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Author Topic: Cat Videos and Private Outsourcing - 2 Variants in Ostensible Brilliance  (Read 4486 times)


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Years ago, I've had a really good idea, together with some necessary legal and practical considerations, all of which didn't constitute a real obstacle, nor do they constitute today: you've got just to be smart in the execution of the scheme I advocate.

The legal side is quite simple, you don't have the right to have third parties have some knowledge about your firm's details (so they'd have the "right" to flip you, but would they do it, after all? I doubt this, and no harm will be done anyway, except if you try to get some work for really cheap, from somebody without a brilliant future on his own - just don't go for desperate people with lots of time, easy is dangerous), so you must select your contractors with care, but then, it's not a crime to delegate just work to people you pay for this, contrary to academic work you are supposed to have concocted all alone - whilst we all know that most rich people's children have their academic work written by ghost writers paid by their parents, to begin with their homework in the very first year (since you cannot spend 3 months on legal homework and cruise the Mediterranean on the family yacht at the same, everybody will understand this), and up to their doctoral "dissertation". So...

Today, Der Spiegel publishes a variant of my original idea, so I think I better present both, together with publishing mine for the first time, in order also to retain some moral rights on the latter.


In this link,

they tell you a high-paid (big six figures) programmer / IT executive in a U.S. corp didn't do anything on his pc, within the corp, except surfing the web all day long, especially looking at cat videos! (Can I blame him? Not really.)

At the same time, some Chinese regularly accessed the highly-secured computer network of this corp and did do all sorts of things, nothing harmful though, and getting access with a special ID chip card, via a reader, having been issued to the cat video viewer.

So eventually, an external IT security service provider dug these facts: The employee in question (then fired) had privately outsorced all his work to a Chinese IT service corporation, and they did all his work for him, from China; he paid them high in the 5-digits, so this scheme was financially highly profitable for the man in question who was considered the very best IT man within this corporation (I don't know if this was so even before, when he did his own work yet, or if this favorable appreciation of him was the direct result of his contractors doing so well their work).

Now, the question is, why - especially if he was so good at it even by his own means - this man so entirely avoided to do any of his work, i.e. why he was obviously unable to win the slightest satisfaction out of it.


Years ago, I had not at all that very same idea, since my idea was, why wouldn't a young executive (or a programmer, as we have got here, but at the time, I had executives or young lawyers in mind) not outsource parts of his work, in order to be considered a very promising young executive. I didn't think about China, but in a very conservative way, I thought of brilliant students he'd hire, in law or business administration - the same should be possible in the sciences, etc. - , and who would work for him, executing parts of the tasks he himself had been assigned. I mused, he perhaps would be paid 10k a month, 6.5k net, and why not, instead of wasting his money on travel, furniture, cars, giving 1.5k each, net, to 2 young students working for him on week-ends, etc.

This way, our young executive would be able, not to see cat videos instead, but to deliver almost 2 times what he was expected to work on, in his office, and I thought that such an investment on his part could be extremely beneficial for his career. I thought myself, there are employees with higher IQ, and who work much faster than their collegues, so they will "make it". Ok, there's also, and very importantly, that "way with people", called "emotional intelligence / EQ" today, and with this career aspect, some "private collaborators" will not help, but I also thought, with equal EQ, with equal IQ, and with equal work measured by time (let's say 40, 45, 50, 55 hours a week), PLUS two student collaborators, our young executive should be able to have very quickly a career that paid back tenfold for those 3,000 bucks he spent on his monthly income, for the very first years of his career.

I was aware that this couldn't work but if his superiors thought it was him who did this exceptional work load (and with correct results, of course); I was aware that the "alternative" to "work more", individually, wouldn't work out, since smarter people than he was, could - and would - work longer hours, too, and thus assure the lead they had on him grew even bigger: secret delegation, AND hard work, seemed to be a viable solution, though, especially since there certainly would be some intimidation effect on his peers, and even on collegues smarter than him, erroneously assuming that it was him the superior intelligence.

I was also aware of the risks of such a scheme: First, our man should be smart enough in order to not appear really stupid in the office or law office; it should be ok that his peers and his superiors are astonished by what he's capable of, but they shouldn't be outright incredulous at what he delivers, for too much inconsistency with what he's orally capable of.

Then, if our man delegated work to inferior students who for themselves didn't make it, there was a risk of extortion: "Give me more share, or your superiors will know who did the work." On the other hand, brilliant students would never do this, since their own career would be put at risk by such a move. Of course, brilliant students don't have so much time, hence my idea to not rely on just one such student, but to take two (or even three - it depends on your risk perception: with 6,500 net each month, you could finance 4 such students and live yourself on 500 bucks a month, with your own income exploding, after two years, to 500,000 bucks a year; a very risk-averse person would just have one such student, and still have 5,000 bucks a month for his expenditures, but would rise his income by perhaps just 20 or 25 p.c. (but then could get a second private contractor)).

I also was aware that our man should delegate with caution, and should do the really difficult parts himself, without, on the other hand, relegating his private staff to menial tasks only - and he should control this work, perhaps with some cross-control also, student 1 checking tasks executed by student 2, and vice versa.

Also, I thought by myself that all this should be organized in a very private way, our man getting work out of the office in order to "work on it at home", then passing parts of it to his contractors, i.e. I was aware of him not being well advised to have any phone or mail conversation with them in the office or by his office pc; about giving them access to the corporate network, I didn't even consider such outrage. And, of course, in order to prevail such discretion, I was aware our man would have to collect the necessary data himself, within the office, if data wasn't available but there, e.g. (this situation is much better now for students in the university itself, so today they can search for this data there) specialised / too expensive db's, available in the office / corporation, but not in the university (as said, today it's probably the other way round, the students having access to data himself will not have access to (which in some cases might even bring up the problem: "But this is brilliant! Where did you find it?")

In countries where there is a tax secret, you could try to deduct your expenses from your own income, the interest here laying in your collaborators' fewer tax rate. On the other hand, this will complicate things for them (their parents deducting them from their income, social security, your paying them more because of their tax / social security expenses), so that sometimes, it could be preferable to just pay them net, and all the worse with your higher tax rate (I know in some countries, this will then create the legal problem of "illegal employment" or such, but after all, you don't really employ them): See your tax advisor in case, but in countries like Sweden, e.g., your superiors could ask you, why do you declare an income of just 2,000 bucks, we paying you 6,000 net?!" So my advice is, beware of unnecessary complications, don't be too stingy-smart-alecky here; the same applies to your treating your subcontractors.

So this is my idea from some years ago, and I think it holds steady. The core element here is, don't tell your superiors you have contractors: It's not your investment of 5,000 bucks out of the 6,500 you get from the corporation that will make them promote you in an exceptional way, but only their misconception that you're incredibly gifted will make your fortune.

Later on, they will assign you so many collaborators in-house that nobody will ever discover the little secret of your early years if you continue to delegate in a smart way.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 02:57 PM by helmut85 »


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The only fly in the ointment is that many corporations include some version of a non-assignment clause which basically says you yourself are expected and required to perform the tasks for which you have been hired if you are an employee. Any use, on your part, of outside parties in the performance of your duties requires advance approval from your employer.

Makes perfect sense. Especially in this era of rampant corporate espionage and patent/IP litigation. Today, it's more important than ever to know exactly who is working for you.


The story reminds me of a joke:


Three small building contractors died and arrived before the Pearly Gates having been approved to enter Paradise. At the Pearly Gates sat Saint Peter who was the official greeter for Heaven. When Peter discovered the men were all contractors he was delighted because he had recently been assigned the task of arranging for the refurbishment of the Pearly Gates which were looking a little bit the worse for wear.

Pulling the first contractor aside Peter said: I'm thinking of getting these gates redone. Any idea what that might cost?

The contractor looked at the gates very carefully, took a few measurements and made some sketches; and after about 20 minutes of silent thought said: "I figure this job would run about $900.

Peter asked how he had come up with that number and the man said: "I figure $300 for labor, $300 for materials, and a profit margin of $300."

Peter then thanked the man and passed him through the gates onto his eternal reward.

Peter next called the second contractor aside and asked the same question. The second man went through much the same motions as the first before pronouncing the price would be $1000.

When asked how he had arrived at the number the man said: "Well, I figure $400 for the labor, $300 for materials, and a profit margin of $300."

When Peter had mentioned he received a previous quote of only $300 for the labor, the contractor explained that while it would be possible to hire cheaper workers, he preferred to work with more experienced builders and not have them rush the work. "They get a higher hourly rate and take a little longer," he said. "But that way the job gets done right the first time. And any work you contract for with me is fully guaranteed by me personally. I run a quality shop."

Peter then thanked the man and passed him through the gates.

When the third contractor stepped forward the man simply said "$2900" before Peter could even open his mouth.

Peter said, "I beg your pardon?"

The third contractor gave him a knowing smile and said: "Y'know...For the gates? I overheard you taking to those other two guys about a 'refurb' on your main entrance."

Peter was dumbfounded. "But how can you give me a quote so quickly? And for so much more? You didn't even take any measurements or notes."

The contractor smiled broadly and winked. "Come on Pete! Work with me on this one. A grand for you....a grand for me...then we take $900 and hire the cheap guy!"


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Ok, the heavenly tale (that I wouldn't call a joke really) was on variant 1 of the scheme: Here you take big chances, and whilst our cat video viewer was very lucky to have such competent contractors, his own technical way to handle this got him in, i.e. he should at least have applied the care to get the outsorced work "delivered" not into the corp system, by his ID, but by vpn to his private smartphone or such, then enter the data / steps of work manually into the corp system from his seat, perhaps pasting this or that, here and then, by usb stick. We see here that such a scheme would have been much more work for him, personally, so he avoided this completely, as described above, and from then on, it was only a matter of time he'd get caught.

As for variant 2, as I said above, in most countries it would be "illegal" to outsource work containing "real data" or "giving away info", and in many of them, this would even apply without any such data brought to risk, i.e. it's even in the legislation that you are expected to do your work exclusively on your own, without any terms of your employment contract needed in order to implement this, i.e. your employer could indeed bring such a clause in order to further confirm what's stipulated in the labour law anyway.

Hence my emphasis, above, on minimizing your risks here, and I thoroughly explained how to choose somebody who will NOT give you in, and by reading me again, anybody can see that my idea is NOT about having this outsourced help for cheap: brilliant students don't have much time, and still, I'm speaking of about 1,500 bucks for each of them each month, which means that in some professions (where you wouldn't get 6,500 net as a beginner), you even had to pay them, for the hour, more or less the same amount you get from your employer for the same time: It's all about producing superior results, and nowhere I suggested to get make some immediate financial benefit on your private staff; on the contrary, I even said, if they have got problems with declaring this revenue from you, don't even deduct them from your own expenses, even if that means you'll lose money, because of your higher tax rate.

"Illegal" meaning, they would have the right to "set you free", as said, but it doesn't mean there will be a criminal offence or such, and as for damages, there will be no damages without damage to begin with! If you deem this necessary, you could give "cleaned papers" to your private staff, i.e. with names and addresses changed in legal papers, or with numbers changed in the corporate world - as far as this won't affect the work your private staff is expected to do on it, of course. And then, there is lots of much less problematic work to do, e.g., in legal work, find antecedents, condense commentators' points of views and current juridiction on special legal problems (without your contractor even needing to know the "case"), and I'm sure in other fields, too, there'll be plenty of room for having much outsourced work done each week, without giving away your corporation's secrets for this.

It's 2) all about your smart selecting what you can have done by others, and what which are the parts you better do yourself, but as a young, high-paid executive, you're supposed to KNOW how to do smart delegation, so let's take this part of your task for granted. And it's 1) all about your smart selection of the kids working for you - am I expected to repeat here the details from above for sceptics who wouldn't ever dare try such a scheme (i.e. finding the right contractor(s) for it), considering those same sceptics will probably not even get they should NOT exploit their staff? (My point being, you'll get your reward tenfold from your employer and further employers, by your career; it's not about searching collaborators-for-cheap.)

When on the other hand, as said, having written your academic work by third parties, in most countries, very well IS a criminal offense, and is been done at any time, by millions of rich people, from whom nobody ever is being exposed. Theoretically, these academics would be expelled and get criminal prosecution; in real life it's them who get the best employments, by family background, and by perhaps better exam results, both for brilliant papers as for having had the time (= not spoiled with writing papers) to better prepare the exam by learning.

So, what the rich people do from start on, non-rich people can replicate from the moment on they get some substantial income - and the smart will do it, being very happy that the masses can only think of exploiting their aides and just see the "problems" they get into because they ain't smart enough.

At the same time, the born-rich, and then the really smart, do what I describe here (but they don't speak about it: there might be people eager to do the same).

Btw, people who tell you, it's not possible, some people might not like it (even when the gain big from what you do), have their role in this society, just as my role is presenting slightly off-beat stuff: I provoke some people to do some things valuable but hors norme, and those big-prohibitors are there in order to prevent the masses from joining the smart few.

And the real joke here is, they ain't even paid by the rich to make you back off from their playfields: They too much love doing it even for free.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2013, 05:48 AM by helmut85 »


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Almost every newspaper / weekly journal and such have brought an article on variant 1 in the meantime, so it seems that subject intrigues LOTS of people.

While my interest is only in variant 2 (since some of such commercial subcontractors are able to do excellent programming work as we see here, but as for M or law, I'd prefer brilliant local people, and that necessarily means students since you couldn't pay them otherwise, from your own income), the "original" one if I dare say, this applies to both:

It's very ironic that corporate myths ask their staff for "entrepreneurship", i.e. for managing their tasks as if they were independent business people, as much as possible, and not in the traditional way of doing them more or less as do public servants (and which even today is the big flaw of most corporations, hence the incredible advantage of corporations like Apple and such over this public service style applied by their competitors) -

and then, when somebody really tries to organize his own work in this entrepreneur way to the fullest, their's legions of people who'll tell you that's not possible, not allowed, not legal hence not possible...

In fact, the real prob is elsewhere: Most people in corporations simply don't have the guts to be entrepreneurs, and even when they try, they fail: Their psyche is simply much too similar to the one of public servants.

There are some exceptions to this rule only, and it's these people alone who are psychically able to spend 4,000 bucks monthly on a 6,000 bucks regular income for personal staff, whilst your usual public servant, serving your usual public authority or some corporation, will never ever do this, for financial reasons, i.e. he prefers spending "his" money for "his" "needs", i.e. cars, furniture, travel, instead of "giving it away".

So, any "risk" consideration here is pretextual, since there is no "risk", this scheme being properly executed. It's simply the ordinary miserliness of the ordinary public servant, not "giving away "his" money to anybody else" that aborts this scheme early in the consideration stage.

Most people just ain't entrepreneurs.

So any fear that if many people do this, "everybody" will need to follow, is totally unfounded: Those who dare will get big benefit - if they are able to appear a little enigmatic so that their easygoing "I'll have a look into this", and then fast producing first-rate results, remain credible and are not devaluated by obvious stupidity when in discussion taking dumb positions too early, and such: hence the need to appear enigmatic all the time, which will give you time to check and have checked first, then produce results that'll show superior quality.

But then, I said it's possible and it'll work - I didn't pretend it'd be easy for any limited mind.