Magic+
January 6, 2016 10:41 AM   Subscribe

Want a frozen pint of ice cream from your favorite artisanal creamery delivered by helicopter to your suite at the Burj Dubai at 11PM tonight? San Francisco startup Magic claims that they will arrange any request for $100 per hour, plus expenses.
posted by overeducated_alligator (93 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Meet your favorite celebrity

I wonder what those expenses might entail.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:45 AM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


—They also walk dogs.
posted by Huck500 at 10:50 AM on January 6, 2016 [22 favorites]


I actually like this in a weird way but then I just hop right on over to "people with money, man...".
posted by Kitteh at 10:51 AM on January 6, 2016 [7 favorites]


A couple hundred bucks over the cost of hiring a hitman is probably worth my time, tbh.
posted by murphy slaw at 10:52 AM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Magicbluefilter. On one hand this seems sorta cool in a wish-fulfillment/gratification sort of way. On the on the other hand it seems pretty skeezy and gross in a wish-fulfillment/gratification sort of way.
posted by Carillon at 10:53 AM on January 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


I wonder what those expenses might entail.

Calling their management and letting you know what their booking fees are.

You can probably find a good personal assistant on Craigslist who'll work for a hell of a lot less than $100/hr.
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:55 AM on January 6, 2016 [5 favorites]


Magic+ is better than a regular assistant because it:

Is on-demand (only pay for the time you use it)
Is available 24/7 via text and email
Responds within seconds to minutes
Requires no effort to hire
Requires no effort to train
Requires no effort to manage
Never quits, gets sick, or goes on vacation
Never complains about workload or task difficulty
Never says no because something is difficult (as long as it’s legal and possible, Magic+ will take it on)
Never forgets anything you say or drops a request
Actually gets the job done, even when the task is extremely challenging
Only costs for what you use (instead of paying a salary, just pay hourly for the hours that you need on demand)
Scalable on demand (need 10 hours of work done in the next 1 hr? Use 10 hours of parallel Magic+ at the same time)


I wonder how much of that $100/hour goes to the...uh...magicians. I wonder if they get benefits.

I wonder what monstrous start-up rules they use for hiring? Probably a lot of things that add up to "working class people can't get these jobs", basically.
posted by Frowner at 10:55 AM on January 6, 2016 [17 favorites]


Seriously, I am not seeing anything here beyond "we will make some phone calls for you."
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:57 AM on January 6, 2016 [12 favorites]


I've registered better domain names for jokes.
posted by ryanrs at 10:58 AM on January 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


The W hotel chain has basically done the same thing with their concierge service, "Whatever Whenever." Similar line too: "Whatever you want. Whenever you want it (as long as it's legal)." So, if you find yourself using over $300 or so per day of "Magic," you may want to just book a hotel room instead.
posted by craven_morhead at 10:58 AM on January 6, 2016 [7 favorites]


Eden of the East was not a startup pitch.
posted by Sokka shot first at 10:59 AM on January 6, 2016 [7 favorites]


Seriously, I am not seeing anything here beyond "we will make some phone calls for you."

So then I guess "expenses" = "phone bill" ...
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:00 AM on January 6, 2016


What if I asked Magic to come up with a startup idea for me that would disrupt their own business model

Would they do it
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:01 AM on January 6, 2016 [107 favorites]


Frowner given that they're in SF I bet their CS reps are making 15-25 or so an hour. That's obviously speculation, but I know a few people who are working and looking in a similar industry and that's about what the jobs are paying. Not sure if they've interviewed at Magic or anything.

As for benefits, they're likely either full-time employees of Magic and thus probably get their standard package including some equity or they're contractors though a larger third party staffing agency in which case they get benefits through them though likely not vacation. SF requires employers give sick time so there's that.
posted by Carillon at 11:02 AM on January 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


I've been a personal assistant. It's interesting but not easy and while my employers were lovely people--they even moved me to another city, hooked me up with an apartment, and offered to move me with them when they decided to decamp back to their hometown of NYC with additional offer of staying in a loft they owned (obv I didn't take that offer but that is another story)--they didn't pay me much and expected miracles. Shit, I'd become a PA again for a $100/hr and believe me, I'll get your shit done.
posted by Kitteh at 11:03 AM on January 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


The fact that whoever built the site repeated the pay-as-you-go thing in a fairly short list is a little less than magical. If you're selling this product you need to be smooth and perfect on the exterior. You need to be Jeeves. This seems a little amateurish.
posted by howfar at 11:03 AM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


I hope they at least make very literal interpretations of requests with a bend towards giving customers ironic lessons about making wishes.
posted by GameDesignerBen at 11:03 AM on January 6, 2016 [86 favorites]


Magic, I suppose, is a zippier name than IKnowAGuyWhoKnowsAG.uy.
posted by Cash4Lead at 11:04 AM on January 6, 2016 [9 favorites]


So then I guess "expenses" = "phone bill" ...

Yes, plus you're on the hook for the $10,000 it costs to get A Flock Of Seagulls to play at your birthday party.
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:04 AM on January 6, 2016 [7 favorites]


Q: How quickly will I get what I want after requesting it?

As soon as possible.


What about with the premium service?
posted by chavenet at 11:05 AM on January 6, 2016 [8 favorites]


Hey, Magic, I want an Oompa Loompa! I want you to get me an Oompa Loompa right away!
posted by gatorae at 11:16 AM on January 6, 2016 [20 favorites]


Laziest startup idea ever. "What if like, people could just call someone and ask for anything, and like, we just do it for them, man?"

Hey, I'd like 250 of those perfectly round ice cube balls, and when you deliver them, stand right there and don't move.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:19 AM on January 6, 2016 [6 favorites]


—They also walk dogs.

It's odd that they're basically General Services, but they're named after "Magic, Inc.".
posted by The Tensor at 11:26 AM on January 6, 2016 [12 favorites]


Idk, I feel like there could be some extreme situations there this would come in handy. I made a 5+ hour drive to stay overnight in order to show my portfolio to prospective schools. We got to the hotel room around 8pm, and in unpacking realized the wrong portfolio was packed. Luckily I was in a major city and could get my sister to go pick up the portfolio and pay ~110 for overnight shipping. If that wasn't possible, I'd either have made the trip in vain (wasting hundreds on a hotel and gas etc, and also not be able to show my portfolio to prospective schools), or would have had to drive back to get it (making the drive over 15 hours straight). I would much rather pay someone to Magic+ me a solution than to have either of those outcomes.

Granted, I haven't been in the financial position to do any of the outcomes in a long time.
posted by FirstMateKate at 11:28 AM on January 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


The Tensor beat me to the punch...RAH prediction ftw (see also water beds, waldos...)
posted by j_curiouser at 11:30 AM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


A symptom of the new guilded age
posted by bonehead at 11:34 AM on January 6, 2016 [6 favorites]


I would much rather pay someone to Magic+ me a solution than to have either of those outcomes.

I wonder how Magic+ would have solved that, though? Obviously the tough part is getting the portfolio out of your house and into a FedEx dropoff, so what could they do if you didn't have a relative nearby to get into your house? Hire a locksmith and a gofer for you? The only part of that equation that you couldn't easily handle yourself is finding a trustworthy and available person to go into the house to find and ship the portfolio (hell, you could probably throw the locksmith some cash under the table to do it, right?) so, what? They find a professional courier service? Or outsource to TaskRabbit? If anybody is seeing the part where they're really earning their $100/hr, feel free to point it out.
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:36 AM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'd like a business plan so flawed, even God couldn't make it viab-

Oh. Oh my. These guys are good.
posted by Turkey Glue at 11:37 AM on January 6, 2016 [9 favorites]


They've outsourced outsourcing!

Or, if you get them to book an Uber for you, they're like Uber, but for Uber!
posted by blue_beetle at 11:39 AM on January 6, 2016 [40 favorites]


Concierge services are nothing new. American Express Platinum has had one for years, and there have been a few that have come and gone in the Bay Area catering to rich techies. I once financed a friend's bachelor party entirely with the free concierge credit I got because I was a Google employee. (Talk about privilege, sheesh.)

I've had friends who used the first iteration of Magic and said it was pretty great. Trading time for money is certainly a reasonable thing to do. But personally I think I wouldn't trust that Magic did the right thing for me. I've never hired TaskRabbit either and even Uber makes me anxious and wanting to override the driver app's routing.
posted by Nelson at 11:44 AM on January 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


Came here for the Heinlein joke, Huck500 did not disappoint.
posted by Wretch729 at 11:45 AM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


The company I work for used to be strictly time and materials, and having to log every minute of your work fucking sucks. These people track to the second. I feel for the people handling these entitled rich people's whims.
posted by graymouser at 11:45 AM on January 6, 2016


I have a friend who runs this type of thing on a terribly small scale in our local area. She has so many services that are just, "Of course! I could get her to find this for me!" and very reasonable. I'm not sure I'd pay $100/hour for some of those services, but it's a really cool concept.
posted by xingcat at 11:46 AM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's also worth noting that a lot of these services require handing someone you've never met the keys to your house and access to your calendar/email/contact list. Seems like not a great idea.
posted by craven_morhead at 11:58 AM on January 6, 2016


As someone whose secondary undisclosed job description for 10 years was basically "cater to the whims of an often unreasonable extremely wealthy person" (whims which included "call youtube and ask them why this video is buffering" and "read aloud the contents of this email inbox over the phone at a time which is convenient to me but which is 13 hours ahead of nyc time") I can tell you right now that $100/h would not be enough to deal with that shit ever again.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:58 AM on January 6, 2016 [19 favorites]


Things Magic can ostensibly do that I'd like to see the invoice for:
- Cameo in future Star Wars movie.
- Weekend trip to ISS.
- Copy of Wu-Tang Clan's Once Upon A Time In Shaolin
- Caricature portrait painted by Bill Watterson.
- Set of 4K HD remasters of original Star Wars Trilogy theatrical release.
- Delivery of complete DVD box set of the first series of Doctor Who.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 12:00 PM on January 6, 2016 [5 favorites]


Yes, but can they recover my childhood innocence? There may or may not be a sled involved.
posted by dephlogisticated at 12:08 PM on January 6, 2016 [8 favorites]


You can probably find a good personal assistant on Craigslist who'll work for a hell of a lot less than $100/hr.

You probably can't hire that person for thirty minutes every few days, though. This seems to be more like a hotel concierge situation.
posted by kenko at 12:11 PM on January 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


Look all, I want is to see my dead son again, the one mangled so horrifically at the works.
posted by Iridic at 12:11 PM on January 6, 2016 [12 favorites]


A symptom of the new guilded age

oh the magicians are unionized? cool
posted by psoas at 12:19 PM on January 6, 2016 [15 favorites]


I want...I want a minivan-load of puppies like in Bridesmaids to play with.

This is dangerous. I must back away slowly.
posted by discopolo at 12:20 PM on January 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


craven_morhead: "The W hotel chain has basically done the same thing with their concierge service, "Whatever Whenever.""

I have a similar service called "Whenever, Wherever". Except it's a 1-800 number that's available 24/7 and it just plays a Shakira song.
posted by mhum at 12:26 PM on January 6, 2016 [16 favorites]


You probably can't hire that person for thirty minutes every few days, though.

Sadly, in this economy, you probably can!
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:27 PM on January 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


I would never use this service.

But a part of me thinks that this would be a very, very interesting place to work for a while. Probably not for too long.
posted by egypturnash at 12:32 PM on January 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


I can't afford this, but I can imagine wanting to use it if I could afford it, if the service is good enough, and at $100/hr+ it could be pretty good.

"Having someone make phone calls for you" I think undersells it. Having someone with like a 130 IQ make phone calls for you, and assume the planning overhead on your tasks, could be awesome. Short of having a dedicated exec (or maybe a high-end concierge), there's no other way to get this. I can list probably a dozen things I'd like to get done that only I can do -- not because of any special skills or knowledge, but because explaining all the steps and decision trees involved would be prohibitive (would, indeed, be most of the work). It's not easy to outsource that work. If Magic could do it, it could be great.

And the economies of being able to buy time by the hour, instead of needing a salaried assistant, brings down the costs tremendously. Think about how much it costs to hire a skilled secretary. In the law firm I worked in, the senior secretaries I think had salaries above the 95%ile of income. They were extremely skilled and experienced and they were worth the cost to the firm. But if you don't need a full-time secretary, you can't hire a thin slice of a very skilled secretary. There's a gap in the market.
posted by grobstein at 12:47 PM on January 6, 2016 [7 favorites]


My prediction is that someone with too much money and not enough sense will, in fact, request a toe with nail polish on it. It's probably legally possible in some jurisdictions.
posted by Countess Elena at 12:58 PM on January 6, 2016 [7 favorites]


Plus, like Uber, disaggregating the service makes it accessible to more people. A tiny number of people can afford a salaried private driver. A much larger number of people can afford an Uber for at least some uses. Even folks for whom $20 is a whole lot of money may wind up in situations where paying $20 for an Uber is worth it -- missed the bus and late to a job interview or court date, for example. Similarly, even those of us for whom $100 is a whole lot of money might find ourselves in situations where $100 for a skilled assistant is a bargain.

Whether the product will deliver remains to be seen. But in principle it seems great.
posted by grobstein at 12:59 PM on January 6, 2016 [6 favorites]


Dear Magic+,

How do I get past level 27 in the Apple II version of Lode Runner?
posted by i_have_a_computer at 12:59 PM on January 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


delivered by helicopter to your suite at the Burj Dubai

It's called the "Burj Khalifa" these days. It was only called the "Burj Dubai" while it was under construction. Also I don't think you can land a helicopter there.
Source: I once went to a hell of a party organized by much richer people.
posted by w0mbat at 12:59 PM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


What if I asked Magic to come up with a startup idea for me that would disrupt their own business model

Would they do it


"Genie ... I wish for ... an infinite number of wishes! CHECKMATE!"
posted by theorique at 1:00 PM on January 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


"Having someone with a 130 IQ make phone calls for you for $15 an hour while some schmuck venture capitalist skims the rest off the top", more like. The whole point of this isn't that you're getting a very thin slice of a highly paid secretary; it's that the economy is shitty enough that people who would normally have better work are willing to deal with rich people's demands for a pittance.

The other thing is - speaking as a secretary - highly skilled secretaries are highly skilled not merely because of intelligence but because of the relationships they build and their experience with a particular system. You're paying for institutional knowledge, long-term experience and the ability to reason across similar problems. It's not enough just to drop some poor kid with a humanities degree into the role and assume that because they're smart they can work like someone who has experience. (Everyone thinks this about secretaries - that the work is so duh-duh-dumb that any kid fresh out of college can do better than a person with experience - but I assure you that I have observed even quite intelligent people flail when dropped into complex support roles.)

The whole thing on the Magic page about how great it is not to have to train someone - well, bear in mind that the person you're not training actually isn't developing a relationship with you, they don't have a deep knowledge of your work and your needs, they don't know what your typical concerns are, they don't know off the top of their heads that Bob Anderson needs to be patched through to you right away but Bob Abbott should always go to voicemail, etc.
posted by Frowner at 1:01 PM on January 6, 2016 [21 favorites]


Frowner: Right, most of your comment speculates that the product actually won't work, because x. And I agree that it would be difficult to achieve what they're promising. My comment speaks to how cool it would be if they did achieve it.

And please don't attribute to me the fallacy that secretaries are dumb typing machines. I've worked with great secretaries and I know their value -- something that I explicitly noted in my comment. In fact, my argument was premised on the idea that the best secretaries are highly skilled professionals.

The harder question is, how much of a secretary's skill is tied up in the particular office they work in, vs. how much is generalizable to handling similar problems for different people? You suggest the skill is mostly not generalizable, and there are certainly reasons to suspect it might not be. But I don't regard this as a closed question, and if Magic can find a way to exploit the generalizable parts of the skill, that would be a coup for them.
posted by grobstein at 1:10 PM on January 6, 2016 [8 favorites]


Instead of receiving legal tender in exchange for their labor, our Magic ArtistsTM will be paid in MagicBucks, which they can spend on most Magic + services*!

*Exceptions listed in Appendix A, pp. 1-56.
posted by duffell at 1:11 PM on January 6, 2016 [3 favorites]




Sounds more or less like what the Reddit Bluefish guy was doing. I know people that used to be personal assistants or specialized help for a variety of rich people, and they almost all got burned out by some combination of not being paid very well, the constant on-call nature, and frequently dealing with demanding people. They ended up with some interesting stories, and fun party invitations, but it never really outweighed the emotional labor and stress costs of twitching every time the phone rang on a weekend.
posted by tautological at 1:17 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


For $80/hr I will do this but with real magic

Like, I will consult the Black Pullet and order up a van full of puppies on an auspicious day for dog-mischief

I will charter a helicopter delivery to Dubai while standing in a protective circle marked with sigils of whatever demon princes hold sway over the realm of the air and the countries of Arabia according to the Legemeton

I will etch runes of power in a staff carved from the branch of an unblemished yew tree while calling Hilary Duff's agent to find out about booking her for a meet-and-greet

MeMail me
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:18 PM on January 6, 2016 [23 favorites]


The harder question is, how much of a secretary's skill is tied up in the particular office they work in, vs. how much is generalizable to handling similar problems for different people? You suggest the skill is mostly not generalizable, and there are certainly reasons to suspect it might not be. But I don't regard this as a closed question, and if Magic can find a way to exploit the generalizable parts of the skill, that would be a coup for them.

... It looks like the difference between Magic and Magic+ is that, with the latter, they are trying to build up some "institutional knowledge" about your needs over time. Not sure what that means on the backend.
posted by grobstein at 1:19 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's time to restore the respectability of practical magic.
posted by stevil at 1:22 PM on January 6, 2016 [6 favorites]


poffin boffin: ""call youtube and ask them why this video is buffering""

I am dying to know the answer.
posted by chavenet at 1:45 PM on January 6, 2016 [7 favorites]


roomthreeseventeen: "I wonder what those expenses might entail."

A burlap sack is pretty cheap, I bet.
posted by boo_radley at 1:51 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


I hope they use this song for their hold music.
posted by mogget at 1:54 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


... It looks like the difference between Magic and Magic+ is that, with the latter, they are trying to build up some "institutional knowledge" about your needs over time. Not sure what that means on the backend.

And again, that's going to be a shitty job. Let's imagine that you work for a couple of people or support a couple of groups. You need to keep track of all their idiosyncracies and specialized needs. Then add a couple more groups, and a couple more. And no regular schedule for any of them.

My job has changed, recently, so that I am supporting more research groups. It's gotten much harder than you'd think, precisely because I now have to remember that group A, group B and Dr. C all want their minutes formatted subtley differently, that accountant 1 who works for Dr. C wants documents formatted differently than accountant 2 who works for group A, etc. And I now have to remember all kinds of financial, travel and research quirks for fifteen people instead of five. The thought of doing this for $10/hour (which would be the equivalent of $15/hour in San Francisco) for virtually infinite clients as-needed at a fucking start-up gives me hives.
posted by Frowner at 2:04 PM on January 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


I don't understand what's so difficult to understand about what Magic+ is claiming to do. I mean, yes, I could work on figuring crazy things out myself, but I don't have the expertise or connections to do so efficiently, or time to do so inefficiently. With Magic+ those are no longer deal breakers.

Of course I also don't have the money to pay for their personal assistants to work on these things for me, and I certainly don't have the money to pay for the actual costs, so deal is broken. I'd expect they need to know you can actually pay for some ridiculous thing before they'll bother arranging it, otherwise they could be trolled out of business.
posted by mountmccabe at 2:33 PM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


The thing that stood out for me is the suggestion on their website that you might use the services to "Set-up a charitable foundation". Are there really people who are chilling on the couch bored at 1am and suddenly think "You know what, I think I'd like to set up a charitable foundation. Right now. I'll just message Magic+ and leave it to them." That seems incredibly weird, but then I guess I don't understand owning 90 pairs of shoes or enjoying golf either.
posted by Jimbob at 2:46 PM on January 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


The fun begins when your magician can't fulfill your wish and so they subcontract it to Magic.

[mr-meesiks-look-at-me.gif]
posted by Sauce Trough at 2:57 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


They're not allowed to advertise this, of course, but Magic+ will actually do most illegal stuff, too. Just prefix your text with the coupon code SUDO
posted by oulipian at 3:04 PM on January 6, 2016 [13 favorites]


SUDO Release the hounds.
posted by DigDoug at 3:13 PM on January 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


just say the word, oh

SU-SU-SUDO
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:16 PM on January 6, 2016 [5 favorites]


I feel for the people handling these entitled rich people's whims

That's just like... going to work, anywhere, man.
posted by easter queen at 3:17 PM on January 6, 2016 [9 favorites]


San Francisco startup Magic claims that they will arrange any request for $100 per hour, plus expenses.

Sweet Jesus, is it already time to start buying up tulip bulbs again?
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:23 PM on January 6, 2016


A symptom of the new guilded age

not quite yet. waiting for the Mr. Presto franchises to show up.
posted by j_curiouser at 3:28 PM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Instead of receiving legal tender in exchange for their labor, our Magic Artists will be paid in MagicBucks, which they can spend on most Magic + services*!

Well the Magic service does claim to take Bitcoin for payment..so...maybe
posted by inflatablekiwi at 4:05 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


I wonder how much of that $100/hour goes to the...uh...magicians. I wonder if they get benefits.

On their "work with us" page they say "Full-time and part-time positions are available, 1st, 2nd and 3rd shift". So it sounds they would hire their "magicians" as regular employees, with regular working hours and benefits and all. Not "contractors" like Uber.
posted by bitteschoen at 4:14 PM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'll bet Mr. Wolf works there. Or maybe The Cleaner? Or at least Newman? No, it's Larry and his brother Darryl and his other brother Darryl.
posted by valkane at 4:21 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Are there really people who are chilling on the couch bored at 1am and suddenly think "You know what, I think I'd like to set up a charitable foundation. Right now. I'll just message Magic+ and leave it to them."/em>Powerball drawing is tonight. Sounds like this was posted just in time.
posted by marguerite at 4:37 PM on January 6, 2016


Well heck, I need to practice the editing function more.
posted by marguerite at 4:43 PM on January 6, 2016


Wait I got this

"Magic+, find me a benefactor who will pay for this Magic+ request for me."

Just keep calling in that request until they pay you off to stop
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:45 PM on January 6, 2016 [7 favorites]


saw 79 entries, knew I was coming here for the person who already came here for the heinlein joke. Was not disappointed!
posted by hearthpig at 5:44 PM on January 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


> SU-SU-SUDO

I type the word sudo hundreds of times per day. I will likely be doing so for the foreseeable future.

I also get certain songs stuck in my head to the point that I seriously start considering exactly where I'd have to drill in order to make it stop. Like, literally months will pass, with one song perpetually in my head.

You are now a mortal enemy.
posted by MysticMCJ at 7:10 PM on January 6, 2016 [7 favorites]


- Copy of Wu-Tang Clan's Once Upon A Time In Shaolin

They just forwarded the request to Bill Murray obvs
posted by BungaDunga at 7:49 PM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


oh the magicians are unionized? cool

It's more of an alliance
posted by BungaDunga at 7:52 PM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Weren't these the same guys that started out a year or so back where you could text them any question and they'll answer it for free? I remember texting them asking if they were hiring.

Wired stress-tested them (gave them difficult assignments) and found that while they were effective, they also tended to add a huge markup.

Hello Alfred does similar on a subscription basis.
posted by divabat at 8:01 PM on January 6, 2016 [3 favorites]




After I make my unreasonable, unethical, perhaps illegal, and almost certainly impossible request, will Ricardo Montalbán take me aside and say, in his smooth creamy voice, "You know... (pause, and sigh) some times, these fantasies are best left... (pause, raises eyebrows) unfulfilled."

Because I would pay $100 just for that.
posted by math at 10:06 PM on January 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Can we crowdfund these requests? I feel like there's comedy potential there.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:02 AM on January 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


Do we still have to pay if they can't fulfill the request? The website is not really clear on this. What if I want a rare photo of Sean Connery signed by Roger Moore? Or Edward Snowden's private PGP key, encoded in EBCDIC onto an 8" (not 3.5", not 5.25") floppy disk? Or to know what's at the bottom of the pit on Oak Island?

Or, shit, can we ask them what TV show intro had "a bit where one character is painting a wall or a door, and another character opens the door, and the first character rolls the paint roller over the other person's face?"
posted by mhum at 10:56 AM on January 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


Am I the only one wondering how they'd do in a matchmaking challenge. Would they do better than random dating site algorithms? Would I be better off just paying someone local to do the same thing?
posted by dreamling at 11:06 AM on January 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Look all, I want is to see my dead son again, the one mangled so horrifically at the works.

Sometimes... dead is better.
posted by bendy at 12:54 PM on January 7, 2016


That's enough snarking from all of you. McSweeny's is
giving us a sneak peek at an even better, and more exclusive startup, Knife.
Forget all that — let priors be priors, as the saying goes. Because tonight I’m here to introduce a dynamic, disruptive start-up that’s ready to change San Francisco forever.

Ha-ha, yes, Aiden: “He has a knife!”

That’s exactly the sort of instant engagement I’m going for.
posted by fragmede at 4:16 PM on January 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Or, shit, can we ask them what TV show intro had "a bit where one character is painting a wall or a door, and another character opens the door, and the first character rolls the paint roller over the other person's face?"

Man, now I'm going to be thinking about this all night, thanks a lot dude
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:02 PM on January 7, 2016


The amount Of trouble I'm having determining if this is a joke or not, is the really scary part.
posted by TheCoug at 7:00 AM on January 8, 2016


They need to make sure to call their company meetings Gatherings.
posted by freecellwizard at 9:26 AM on January 8, 2016


Or, shit, can we ask them what TV show intro had "a bit where one character is painting a wall or a door, and another character opens the door, and the first character rolls the paint roller over the other person's face?"

Oh god. Let's start a fundraiser, or a Kickstarter, or whatever.
posted by easter queen at 9:47 PM on January 8, 2016


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