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June 20, 2011

ExpertInsight.com — Nobel Prize winner (among others) for rent


Long story short from the website: "The world's top experts at your fingertips. From Nobel laureates to chess grandmasters, from best-selling authors to sports coaches, and everything in between. We are dedicated to helping you get in touch with the world's most experienced and professional experts in any industry."

Just wait till I put up my credentials.

But I digress — more on that later in this post.

There are currently a total of 62 experts (some pictured above and below) offering their services on Expert Insight, ranging from Nobel Prize-winning economist Gary Becker ($5,000/hour) to ESPN Swing Coach Jerome Andrews ($380/hour).


Below, excerpts from Annie Lowrey's June 13, 2011 Slate article about a site that has "attracted far more interest from people looking to sell their time than from people looking to buy it."

Reputation has always been another form of income, and successful people have long found innumerable creative ways to monetize their time. Now a start-up called Expert Insight is trying to make the process far easier, enabling the more famous or distinguished among us to sell their expertise by the hour, from the comfort of their homes, while dressed in their pajamas.

Expert Insight is the brainchild of Brandon Adams, a Ph.D. graduate of Harvard Business School and the research assistant for Michael Lewis' The Big Short. Prospective customers go to a website and peruse the many experts available—mostly economists, poker and chess players, and sports coaches, along with the occasional relationship expert or writer. Most list their per-hour rates, though a few require customers to call to request them. Customers select an hour or two from their chosen expert's schedule, and then pay online. They receive the expert's proprietary email address for correspondence before the appointment. Then, when the time comes, they log onto a Skype-type video chat system and ask away for the purchased hour.

Prices vary significantly by level of expertise, by field, and by fame. (Currently, experts keep 70 percent of the per-hour fee.)

One way or another, even if Expert Insight falters, Adams is right that the Internet provides a naturally fluid, responsive, and big marketplace for such previously niche services. Maybe you won't be asking Steven Levitt all your hard questions on video chat anytime soon. But if you are looking to up your chess or poker game, you'd be foolish not to look for help online.

I'm going to see if Expert Insight will take me on board as an expert in creating a customized treadmill workspace.

I don't believe there is anyone in the world — with the exception of Dr. James Levine, my guru in this space — better qualified to help build a bespoke solution using only what's in a person's home while spending no more than $100 (excluding the treadmill).

"As seen in the New York Times" — it doesn't get any more authoritative than that.

We'll see how it goes.

Enough of offering to do it for free around my Podunk town: that's just the problem, nobody values something that's free.

Peter Drucker, asked why he charged such astronomical fees, replied, "No one listens to you unless you make it hurt."



Note to Brandon Adams, grand panjandrum/majordomo of Expert Insight: You'll gain credibility and improve your site's overall appeal if you use correct punctuation (I had to add the apostrophes to "worlds" in your mission statement [below]


before using it to open my post).

June 20, 2011 at 02:01 PM | Permalink


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Interesting post, and thank you for reporting the grammar error to us!

Posted by: David Kullmann | Jun 21, 2011 11:24:25 AM

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