Thursday, March 18, 2010
Three automation experiments that worked
I actively detest shopping. I derive no satisfaction from department stores. When I was eight I got lost in Selfridges in London for what felt like three days. I still experience flashbacks. So no surprises that I love online shopping. There is nothing I like more than opening my front door on a Saturday morning and the nice men from Freshdirect handover boxes of fresh veg and goodies for the week ahead. In fact I got thinking about other repetitive tasks that I dislike and what can be done so I never have to do them again. Here are three New York experiments that I tried and really liked.
1. Socks. I recently signed up to Manpacks. Although it sounds like a dodgy online service for discounted viagra, it is actually a subscription service that delivers fresh new socks, boxer shorts and t-shirts to my front door every two months. Buying socks in a store is time I can never get back. I had already switched to using Amazon.com but now this is even easier. One ‘manpack’ every two months will, on average, replace my wardrobe over two years. Brilliant.
Phonetag and it automatically transcribes every voicemail you get and emails it to you. I must admit that I love it. It transcribes about 90% of the message correctly and, if you are confused, it also sends you an MP3 of the voicemail. Importantly it always seems to transcribe phone numbers that people read out correctly. I pay per message and the cost is negligible.