Novel way to hire consultants on the cheap.



  • Just got this email from a market research group:

    We are contacting you as you are on our database for paid market research.

    We were hoping you may be able to help us find people for an upcoming research project.

    We are looking to engage with Web Designers or IT professionals in order to better understand their experiences in assisting their clients with e-commerce.
    More specifically, their experiences in integrating payment processing solutions for online businesses.

    The research would involve a 40min phone interview to be held this Wednesday(11/02) or Thursday(12/02), at a time of their choosing (in or out of business hours).

    All participants are paid $100 as thanks for participating and giving their opinions/ideas.

    So instead of paying one or more expensive consultants to work for many hours on your website, you engage a number of consultants for 40 minute interviews where you can squeeze as much expertise out of them as you can. Once you have all the information you need, you end the phone interviews and use that information to set tasks for your code-monkeys. That could save them a lot of money I suppose, but I'm not sure I would want to see the end result.



  • That's not all that cheap.


  • sockdevs

    that's a great idea!

    if your strategy is to save as much money as possible, launch a product payout the savings as a bonus to yourself and then watch the product crash straight into the ground so you can have another round of VC to relaunch your product (rinse and repeat until you get caught and sued into bankruptcy)

    if your strategy is to be a halfway decent person and not a scum sucking leech then that's a terrible strategy


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @prueg said:

    So instead of paying one or more expensive consultants to work for many hours on your website, you engage a number of consultants for 40 minute interviews where you can squeeze as much expertise out of them as you can. Once you have all the information you need, you end the phone interviews and use that information to set tasks for your code-monkeys. That could save them a lot of money I suppose, but I'm not sure I would want to see the end result.

    That works out to $150/hour for Web designers, etc. Not exactly cheap. Not effective, not efficient. Also, not what is happening here...

    They sound like market researchers. People like that call me all the time. Last week it was some company doing product research for Fluke. They offered me $150 and a loaner cable tester in exchange for my opinion on it.

    No WTF here. Keep moving.



  • You're probably right Polygeekery, but I thought it sounded iffy. Normally when you hire consultants, you pay for both their expertise and for them to implement what you need. It sounded to me like they wanted to pay for the expertise, but save money by having cheaper developers do the actual implementation.

    It might be $150 / hour, but you would only really need to talk to one or two well-experienced developers (but let's say they talk to a handful). Anyone else who responds would get a "thank you, but this survey is now closed" type response. I would expect the 40-min to be a whole lot of straight-to-the-point questions designed to eek out as much expertise as possible in the time frame. Even with the however-many-hours of code monkeys (unpaid interns, fresh-out-of-college developers, nephews etc.) it's still probably cheaper (or at least sounds like it from the management point of view that nothing can go wrong) than to higher one or two consultants for a number of days or weeks, depending on the scope of what they are implementing.

    Given that the research company is a reputable one that I've done surveys for before, I'm probably just being overly cynical as a result of a) spending too much time on here and b) the fact that the email ended up in my Junk folder for some reason.



  • If we accept this as ground truth...
    @prueg said:

    So instead of paying one or more expensive consultants to work for many hours on your website, you engage a number of consultants for 40 minute interviews where you can squeeze as much expertise out of them as you can.

    ...if it's targeted somehow so you get people with actual skills... it might not be completely crazy.

    You could get a range of ideas, and some idea of the "popularity" of each.

    You save the expense, time, and politics of vetting and "hiring" the one true-perfect consultant who might not even offer their services for a single hour.


    Or it could be a way for someone to dodge responsibility for taking responsibility for making a decision.



  • @prueg said:

    Normally when you hire consultants, you pay for both their expertise and for them to implement what you need.

    In big engineering projects (certainly at the government level), it's not uncommon to have separate design / architecture and implementation projects.



  • @boomzilla said:

    In big engineering projects (certainly at the government level), it's not uncommon to have separate design / architecture and implementation projects.

    And they have to hire consultants to choose the process for hiring those consultants.


    There's actually a class of consulting "firm"s that legally can only work on an idea/project up to the point where the idea/project is structured enough to write a spec for a contract. Then the agency (small a) has to pass the work on to someone else.



  • Take their money and give them crap ideas. Problem solved.


  • area_deu

    I heard that wooden tables are the key to the future of online document storage ...


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