Job Posting: Digital Assistant Wanted

This week, Apple debuted a new ad centered around Siri and starring actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. In “The Rock x Siri Dominate the Day,” Johnson uses Siri, to take on even more in his busy schedule – from reviewing his life goals to helping him navigate the globe to pursue his many interests, to taking selfies in outer space. The ad is fun and it might help some iOS users try new things with Siri, although I am pretty sure nobody will try a selfie from outer space! Overall though, the ad is an attempt to make Siri sexy as Apple prepares to bring HomePod to market later in the year.

In my short but very exciting Twitter exchange with “The Rock”, he suggested I should watch the ad before jumping into my column for this week.

Watching the ad made me reflect, once again, on how much more work there is to be done both from the technology side and on the users’ acceptance side. I started thinking about what I would be looking for if I were interviewing to hire the perfect digital assistant.

Job Description

I am a busy working mom looking for a full-time digital assistant who could help me breeze through my day as if I were in total control, having a world of fun with my family yet not missing a beat at work. Most of all, I need a digital assistant that gets a lot done for me while making me feel I am doing it all on my own!

This job is not for the fainthearted! It’s a 24/7 position where you should not expect any please and thank yous. Some cross-room shouting might occur and you will be entitled to zero days off!

I have:

  • A tech related job that has me use several devices running on different operating systems. In an ideal world, once I pick my assistant, it would be easier for her/him if all my devices and services were linked to a single ecosystem. Unfortunately, this is not a likely reality, as technology will be more and more pervasive reaching into devices that in the past have not been connected making it difficult if not impossible to just stick with one ecosystem. Job requirements aside, I believe in being able to pick the best in class experience across what is available, which at times means to mix and match devices and ecosystems. Let’s be honest, it is also quite unlikely that one single assistant will be able to address all my needs! So, I expect whoever I employ for the main job to play nice with any other assistant I might also interact with. Over time, I am open, however, to just rely on you for all my needs if the experience you deliver were to be notably superior.
  • A busy and unpredictable schedule. My day to day schedule is quite busy and unpredictable, yet tends to be well documented in my calendar. I travel a lot for work which means I will need your help at different times and in different locations. While on the road, I will still need to be able to be in touch with what is going on at home and I might need you to lend your services to my family members. Likely locations where you will be expected to work: home, office, car, coffee shops, planes, and hotels. How I interact with you will vary depending on location and time. As voice might not be the most efficient and most private way to communicate at all times, I expect you to dynamically adapt your communication method to best fit the occasion.
  • A need to be always on. As I come to rely on you, I am afraid you will not be able to have any time off. I would also expect you to respond to any member of my family knowing they are not me and therefore they do not have access to all my work information and they have a different set of needs and preferences. As far as you are concerned, they are as important as I am. I will help you figure out who has access to what but when in doubt please ask. Also, please be considerate of their digital assistants.

You have:

  • High confidence and accuracy. Don’t doubt yourself and don’t make excuses. If you are not sure about the instructions I have given you make some suggestions to the best of your ability. There is nothing I hate more than hearing: “Sorry I cannot help with that yet!” If you want me to trust you, accuracy is paramount. I will be an open book to you, so you will have plenty of information to get it right. If I ask you to do something a couple of times and you get it wrong, I will not ask you again. Repeat that a few times and I will have to let you go for good. Your profession is a trendy one and there are plenty of digital assistants out there waiting to be hired!
  • Good conversation skills. Let’s be clear, I am not your old boss. So whatever you might be used to, you will have to adapt to me. I do not want to learn a new set of commands for you, I also do not expect to repeat myself every time I talk to you. Nor do I want to give you information that you should already be aware of from previous interactions or data you have access to. Read between the lines!
  • Eagerness to learn and grow. Never stop learning and using what you know to do your job the best you can. I am more than happy to invest time in teaching you about me. I understand this is the only way to start on the right foot. But please don’t waste my time! You are supposed to be a smart assistant, so be smart! Don’t just store information, use it, connect the dots.
  • A flexible and proactive nature. Being proactive is the key to a reciprocally beneficial collaboration. Use what you know about me, my schedule, my preferences, my likes and dislikes to be always two steps ahead of me so you can save me time, make me efficient and productive for the things I must do so I have time for the things I want to do.
  • Consistency and reliability. If I teach you something please remember that and use it consistently across devices. I hired you to save me time not to create more work for me. I expect you to show up every time I need you. If you deliver on the promise of a digital assistant I will become so dependent on you that you will have a job for life.

You might also have:

  • A sense of humor and a personality. While we do not have to be best friends and we can keep our relationship solely professional, I strongly believe that a sense of humor would help us both get through the day. I also believe that life without sarcasm is not worth living, so I am happy to receive as much as I dish out!

If interested, please apply below and we can discuss compensation and benefits!

Published by

Carolina Milanesi

Carolina is a Principal Analyst at Creative Strategies, Inc, a market intelligence and strategy consulting firm based in Silicon Valley and recognized as one of the premier sources of quantitative and qualitative research and insights in tech. At Creative Strategies, Carolina focuses on consumer tech across the board. From hardware to services, she analyzes today to help predict and shape tomorrow. In her prior role as Chief of Research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, she drove thought leadership research by marrying her deep understanding of global market dynamics with the wealth of data coming from ComTech’s longitudinal studies on smartphones and tablets. Prior to her ComTech role, Carolina spent 14 years at Gartner, most recently as their Consumer Devices Research VP and Agenda Manager. In this role, she led the forecast and market share teams on smartphones, tablets, and PCs. She spent most of her time advising clients from VC firms, to technology providers, to traditional enterprise clients. Carolina is often quoted as an industry expert and commentator in publications such as The Financial Times, Bloomberg, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. She regularly appears on BBC, Bloomberg TV, Fox, NBC News and other networks. Her Twitter account was recently listed in the “101 accounts to follow to make Twitter more interesting” by Wired Italy.

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