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Swoon!

Update to “My So-Called Virtual Life: The Assistants Which Power Hunter Walk”

A year ago I wrote about the virtual assistant products that had found their way into my life. Since the category was VERY hyped up in 2015, and seemed to cool a bit this year (from an adoption/investment perspective), here’s how my usage trends have changed over the 365 days.

Fancy Hands: STILL my go-to task-based assistant. I don’t use FH for meeting scheduling but instead rely upon them for a variety of requests. Recent ones include:

  • Submitting information to my insurance company around policy changes
  • Arranging car service when I’m traveling (and Uber isn’t the best solution for some reason)
  • A list of SF Holiday ballet and dance performances appropriate for kids to attend
  • Martial arts classes in SF that fathers and daughters can attend together
  • List of private chefs who specialize in preparing meals for recovering cancer patients (for a friend)

Facebook Messenger’s M: Held steady but narrowed. M isn’t currently suited for complex tasks where research or judgment impacts quality. M also won’t touch anything it deems medical related, so no scheduling doctor appointments or even checking if a prescription is ready for pickup from the pharmacy. That said, I use M to schedule hair cuts, restaurant reservations and similar requests where a call and information submission or retrieval is needed. I often queue these up pre-normal business hours and then M will address once these businesses are open.

Wonder: I use Wonder for b2b’ish research but they’re really good for any type of research question where you could imagine a subject expert needing 15–30 minutes to pull you together an answer. Quality can really vary but they’ll redo a project if you find the results insufficient. Use this URL to get yourself $15 off a task: https://askwonder.com/r/hunterwalk

GetService: Solves customer service issues for you. I don’t have these often but when I do, I turn to Service first. They just resolved a disputed hotel charge for me from my minibar with very little effort on my part. Still a free service.

What am I missing? Are there awesome virtual assistant services you use?

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You’ll find me @homebrew , Seed Stage Venture Fund w @satyap . Previously made products at YouTube, Google & SecondLife. Married to @cbarlerin .

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