Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Request: Fill In My Spreadsheet For Me?

Very frequently in nearly any job as an “information worker" (which describes nearly every reader of this blog), we all face the common task of filling in a spreadsheet with research from the public web.

A simple example from a few years ago: I needed a list of every publicly active VC firm, their website URL, and their general address (city, state, country).  

This request seems simple enough, and I ended up writing a quick scraper of a web service (Crunchbase wasn’t big enough yet at the time) to accomplish my goal.  But if I could have paid $30 (a couple cents per row entry) to have someone fill in this table for me, I would have definitely done so because the script took half a day to get right, and my time is worth more than that.

I want a very simple web service solution here.  I bet it already exists.  I give the service an empty spreadsheet with all the header rows filled out in detail. Then, Mechanical Turk (or other labor pools) fill in the spreadsheet for me.  I know that Mechanical Turk has wizards to facilitate this process, but I really don’t want to do any customization beyond handing off an empty spreadsheet.  This must exist already, right?  A few quick Google searches yielded fruitless results for me.

The splash page would be a simple upload box for my spreadsheet and a credit card submission form. I’d get my results via email.  I would totally use this if it exists.


  1. coreyh answered: This does EXIST. smartsheet.com/crowdso…
  2. msg answered: Fancy Hands could be quick fix for larger than 15 minutes spreadsheets could get annoying to resubmit often love the simplicity of your idea.
  3. likesandlaunch answered: You could use what’s already built by Google: buzzfeed.com/justine…
  4. gregcohn answered: Try titling the spreadsheet “Internship Applicants”.
  5. surajjain answered: Seems like a tool every investment banking analyst would want as well
  6. bdotdub said: Check out this chad Dickersons blog post: blog.chaddickerson.com/… not the intended use for fancy hands km sure, but the pricing sounds like it could work out
  7. newspeedwayboogie answered: Fancy Hands
  8. thegongshow posted this