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Ask HN: Is there a service that allows you to pay to talk to a domain expert?
10 points by isthispermanent 14 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 11 comments
This might sound like a dumb question because, yes, of course you could take a college course or book an appointment with a doctor. But I mean, something semi on-demand where a person could pepper, something like a genetics expert with questions for two hours if they're willing to pay $500/hour to do so.

Any ideas?

Thank you!

I would love such a kind of service if as an expert, you could pair yourself with another expert who needs your service, and you need their service. Like bartering.

If you limit exchanges to only those with reciprocal supply & demand then it becomes much less less likely to identify deals where people can use the service to provide value for each other.

Assuming there are n different kinds of expert services, and each participant supplies one service and demands one service at random, then there is only a 1/n^2 probability that an arbitrary participant is able to enter into a reciprocal trade with you.

If you instead use some kind of credit system where providing service to participant X gives you credit that can be traded in later to obtain service from Y then suddenly each participant in market has 1/n of being able to reach deal with you. So by reinventing something that sounds suspiciously like money by allowing trading of debt/obligations for services we have made our expert network much more efficient at being able to identify and unlock productive economic exchanges between people.

Hedge funds, private equity firms, and management consulting shops use expert networks a lot. They’re often looking at a potential investment, and seek to talk to people deeply familiar with the industry and competitive landscape. Usually a firm like Guidepoint will spam a group of people to facilitate an introduction. Top experts can name their price.

Some examples of expert networks I know:

https://colemanrg.com/ https://www.guidepoint.com/advisors/

I'd love this as well. It doesn't necessarily have to be only high tech/science. There are many times I'd simply like to talk to an experience plumber, electrician, home builder, auto mechanic etc. in a context that doesn't incentivize them to do work for me.

Licensed professionals have to exercise caution because of possible liability. An electrician, for example, who gives advice you act on, get wrong, and end up creating a hazard could face legal problems. An electrician explained that to me when I asked for advice doing my own house wiring.

There are popular websites where doctors give paid or free medical advice. I wonder how they address the liability issue?


They’re called expert networks. Hedge funds often use their service to learn about a sector / upcoming technology (i.e drug trial, etc...).

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