I do not claim to be an expert in outsourcing, nor do I claim to know all of the terrible (and good) things that have come from an acceptance of outsourcing as a reality. What I am claiming by my attempt to answer this question is that I think I may know where it is going. It may be quite arrogant to claim that you know where something is going without really understanding where it has been, but I feel as though it may be important to take this stab in the dark.
The future of outsourcing is personal. It is within your own daily workflow. It is within the stuff that you always wish you didn’t have to put up with, and now you don’t. And, I am not simply talking about the Roomba. I am, instead, referring to the idea that all of the monotonous aspects of your daily existence will be put up for bid. And, if anyone is willing to do them, they will be outsourced. I think the only real way to prove this point is to look at examples.
Smart Thinking allows you to outsource your stack of papers to grade. You can have someone else give your feedback for you. Isn’t “peer” review and writer’s workshop just another form of this kind of outsourcing?
SendGrid gives you the ability to outsource your personal responses to e-mail. We can now scale what used to be a human reaction to having completed steps or done something with an organization, business, or school.
Seed will let you outsource photography, writing, or other creative (but time consuming) work. The question is, how low will the network of creatives go?
So, why does this all matter? Why is it that these services are worth even looking at, even as I make fun of the idea of how our future will look when faced with these realities?
Outsourcing (and some people call this version, enlightened outsourcing) in general lets us focus our attention. If it doesn’t do those things, then the future doesn’t look good. If we are outsourcing what is essential to our happiness, then we need to take a step back. But, on the other hand, if we are outsourcing the non-essential then we are streamlining our own existence.
I believe in that part. I’m just not sure if some of this is the answer. While it may be the future of outsourcing, I’m not sure it is a future that all of us can buy into. There may be a huge backlash coming where people take great joy in cleaning their bathrooms and doing their taxes and working with students and users directly. So, what will that be called? Self-sourcing? Unsourcing? Besourcing?
Whatever it is called, I would like to find a balance if I can. I would like to do what I can to be human and involved in the daily events of my life, all the while, not getting bogged down by the things that I have no interest in attempting. That doesn’t have to be a part of a movement. That part can just be for me.