Why Can’t Medical Care Work This Way

September 7, 2011
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In the span of 36 hours, I cleaned out my closet, dropped off the unwanted threads at a thrift store, bought a pair of Beyoncé tickets, assembled an outdoor hammock, pinned down some leads on a new apartment and booked a deep-tissue massage to soothe a lingering case of whiplash.

Remarkably productive? Maybe. But I couldn’t have done it on my own.

In the span of 36 hours, I cleaned out my closet, dropped off the unwanted threads at a thrift store, bought a pair of Beyoncé tickets, assembled an outdoor hammock, pinned down some leads on a new apartment and booked a deep-tissue massage to soothe a lingering case of whiplash.

Remarkably productive? Maybe. But I couldn’t have done it on my own.

Dozens of strangers were waiting to assist me as each task — and whim — arose. At first, I was queasy about pawning off my dirty work, but convenience soon trumped my discomfort. My army of aides arrived online and in person via a new wave of start-ups that include Fancy Hands, TaskRabbit, Zaarly, Ask Sunday and Agent Anything that tap into a network of people who have the time and skills necessary to run all sorts of errands.

Full New York Times article on start-ups that assist you with menial tasks.