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More Jobs of the Future: Online Personal Assistants

As blue model jobs continue to fade away, we see, via Instapundit, that some entrepreneurs are already pitching ideas for the jobs of the future. Developer Ted Roden’s Fancy Hands is one of the more intriguing examples of a post-blue job we’ve seen so far. The core idea is simple. Ordinary people have an incredible number of mundane tasks to complete in a day; if they had assistants to help them with these tasks, they would have more time to devote to more rewarding work:

Between his full-time job as a New York Times developer, the book he was writing, and his family, when would he ever again find time for the small yet necessary tasks of everyday life like booking a dinner reservation? Or paying his electric bill? Or scheduling a phone call with this reporter?

That’s when Roden came up with the idea for Fancy Hands, a team of personal assistants that helps you accomplish the kinds of basic tasks anybody can do, so you have more time to do the things only you can do. For example, Fancy Hands can’t write this article for me, but they can do all the things that might be keeping me from writing it, like calling the cable company or scheduling a dentist appointment.

It’s too early to say whether Fancy Hands will make it, but the business concept behind it is going to be big: helping people manage time and concentrate their energy and effort on things they’re really good at. And with prices starting at $25/month, this isn’t even that expensive.

The death of the blue model may be frightening, but it also offers the best opportunity in generations to rethink American jobs—for those willing to take advantage of it. Aspiring entrepreneurs take note.

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  • Everyman

    Wonderful to contemplate. The elites who are just too busy being special and using their unique talents – ah but for the good of all of Personkind everywhere – will then have one more buffer to keep them from contact and even minimal interaction with the little people who make a civilized life a bit more possible. Should we set aside a date to celebrate this bit of progress? Then we could hire someone to remind us what we decided it should be.

  • Brett

    This doesn’t exactly assuage the concern that the Jobs of the Future (TM) will consist of most people living as de facto servants of a global elite atop vast inequalities of wealth and income. How much do the Online Personal Assistants make in terms of pay?

    Not that it matters. “Online Personal Assistant” sounds like the type of job that will get replaced easily once the Voice Recognition and Digital Personal Assistant programs get good enough. We already have a fairly crude A.I. “personal assistant” with Apple’s Siri, and they’re only going to get better.

  • Kris


    The actual elites already have their personal assistants. Fancy Hands just spreads out this particular good.

    Granted, none of the examples cited should require such assistance. One could compare and contrast to a previous post, as WigWag proactively did.

  • ErisGuy

    I think this was called “My Lackey” the first time I saw it.

  • Jim.

    As long as honest work like this is seen as demeaning, and living on the government dole is seen as not being lower than sewer flow but as being “unavoidable misfortune”, or worse get, “getting your own out of the system” this country will never turn around. Instead, we’ll circle the drain until the number of citizens lower than sewer flow approaches or exceeds that of Italy or Greece.

    There is no shame in honest work. There is shame in living with your hand out. There is no shame in working to structure our government’s spending and our culture’s mores to reflect these values.

    There is eternal, damnable shame in wanting to structure government to encourage dependency, and in dismissing or demeaning honest work for any reason. That way lies the destruction of every life touched by dependency, and the destruction of the nation that aids and abets it.

  • Luke Lea

    Elite solutions for elite minorities. This has very little to do with the blue model. Check. This has nothing to do with the blue model. What kind of fancy hands to you propose for these guys:

  • Luke Lea

    Wait! I know the kinds of fancy hands for those guys:

    Bounus question: what kind of fancy hands will fancy hands have?

    I seriously think Mead and minions need to stop contemplating their own navels so much and start thinking about our society at large.

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