Professional Development

Zirtual Personal Assistants

So I recently signed up for Zirtual (zirtual.com) personal assistants after reading Mike Del Ponte’s guest blog post on using Kickstarter (hacking-kickstarter). Mike raised a bunch of seed money for his beautiful new product Soma (somawater.co), a viable alternative to the ubiquitous Brita filter for filtering drinking water. I played with the idea before after reading 4-Hour workweek, but never invested until now.

Zirtual is a startup out of Las Vegas that used US-based, college-educated freelancers to perform personal assistant tasks for users. Pricing is by month for limited service, and I signed up for the “Light Plan” at $97/mo. for 15 requests of 15 minutes in length, which is equal to 3.75 hours. That works out to almost $26/hr., so this is not cheap labor.

So far the quality has been excellent. My first task was to find RV Rentals for Burning Man (Aug. 26-Sept. 3, see burningman.com if you’re not acquainted with this epic event) and my Zirtual VA quickly turned around the information I needed and was quite helpful when I couldn’t access a Google shared doc.

It’ll be interesting to see how this company balances meeting client requests (which may be poorly communicated) with scope creep. I assigned 15 minutes to the Burning Man task and the VA informed me she used 30 minutes. It’s not clear yet clear to me who eats that time.

Check back for updates as I continue to use and abuse Zirtual.

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