Future of Work News

Ply the Internet to Find Electronic Gig Work Instead of Employees


Aaron Armstrong is a systems engineer by training, but he has has followed his entrepreneurial instincts to forge a unique career. He describes himself as the engineering version of an auto mechanic, rather than the new-car salesman.

“I try to help people piece together the systems they have, optimize their processes,” said Armstrong, who operates as Armstrong Ventures.

Armstrong created and operates a tech-firm incubator, The Venture Project. He’s spent time as a real-estate developer, a business strategist and an entrepreneur. Now he’s a consultant for people who seek to re-engineer their business processes.

Salaries can be a drain on business profitability. For most companies, between 55% and 65% of recurring expenses are related to salaried employees. Armstrong’s solution is to automate away from full time employees.

At ITEXPO 2022, he offered up “10 Ways to Strategically Automate Away from Employees.”

He says businesses should be slow to hire. As proof, he cites the 80/20 rule: Twenty percent of your employees do 80% of the work. Armstrong suggests streamlining to get rid of the 80% of your employees who do only 20% of the work.

Here are his top 10 suggestions for ways a small company can automate its way out of paying exorbitant full-time salaries:

  1. Patch Method. Armstrong recommends Zappier or IFFTT for connecting with social media platforms or automating email responses. Big time saver.
  2. COTS Solutions. Capterra (enterprise software) and G2 (micro software) were mentioned as solid products ready-to-go off-the-shelf.
  3. Human Computers. Find content providers on Fiver and Upwork. “They work for low wages because they compete with overseas workers,” he said.
  4. API Patches. Hire a remote developer for cheap, he said. API patches can be performed by a virtual-reality developer who works overseas.
  5. Custom Programs. Again, hire a remote developer for pennies on the dollar, he said.  Armstrong says he paid $16/hr to build an algorithm.
  6. Automated Manufacturing.  Remove the human element involved in drawing automation blueprints with Vention, Armstong said.
  7. AI for Abstract Art. Use Wombo or Night Café to create an abstract piece of art to include in a presentation, website or document, he said.
  8. AI for Risk Management. Employ Causa Lens or Work Fusion to provide you with AI-powered risk assessments and underwriting tools, he said.
  9. AI for Image and Audio. Automate processing, editing, enhancing and redacting video. Scans surveillance footage and apply image processing.
  10. Task Automation. Armstrong provided attendees with a list of tasks they can automate, including scheduling, email responses, data transfers, file uploads, behavioral predictions and lead generation. Especially lead gen.

Armstrong didn’t end there. He also produced a four-step list for entrepreneurs who want to reduce their reliance on a human-based, static workforce:

  1. Go through your next job requisition with a fine-tooth comb
  2. Highlight all the tasks you believe or think can be automated
  3. Highlight all the tasks you believe or think can be outsourced
  4. Give the remaining tasks to your go-getter, and raise their pay.

“You’re going to have to pay that go-getter more, but you should be getting more production out of them,” he said.

Edited by Erik Linask

Future of Work Contributor

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