a world with clear dividing lines between the cultures and norms we know, and those we are now coming to know. It is the responsibility of all people to understand that life and business is not about money, or eastern values, or western values, it is as our lead suggested — “about people.”
One commenter above claims Americans are good at innovation. While history seems to indicate that a lot of innovation comes from them, there’s a big factor driving that: immigration. America is a huge brain drain on the rest of the world, and there’s no reason other countries can’t move up the value chain. Really it’s quite naive to think that innovation is the sole purview of the US, and there are cultural differences that make America good at innovation, and India bad at it. Watching those videos makes you think that there is very little separating the US and India except that they didn’t start the race until a few years ago. Everything I know about China says the same thing.
Not about call centres – just a comment on the outsourced software industry.
Traditional “waterfall” software projects *can* sometimes work quite well in an outsourced environment. This type of project is where the work is specced out completely before development begins. Assuming their English language level is good and the specs are detailed I have found Indian developers are quite good at following instructions.
However, a lot of software companies (Google and Yahoo are good examples) are switching from waterfall projects to more product centric development using Agile development methods such as Scrum. These methods don’t lend themselves well to outsourcing due to the constant communication required between the product owner and the team. They also embrace “emerging requirements” which outsourcers will generally run a mile from – change is good!
I think if Western Software companies want to compete with the outsourcers – embrace these new methods. If your customer is local, they won’t be able to compete with you – you will deliver what your customer wants, quicker to market, at higher quality.
Outsourcing does have it’s place – call centres – yes. Easily specced work such as graphic design etc is also another one – I have used elance myself for this and have been very happy with the work. However, creating quality software is HARD and requires special methods that are unique to the industry, I think outsourcers will struggle here.
Interested to hear any other views from fellow software guys.
Tim, Thanks very much for the video.
I’m from India and I run my own business, and yes most part of it is outsourced from the US. It’s very true what’s seen in the Video – there is clearly a society that is divided into diff levels out here. You see a slum and a five star hotel within yards.
Outsourcing – as someone said above, is closer to “competition” now. I don’t prefer to agree that Indians are more talented than the US guys or vice versa, probably the US guy is more costlier. Also I should agree that Indian companies are not as quick and crisp in delivering the same quality as the US counterparts. Although we are seeing a gradual improvement in this.
But, I think over the period of time, we must see this as a win-win situation – for the good of it.
I think some of the critical comments here make some important points.
Americans who are thinking that exporting the jobs overseas will be easy are often in for a rude awakening about just how “foreign” the culture of the new workers are (as if we would expect them NOT to be “foreign”?) To ignore the caste system, different values, a wildly different work ethic (some positive, like not complaining as much, some not, such as deciding deadlines are just about meaningless) is extremely short-sighted.
The appeal to greed, i.e. “we can get it done dirt cheep” is indeed an appeal to near-slave-like labor, at its core. Let’s not kid ourselves. We can rationalize it, as these videos do, but for many CEOs obsessed with next month’s bottom line rather than the long-term value of high wages and a growing middle class HERE, that’s exactly as they see it. To say “Well, 20 cents an hour is a LOT more than they used to get” seems to cut out all the morality in the decision. While it’s not *technical* slavery, the comment above that we aren’t getting the full picture with this one family is a valid one. I’d like to see the guy struggling on extremely low wages interviewed. Some shows (Dateline, I believe) have shown these workers and how they’re treated.
Exporting menial tasks like research, email and phone banking may be easy and may even make sense. But if ALL jobs, including white collar jobs, can be exported to India and China, exactly WHAT are Americans going to be doing to create wealth? Sell junk on eBay? Surely someone must realize that dramatically falling wages, which we’ve seen in the last decade, leads to more debt and eventually less BUYING. Where will China be without a strong US middle class to buy their stuff? Unemployed.
I’ll also briefly note that in Tim’s book (chapter 8, p.114 US edition) Esquire editor AJ Jacobs hails outsourcing and specifically praises his Bangalore-based digital assistant “Honey” as a wonder worker. He cites an email that she writes to get a tourist board off his back. To end their constant stream of emails, she writes, in part: “Currently, these mails are not serving right purpose for both of us. Thus, we request to stop sending these mails.” This is illustrative of the cultural divide that separates us from other cultures. But what’s actually appalling about this is that the editor of Esquire magazine gushes about how great this letter is. Apparently, he couldn’t seem to get an American (of any nationality) to write an equally polite, but more grammatically correct “no, thank you” letter. It’s cheaper to find one overseas rather than pay a decent wage to an assistant here, I guess.
I just moved back to the US after three and a half years working in Chennai with an company providing outsource services (I’m American) – some of what’s in the video is true, a lot of it is partially true (although I would qualify that it’s true of South India, not necessarily of the north). A lot has changed in the two years since the video was filmed (the riot shown was in April, 2006), including a trend back to education based more on creative thinking and problem solving and less on spitting back the “right” answer. I’ve never seen a place change so fast, and so continuously. It’s amazing, considering how haphazard everything appears to be.
I found that most of the US companies that tried outsourcing and failed made assumptions and didn’t set things up correctly. The ones that succeeded spent more time setting up the relationship. That’s true of any relationship between companies, though; outsourcing just has a different set of variables. The poster above who mentions “Others who value quality will keep the work Stateside” probably comes from a group that didn’t set it up right.
@Doc Kane: Wages are all over the place, even for the same position and experience level within the same company; at my company, a lot of it had to do with background and particularly education. It’s not exactly related to caste, although there is a correlation, since most people have to pay for education. Anyway, just because he shares what looks like a small space with four other people doesn’t 100% correspond to his income, and I suspect he would be upset to hear his home represented as a “cave” and a “prison cell.” Many of the flats in my (middle class) building had four or five people in 650 sq ft, one- or two-bedrooms. My neighbors used to ask me didn’t I get lonely?
I get a “video file not found” when trying to watch the videos. Do you have a link to the original??
Thanks to each for the local perspective!
Great videos, it give a different perspective to those that will at least open their minds for all of five minutes.
Excellent Article and Videos.
Thanks Tim 😀
OK, here’s what I think, like you asked. 😛 I once heard it said that oftentimes in public policy we have a conflict between what is efficient and what is fair. I think this is one of those times. Even if it is more efficient to outsource work to India (and I question that premise, but never mind), is it fair? It’s easy to say we shouldn’t depend on jobs in this country for our income or assets or whatever, but the truth also is that (1) It takes time to make enough money from other sources to replace a job and, (2) Not everybody can do what you do, Tim. There must be diversity of industry and service as well. It doesn’t help that major corporations that do a lot of this work that’s replaced smaller businesses get huge tax breaks from the U.S. government. If what they’re doing is so much better and so much more efficient then why do they need welfare to beat out the little guy in the first place?
(Let me not even get into the “better through efficiency” aspects of industrial agriculture which someone already mentioned in the comments here–better for whom, as it turns out? The animals being abused? [And I’m a meat-eater with no plans to change.] The human beings whose health is being ruined? The ecology being put severely out of balance? Define “efficiency” for me please, I think it’s being misdefined here.)
I’m a single mom, very low-income and my little girl’s dad takes decent care of us (I refuse to get back together with him for what I think are very good reasons, but we’re friends), but it would do a lot for my self-esteem if I could make my own money as well, not to mention my bottom line, my debt reduction from excesses in my 20s, etc., especially if I did not have to institutionalize my daughter in a daycare or a preschool. (I think you’ll recall your own days in school and understand why I don’t want to inflict that on my child.) Doing something like virtual assistant work would be ideal for me, as long as my clients could stomach hearing her in the background from time to time. But as long as they’re getting spoiled by India’s lower rates, what chance do I really have in that line of work? That’s one more door closed in my face because I am apparently not desperate enough–never mind that even on Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, one of the poorest counties in the U.S., the cost of living is not as low as it is in India. And I don’t live on Rosebud. Not even close.
You see, in the end it’s not enough to call Americans whiners because we dare question the dogma of Lowest Price Is Best Regardless Of End Cost. If you’re going to make your millions and trot off into the sunset partying for the rest of your life, the least you can do is make sure your rising tide lifts boats in your immediate vicinity as well. And this isn’t even like donating money to charity where you don’t know how much of your dollar will actually help someone, or being taxed to death by the Feds to support welfare programs you don’t agree with. There is no magical Job Fairy that conjures up extra money to pay other people who work. In the end, that money comes from people like you. Believe me, the good people of India can work out their own problems, and it’s more than a little racist and condescending to imply otherwise. But if we don’t help one another out here, we’re still the richest country on earth–who is going to help us?
Wonderful video link. I appreciated the small slice of Indian life that the documentary showed. I’m curious to learn more about outsourcing as my experience is limited to class discussions.
Thank you for the advice in your book. I can now do my job in half the time and I’m working on liberating myself at least 1 day from the office. Your book has relived some stress from my life and I’m excited to see much more I can use your methods.
@Christian and All,
If the videos don’t show up — which might be due to country copyright issues — just check out:
But I wanted to see a programmer go to India and show how a programmer lives. Why is the subject working in a call center and not working in his field, did I miss something?
Sorry if I am incorrect but isn’t there a pretty good chance for him to get a new job in the US?
I for one get tired of hearing people complain about their jobs getting outsourced. Complain for a minute and get over it. I know companies stateside today that are desperate to find local or US-based development talent. If this guy can’t replace his job, he’s not looking or has too much baggage.
My experience with outsourcing is similar to what many have mentioned … specs need to be tight, will only do exactly what is asked and nothing more, etc. That led to a new group of positions in my previous company to pull together tighter specs and communicate with the offshore team. Those are jobs that didn’t exist before outsourcing. Yes, we’re trading three programming jobs for one analytical/communication job, but there is that much of a gap between development talent needed and development talent available.
I’ve also found many offshore firms to be lacking in the ability to architect a quality application. Instead of complaining about it, view it as an opportunity to solve a problem or fill a gap.
My advice for the guy in the video: Add value, identify problems with the new way and look for solutions, and be prepared to change. No matter how the work environment changes or how companies will try to do something different tomorrow, look for ways to position yourself to add value and you will always have work. Those opportunities are a lot easier to recognize if you’re not complaining about your last job.
loved this video. Thanks so much for sharing it!
Tim Thanks for posting the Video. I am in Bangalore, India right now and I was working in Florida for a few years. I agree on what mani Karthik says. Born and lived in India for 25 years and being lived in the States for 5 years, I myself find it very different and interesting.
A company sends work to subcontractors when it’s more cost effective than doing the work in-house. Specializing reduces costs. No one can specialize in everything, so they subcontract.
Let’s assume that ‘outsourcing’ means subcontracting regardless of the geographic relationship of the two parties. Now let’s talk about software development.
The root cause of quality issues in software development is the quality of communication. This is true in manufacturing as well, but it’s been addressed in the design language.
My empirical observation: Time zones erode the quality of communication.
I’ve managed software development with distributed teams across three continents. I’ve managed development split between the US east and west coasts. I’ve managed development with everyone, technical and business, in one room.
What I’ve observed is this: the more time zones between team members, the lower the quality and quantity of code produced per unit of time.
Why? There is no rigorous engineering language that applies to software development.
Proof? Boeing Aerospace has parts made all over the world. The same part can be made in any country because the blue prints and specifications are identical. Further, the quality tests are the same everywhere. (I worked as a toolmaker in aerospace prior to IT.) Ditto for silicon chip manufacturing.
There is no comparable language for software development. And there may never be. The joke among programmers is by the time you write a specification that’s unambiguous, the program could have been written, tested, revised, and in production.
My development team split between the east and west coast had a tricky problem that went unsolved for weeks in spite of numerous calls and emails. The solution occurred after a few hours in front of a white board once I flew everyone to the same site. All were native American English speakers and talented programmers. Phone technology and time zones got in the way of understanding.
Time zones work against you. When you add Hindi English, offshore management styles that hark back to the 1950s auto industry, phone latency, and (most important IMHP) no long tradition of software engineering culture, the communication problems are compounded.
BTW, when I brought some senior talent from New Deli to Florida to finish up requirements and knowledge transfer, I observed a similar acceleration of problem solving to the native speakers mentioned above. Not as much, of course, but similar.
Cheers to all of you,
@Wayne. You’ve got to be kidding by using Boeing as an example of an engineering outsourcing success. Google “outsourcing disaster boeing” and learn that outsourcing 70% of the parts for the new 787 “Dreamliner” was an unmittigated disaster because of the very Time Zone formula you mention for software applied to hardware as well.
Another sobering thing to consider is that, as the engineering outsourcing strategy DOES begin to work, it will mean that Boeing and other companies can proudly be the “assemblers” (or as an “integrator” of parts made elsewhere, as Boeing says even now.) That leaves the head office further and further detached form the REAL engineering decisions, eventually leaving it in simply a managerial role. And at that point, what’s the rationale for it staying an American company at all?
A Boeing engineer said in a news story: “Boeing developed much of the materials, manufacturing processes, tooling, tolerances and allowances, and other design features, which are then transferred to suppliers in Japan, Italy and elsewhere. Over time, institutional learning and forgetting will put the suppliers in control of the critical body of knowledge, and Boeing will steadily lose touch with key technical expertise.”
For some, all this is academic, but for others, it highlights the suicidal nature of willy-nilly outsourcing of high-paying jobs from a pure greed motive. The CEOs had better understand that once the high-paying US jobs are gone, their future as over-paid CEO/managers will be going overseas too, as foreign companies simply demand more seats on the board of companies they will virtually (or literally) own anyway.
“You wiill fail the test. its a curse because you didn’t get me my cup of tea.” ahahaha. Funny… But serious. Sucks for a role to be imposed on anyone, be it a man or woman.
My views: I like the concept of the documentary. However, I don’t like the Chris’s negativity. Life is different in different places. Whether the place is dirty, whether the place is hard… The question thats important is are the people happy to a certain extent/ are they content. I think so. The problem with foreigners is that they look at a culture through a lens shaped by their own culture. To get a good understanding one must view things from that cultures point of view.
Very, very thought-provoking and interesting – I had an idea what it was like, but now know a lot more.
I agree with people’s comments about competition – it is all about value – cost vs efficiency and skill and experience. If you can see the value of out sourcing, and you get that value, then do it. It’s a connected world that never, ever stops.
Tim, that one is a good one. I am trying to deviate from the materialistic view of this vids.
There is a saying here in India, meaning be happy with what you have.
“When you worry about your lost pair of slippers, remember there are people out there who don’t even have legs.”
– probably that’s the reason why people living in the slums are more happier sharing their area of 600 sq ft. with 6 other people. But in some developed countries an individual has enough space say 6000 sq ft to live in and spend in a day more than what an individual earns in a month. But you know he got to be seeking assistance either in form drugs, pills, or beverages for a good night sleep – all alone.
hey Sindhu…that was quick and so nice!
It’s amazing how under-researched the documentary is and how narrow the narrator’s perspective is.
I will agree with one thing, though: Bangalore is turning into a nightmare.
I read a lot of comments on this post, but did not read them all, but it would seem that most of the ppl here have not lost their jobs to outsourcing. I have. TWICE. I was a Accounts Payable Representative (one of the lowest level jobs at the company) and was paid $12.00 per hour. I was living check to check (nope, no credit cards and no car payment at the time). It is expensive to live here in the US which is why Americans need well paying jobs. I found another job within the same company as a call center representative (the irony is eerie), but I was angry for a couple years and then decided to get on with my life. Eventually this job would be outsourced too.
It just so happens that the call center I was working in was payroll. I got to see everyone’s salary. Managers earning $10,000 a MONTH. Executives earning literally $20,000 to $30,000 a MONTH. I see execs and managers with 401Ks that have $900,000 balance. That is the problem with American corporations. It is not us. It is not the little employees at the company causing any financial problems, were just the ones who get picked to lose our jobs. I do not buy into the whole competition thing. American corporations are laying off 700 people who earn $25K to $50k a year while they need to cut back on executive and management salaries. Our company investors pressured our company to do something about the proceeds they were receiving in their investments so the company starting taking American jobs to appease their investors. If you know anything about accounting, if you lay off some piddly workers now your salaries expense becomes revenue.
In 2004 when I lost my job to outsourcing I KNEW then that the economy would crash. Our American jobs are tied into our HEALTH CARE for example. We lose our jobs now we have a healthcare crisis in this country. Our retail industry is suffering b/c we do not have jobs and thus no disposable income to put back into our economy.
I was going to buy an new car next year, but I am not going to do that now b/c once it is paid off I will be free of that debt and since there is no loyalty among American employers anymore I cannot guarantee I will be able to afford to spend my money. Now all I do is save just in case I am laid off again.
I am training my nephew (who I am raising) to be self sufficient b/c his loyalty will mean nothing to an American company. There is no point in making someone else a millionaire by working 40+ hours a week if the thanks he will get is a pink slip.
I was rereading your book and had an idea I wanted to bounce off you–what are the odds that I could outsource finding a muse to India, selecting one and then automating it? Am I jumping the gun a bit or am I actually on to something?
I thought the guy was very balanced and didn’t react when they started talking about the Indian engineers being more talented – fair play to him
Tim..that was an amazing video! In America, just like what was stated in the video, we do have restrictions…or as compared to many other countries around the world. We can redefine ourselves very quickly. If we lose a job, we can quickly develop another way to earn money, or get another job. That is the beauty of America…we are very innovative, and are allowed to become innovative and owners of our own work and business. Americans have been “babied” for too long…..instead of us thinking that we owe ourselves a good life, we think that somenone owes “us” a good life. That will only dig a deeper hole for this country to fall in. Instead of being so insultnig about outsourcing, we need to take full advantage of it and use it to help us make money. Places like Elance, gives the small business owner, or even an employee, an affordable avenue to use outsourcing for their own tasks.
I made a mistake in the last post..i meant to say “In America…we do “not” have restrictions……
Americans, many of us, are very slow in adjusting to the new economy, which is very global. Since we are becoming very global, we are going to have to give up some of our comfort zones. This is not the 1980’s, not the 1950’s, not even the 1990’s. This is a whole new ballgame. The traditional job market here has changed drastically. It is only the Americans who can not adjust to this new economy who will lose out. Americans, I include myself too, are good at complaining…when we really have it much better, even when we do lose our jobs, than many people around the world. Like I said…it is time for us not to think that somone owes us something..even though we work for them…we need to begin to think we owe ourselves a good life. Which means, stop complaining about how many jobs you lost, be thankful you do not live in India, which still has massive poverty, and recreate your skills. Go to back to school, start your own business, go for another job, talk to people who know how to operate well in this new economy. Guess what…those manufacturing jobs, some of the tech jobs, and certainly the call center jobs…may and will leave. It is time we realize the kind of job market we are getting into and be proactive, instead of hopeing that we do not lose this job..and then cry about it when we do.
The people who are rich in this country, do not get it by belonging to a rich family…”old money”family. They had learn how to create a business,make profits, market; or hire people to do these things…and they needed passion. Now, these things are not exclusive to just a handful of people, which is to say.when we talk about “rich people”, the big corporations taking money, taking the jobs to give to others overseas…we need to realize that these monster companys started at the beginning. It took time to grow these companies…and the people who did it, not saying that some were not scoundrels…but the people who did it had nerves of steel…they put in a lot of work to get there. Can we do the same thing…instead of us complaining about our jobs being taken away from us by the big corporations and given overseas…..do we have the audacity and the guts to start our own business and grow it to the level of those monster companies…these companies began with “one idea’ and “one or a few people”. They are not superhuman, they are regular human beings. See, it is easy to attack these corporations…and its CEO’s instead of pointing our own finger back to us…and see our own selves in the mirror. Are we lacking something….are we doing enough to have a good future…or are we waiting. Working a job does not cut it anymore…we have to have more vision…we have to have more innovation to help us if we do lose our jobs. The writing has been on the wall for a long time..but we as a country we were asleep at the wheel….now we see that we have change.
Thanks a lot for posting this. I was wondering if anyone here has used outsourcing to produce blog related content? Seems to me that if you price your article at $2-$3 to your writer, and you manage to get $5+ from advertisers, then you have created a viable business model..
I enjoyed reading the book FOUR HOUR WORK WEEK. I agree with the author about outsourcing. I had good experience outsourcing my work to three Indian companies: (a) http://www.Getfriday.com (b) http://www.Writer4me.com and (c) http://www.b2kcorp.com (Brickworks India). They made my works simple. I look forward to more books from the author.
Thanks Tim for the excellent video. It gives us all a new perspective to think about and understand why Indian virtual assistants are afvourite picks for most of torganisations looking at outsourcing.
Thanks for the great vids Tim.
@Steve Dalton: “Computer programmer” here and I think that you’re half-way right about your “Agile” comments. Yes, Agile is the new way in which we will develop software and yes, some people in other countries may be “behind the curve”. But honestly, companies in the US are not necessarily on the curve either.
Most programmers I know (and have met) do some hashed-up version of waterfall and agile because they’re not really comfortable at either. They’ve never written unit tests, they don’t talk to clients, they don’t storyboard. Heck even some of the agile people can devolve into “Agile as an excuse to be sloppy” (link)).
At the end of the day, becoming an adept and productive software developer requires a host of skills, a lot of education and even more experience. Building good software currently needs at least a few talented and skilled people. The best software developers are still 10 times more productive. It’s easy to claim that outsourcing software has been a failure, but most Western firms aren’t exactly in a position to claim success. Software development is still horribly misunderstood and generally poorly managed even at top firms.
And don’t think that Agile provides anything more than a temporary edge. Cheaper workers will also “discover” Agile, they’ll catch up too. Remember, you’re in a knowledge worker’s economy, but you’re living in a country where the motto is “no child left behind”. My friends who grew up in the Ukraine learned derivatives, integrals and linear algebra in high school… at age 16!
This guy’s an out-of-work computer programmer and he’s been out of a job for at least a month (based on the intro). What’s he doing? If he didn’t have interviews lined up the day he got laid off, then he should have at least been doing professional certifications while he hunted for a new job.
Welcome to the new economy! (I hope that your rant was cathartic, now get over it):
Managers earning $10,000 a MONTH. Executives earning literally $20,000 to $30,000 a MONTH…American corporations are laying off 700 people who earn $25K to $50k a year while they need to cut back on executive and management salaries.
Calling managers over-paid is no more or less short-sighted than called the “drones” underpaid. It’s a free economy. If firing executives and managers was actually the solution to the problem, one big firm would already have done that and now they’d be out-performing the competition.
Honestly, what you’re missing here is that those people making 10-30k / month are likely indispensable at even that salary. They are operating high-responsibility jobs that likely hinge on knowledge and skills that you don’t currently have. In almost all cases, they’ve earned that position through extensive education, training and experience.
You’re right about what you tell your nephew: “I am training my nephew (who I am raising) to be self sufficient b/c his loyalty will mean nothing to an American company.”, this is indeed the new economy. But there’s more to it than that.
You’re an intelligent, obviously literate person, your post was basically free of spelling errors (and that’s saying a lot these days). You’re hanging around a pretty heady (if eccentric) website like Tim’s blog. So my question is, what are you doing?
Why are you working A/R and call centers? Why aren’t you worth 10k / month? What did you do last month to make yourself indispensable to your company? What did you do last month to grow revenues? Are you getting a fair cut for these efforts? Why not?
It’s fun *(& popular) to say that business executives are “overpaid”. But people have been making that argument since the dawn of time. You live in a world with about as much free choice as any that humanity has ever known, so you don’t really have the “evil tyrant” excuse to fall back on.
For every argument you can make about rich, fat-cats ruining America and sending jobs overseas, I can make a counter-argument about lazy American workers who don’t carry their weight, don’t get enough training and don’t take enough initiative. This is not a “winnable” argument, we’re talking about a global balance built in a highly dynamic framework played out over generations.
The fundamental reality remains unchanged. You can either generate money and become indispensable or you can bleed money and get laid off. Companies don’t lay off generators unless they’re in their death throes. Generators don’t have a rough time finding work, b/c some rising ship will pick them up (they’re like found money).
It’s nobody’s fault, it just is.
I am an Indian IT professional but working in Dubai. A lot of effort has been put into this, but somehow the entire core seems to be shaky.
There seems to be too much of a generalisation : Seeing a few villages in Bangalore cannot give you an idea about how India is.
Some of the incongruencies that I noticed :
The Ranjan family seem to be very artificial, almost runining the authenticity of the video, as a south Indian I could not help cracking up at some of the crazy things they were doing.
Telemarketing is definitely NOT something that has high regard among those with professional technical degrees! This video makes it sound as if it is considered to be a prestigious career!!!
Jobs in India are definitely not easy to find. The number of applicants per available position is mind boggling and there are tens of thousands of unemployed IT professionals in India.
Oh and we have been getting milk delivered on our doorstep in hygenically sealed packets…for the past 30 years 🙂
Chris’ comments about poverty appears as if there is no poverty back home!
Oh dear… Now the knowledge economy is gone we really are doomed! Who is going to buy your house now?
My last (onshore) project had 100 Indians on it – not just developers but Testers, Business Analysts, Project Managers etc. Plus 10 Russians, and 20 Chinese. There were only 5 native developers.
One questions – why are you handing control of your air traffic control systems, missile systems, banking and finance systems etc to the Chinese, Russians and Indian Muslims i.e. people who hate you in the West. Do you honestly think that I can protect the integrity of the code when I am overwhelmed? Do you know how easy it is to insert (if month = 02 day =29 then powerDown) into the code and build it?
Just watched the video (downloaded it on itunes). Incredibly interesting to see the other side of outsourcing. I think sometimes we forget that there are real people on the other side of those phones. I have outsourced almost all of my muse at this point and am so grateful to the work that their doing to help me live my four hour work week.
I agree with Roshini.
I am an Indian born and raised in Mumbai. I have had friends from Bangalore who are anything like the Ranjans. My apologies, but hey seem to be stuck in the middle ages and yes seem artificial. On a more professional level, Telemarketing jobs are readily available and not a prestigious career. Being a call centre manager is another ball game altogether.
Jobs in India are definitely not easy to find. The good jobs are already spoken for and are rare to come by.
Currently, I am a resident Canada ( 8 years now) and the opportunity to work and change jobs is unbelievable. I do not think that the 4HWW would be a ‘thought’ if I had been in India. We have a lot of opportunity here too. Some are just lazy and spoiled that we do not avail of the resources around us. I truly believe that ‘ you can succeed anywhere if you have the will and the resources to do so’ Tim Ferris proved it. And now I follow suit….So ends my rant!
Go ahead people, have fun doing what you do best !
Thanks for the awesome book!
I’m trying to re-organize my life even though it seems quite difficult for me. I’m doing my doctoral degree in IT and working part-time that seems a full time job. I’ve read half of the book and trying to outsource some tasks that I don’t have much skills and consumes a lot of my time.
I can’t even cut down 10% of work time but I’m trying. Everything seems having to be done shortly at pretty much at the same time and I miss going to the dance class!
Tim have you seen Outsourced The Movie?
It is exactly what it sounds like in modern times: outsourcing in India.
Not only is it a fictional film that people totally fall in love with but the producers travel around the US to give talks at business seminars and to educators. The movie is American made and filmed in India. It’s heart warming. You’ll like it.
Wow…I been to India…but I went to all the turisty places…nothing like this…I will go back sometime this year.
Reinvent and Reimagine thats the key.
These issues with people “getting it” exist in IT and beyond regardless of weather the peroson doing the work is sitting next to you or at the other side of the world.
I think this sums it up http://www.businessballs.com/images/treeswing/tree_swing_70s.jpeg
this video makes me feel good that I’m going to be outsourcing to a VA firm in India. I’ll be making profit and supplying jobs to a less fortunate nation at the same time. talk about a win win situation.
“stealing american jobs” lol. loss of a few jobs will not result in further poverty in america. our poverty is a time deficit rather than a monetary deficit (although this exists too) and is spiritual in nature. thanks for posting ;D!
NO matter what, the USA is the best.
this is a really good video. it opened up my mind quite a bit.
At one point I’m extremely pleased by the fact that the tedious business-related errands can be done by someone who is ACTUALLY HAPPY to do it. For 1/4 the price! and it could be less. But then i had my doubts. Is it sustainable? Since the karma of unsustainability always catch up in the end, never up front. Then, this thought went into my head.
You see, I’m an indonesian living in Singapore currently. For a Singaporean, an income of S$500 is not that much. Actually, it’s the typical income of a waiter. Convert that to Rupiah, which is Rp 3.800.000, then that is considered a lot for someone who lives in Indonesia. That is the usual salary for a middle-class manager working 9-to-5 in some company. How can this be? Simply because it doesn’t cost much to live there.
So i guess outsourcing can be a win-win deal. You pay a small amount of money to someone to do your job. But for them it’s a lot of money since their living cost is not that high, compared to our first-world standard that we are living in.
life CAN be filled with abundance
good one, Writerforce is my ghostwriting firm in Mumbai, and i have seen both sides of the story 🙂
it reminds me of the two movies client eastwood had made on the american/japanese war
letters from iwo jima
flags of our fathers
Both these films are exceptionally made and show both sides of the war…
Video can be viewed in higher quality on hulu at:
Thanks for posting the video clip, Tim.
When I read 4HWW, one thing that I was not sure about was outsourcing. It’s been a while since I have taken a look at your book, and for some reason, I’ve been drawn to the material again as well as your blog.
Since first reading your book, my perspective has changed. Watching this episode on your blog has helped give me some more to ponder. I have been drawn to materials that talk about the law of attraction (i.e. Think and Grow Rich, The Secret, Ask and It is Given). It makes sense in my own life when I see how certain thoughts tend to multiply or see the direct correlation between patterns of thinking and what manifests in my experience, recognizing that we all have the ability to “create our own reality.”
I had previously been involved in various social services. I also live in a town with many people who have a social cause to fight. I was one of those people, but then fighting for or against something just got plain exhausting.
For the past year I have been reading a lot and focusing on financial education and business building. In these pursuits, I have come across the belief that pursuing wealth or abundance of time and money is unethical or unspiritual, and that rich people steal from the rest of the world. The perspective is always focused on those other people who are making my life miserable. This is really an excuse for not doing anything for myself to change my own experience or perhaps a way to feel safe in the midst of being uncertain about how to create that change. From the perspective of the law of attraction, complaining just brings about more complaining. Whoops! It’s time to tell a different story!
I imagine that the positive outlook in light of stark conditions is like focusing on what I want rather than on what’s not working. I see this clearly in the video, I recognized it while reading The City of Joy, and when I reflect on it, I also witnessed this in the years that I grew up in the Philippines. When so many people here in the United States have been complaining about their jobs and situations, focusing on negative news, and feeding on doomsday gossip while at the same time people in India, the Philippines, and China are shifting their perspective by focusing on hopefulness and possibilities, it’s no surprise that there’s a big move to outsource to those other countries.
The beautiful thing about all of this is that there are two ways to look at what’s going on economically: an apocalyptic doomsday approach or realizing that what is happening is a powerful opportunity to see that we’ve been focusing on what doesn’t work and choose instead to focus on opportunity. I’ve lived both ways, and I prefer the latter perspective. It helps me sleep better at night.
I’ve decided to spend at least two years in Western China. I’m spending about 15 hours a week working there and sometime on my start up business which is based in California while I work on my Mandarian. I’ve found extra work editing Chinese publications which have already undergone inital translation to English. I’m wondering how I can turn my time in China into something bigger. Any ideas?
It’s human nature to take the most advantageous road for ourselves. For some that may be a road in India, or Panama, or Argentina, or any number of international destinations. People are curious, want to explore, want to try new things. You have only yourself in the end, so listen to your heart and your mind and go with what feels right to you. This is your big day. Live it the best way you know how.
I just discovered this site after watching an amazing video on ted.com, this video was another amazing video which has altered my preception of things. Thank you.
As toolmrl mentioned, it’s curious that he’s in a call center instead of a programming job. What I’m wondering is if he couldn’t meet their qualifications for programming…
I think its time to outsource my life. I already am mildly into outsourcing, because I value my time. I have my son who I want to be with as much as possible.
We can never get back our time.
If you receive your web biz income in dollars and pay outsourcers in dollars in say India /China etc . What will happen to people who have their newly found 4HWW freedom in income aroung geoarbitrage if the dollars crashes tremendously in the immediate future as is being forecast in books such as Crash Proof 2.0 ?
Video no longer works. Do you have another source?
I am an Indian who came to US for education and just got my first job Some thing I would like to note about the videos and comments above:
>> Its not true that its easier to find a job and life in India. Thinks are much easier here in US, there are more job opportunities available here. Most of the time the problem is that people who try for the job don’t have the expertise for the job or are not that flexible.
>> People are not taking education seriously(at least not enough people in technology). Dont get me wrong, the people are very talented and creative. But the jobs of the future is going to be more specialized and higher up in the value chain( especially with outsourcing and globalization). Dont expect to get employed just by knowing basic Math and English. I just dont get why some people think they are entitled to get a job just because they want to work.
>> Dont take India ( and China ) as a threat. The population of India is about 4 times that of US ( and china much more). Even if about 1/2 of the people of both countries have the same average standard of living as US, then you are talking about a market about 4 times present US economy. This is an opportunity for US as never before because at present American corporations are the most innovative and most competitive in the world.
>> Many of the thing shown in the video are just generalization and may not be completely true. Some of the thing are cultural. For example why are so many people living in a single house in video?? Coz joint family are a common norm there even if you are a dollar millionaire. Many of the things are true, though its fast changing. After all India is a developing country and has its own share of shortcomings.
Thanks for the video. Liked it.
Outsourcing is an essential part of business now. US is outsourcing to india and India is also outsourcing some work to united states. Its a battle of cutting the cost, nothing else.
The living cost in united states is way higher than india. Bigger companies in states are outsourcing work to india at way cheaper costs and thus increasing the un-employment in United States. This trend is going to continue unless obama imposes something on the states. Outsourcing isn’t going to stop now!
Hey this is great. I use Fiverr for some of my outsourcing.
I do not see the video, is it removed?
You Americans need to get out of your American bubble and learn and see a lot of things. You just keep generalizing all the time. C’mon the world is changing get out of your bubble.
Hey, super interested in this post but the video is absent. Any ideas where to find it? Can anybody throw a link to it?
– Ian x
Hi, i am sorry but i do not see any video link anymore. Thakk you in advance.
Ummm… There is no video! am I just crazy or does anyone else have this problem?
Hello, and thank you for your comment.
The videos were originally sourced from truveo.com and are unfortunately no longer available. The clips were from the 2nd season of Morgan Spurlock’s “30 Days” TV series, episode 2, “Outsourcing.” The DVD is available at Amazon.com (https://www.amazon.com/30-Days-Season-Morgan-Spurlock/dp/B000WGYMII/?tag=offsitoftimfe-20).]
Team Tim Ferriss