Geek Squad

3 minute read

An uncle had come down from US yesterday, and we were having a long discussion over breakfast. One of the things that he raved about was GeekSquad.

GeekSquad is a company run entirely by college students. What do they do? They fix any kind of computer problem for you.

"Whether your laptop is dead, your network is down, your hard drive is crashing, your printer won't print, or you just need to get on to the Internet, we can help you."

It's interesting because I see a range of possibilities here.

  • Students meet real people who use computers not for programming. For example, I feel I have a warped sense about how computer users think because most of my friends I know are not average computer users. When you're designing some computer hardware or software, it helps immensely to know how users approach a computer.

  • You build your network right from an early age.

  • You earn money while you're in college. Need a better incentive than that?

  • You get an idea of what computer users want, which may eventually lead to your big idea.

  • Interested students can recommend FOSS to people who are willing to try them, provided there will be support. This would be an excellent way to get people to try FOSS, even with just Live CDs.

  • If you want to become a FOSS developer, you get first-hand feedback on what's wrong, and you can go fix it, which benefits your customer, the FOSS world and yourself all at once.

Uncle thought it was a good idea for someone to start a GeekSquad in Bangalore. Any takers?

What do you think?


t3rmin4t0r says:

Been there, done that ...

Here, the problem would be charging for it ... You try getting 500 bucks off someone for spending 5 hours finding a driver for his cheap and dirty video capture card.

Swaroop says:

@t3: GeekSquad charges per-hour... but still, yes, getting people to agree to pay up money is the biggest problem.

Pradeep says:

what t3 says makes sense. But, it need not be true all the time.
If you have paid for "support" from a `professional`, you will know what I mean. The professional support people will have more than one way of getting the money out of you, including inflating the problem out of proportion and trying to convince you that he is the only person who can solve it, and all the other "selling" techniques.

The `Problem` in tech supporting, especially by somebody so young is:
* the end user may not understand the difference between clicky-clicky installing a software and genuine troubleshooting. for him, everything is click of buttons and perhaps a `few` minutes spent in front of the computer..

* So, it is important that, the geek trouble shooting "Sell" his expertise even before he starts troubleshooting. This might sound not ok to our pure-at-heart geek ;) whose chief motive is to solve an interesting problem. This ability to sell will also come in handy in future, when your sys-admin tells it will take 3 hours of hard work to do "X" ;)

* ah most importantly, talk about money even before you start. For instance, you could say, "troubleshooting xyz will cost you Rs.M, can I proceed?" or something similar. Don't expect the user to do justice.
The same user who was cowering before you a few minutes in the fear of losing his precious data, will act as if the computer was alright all the time, and the 'inconvinience' already forgotten...

ALL this is a good learning for our geek. :)
He will get a dose of selling, customer "relations" and of course cold cash(hopefully).

Yeah, the F/OSS angle is important. Ah! the memories of installing Linux on skeptical(nah! pertrified ;)) classmates' systems and troubleshooting the infamous SIS 6215C cards...
Kids today have it easy .. God! I feel old.

Perhaps, the most important lesson, even if our wannabe geek is not interested in promoting F/OSS is -
Interacting with `Real Users`. The earlier you understand how the rest of the world looks/uses/hates/loves software the better.

Sanjay Yadav says:

The key pad of my ipod nano has stopped functioning. When I tried restoring it, it comes till the language selection section and then there is no further response.The only thing what has gone wrong as per my knowledge is that once I wiped it with a damped cloth, after that this problem has occured.

We stay at Bilaspur (Chattisgarh) and the ipod was purchased by one of our relatives abroad.

Kindly assist.


Zubair Balwa says:

i am a former geek squad agent.....i dont work there nemore but their marketing skills are excellent

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