An Enterprising Cat Video Enthusiast

Entrepreneurship is the set of skills associated with handling uncertainty. It consists of such things as imagination, creativity and foresight. In addition to these attributes, entrepreneurship requires alertness to opportunity.

Arbitrage is one such opportunity. It involves the simultaneous purchase and sale of the same goods in different markets in order to profit from unequal prices.

A particularly cunning example of this process was publicized recently. It detailed the story of a US software developer (“Bob”) who outsourced his own job to China for less than one-fifth of his six-figure salary, pocketing the difference in profit. With the time he saved “on the job,” he was able to orchestrate similar arrangements with other firms, earning several hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit.

Meanwhile, an analysis of his browsing history revealed that his typical work day went something like this: surf Reddit, watch cat videos, eat lunch, shop on eBay, update Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, update management via email and go home. During this time, his performance reviews revealed that he was highly regarded as the firm’s top coder and considered an expert in the various technical proficiencies of his position.

Unfortunately for “Bob,” the jig was up when the company’s telecommunications provider installed a VPN system with its traffic logs revealing regular logins from Shenyang, China.




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  • About Gregory Cummings

    Gregory Cummings writes about Canadian monetary and economic policy. His writing has been featured at the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada and the Ludwig von Mises Institute's Mises Daily publication. Read more.

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