Expert networks haul out rich insights from around the globe, after sifting through hundreds of millions of professional profiles. I explained how expert networks operate in an earlier post. In this piece, I’ll explain how they compete by using the analogy of fishermen. This also illustrates the value added by Inex One — the fish market.
Sizing the pool of experts
The pacific ocean of LinkedIn contains more than 500 million profiles. Other large pools are Academia.edu (70m), Github (31m), Maimai (30m), Xing (16m), ResearchGate (15m), and Viadeo (8m). Also social networks such as Facebook (2.3 bn) and chat forums are used to find industry experts.
As a kid in the Stockholm archipelago, I caught perch and herring, flounders and the elusive pike (that’s the gammelgädda, for Swedes).
Now assume that each fish represents an industry expert, and that the fishermen are expert networks, plying the high seas to find fish for their customers ashore.
Some fish are very good and fetch a high price from customers seeking their expertise. Other sea dwellers are not in demand, so the fisherman must trawl for hours and days to get a relevant catch. They must be careful, though: some fish are not to be caught, for compliance reasons. Insider allegations such as those directed against Primary Global Insight, Guidepoint and GLG a decade ago are the equivalent of an alleged oil spill.
Until recently, all fishermen have been working on direct contracts with their customers, setting out to sea only when requested. Some fishermen boast about having thousands of fish in their nets for resale. Fresh fish however — just like real-world experts — have a fairly short expiration date, and do not store well in a static database. To get the freshest fish, you need to catch it the same day.
Now, Inex One has built an online fish market, making things more efficient. Customers can source from multiple fishermen, each specializing in a certain type of fish or waters. The fish market helps customers get the widest selection of fresh fish, while letting fishermen specialize in their areas, rather than trawling too broadly. Inex One ensures that fishing is sustainable and compliant with international standards (on e.g. data integrity and privacy). This leads to efficiency and cost savings.
Researching for this article, I found some pretty impressive fish markets. Below are my favorites from around the world (Hamburg, Sydney, Venice, Bergen, Gothenburg, and Inex One).
Max Friberg is a co-founder of Inex One. Inex One is a cloud-based Expert Management System (EMS) that helps professionals manage all their expert interactions within one single platform. The admin analytics dashboard makes it easier than ever before to track costs, consumption and time spent with each research provider.
Inex One was founded in 2018 by former consultants and industry professionals with a mission to give clients worldwide superior access to expertise. Read more at https://inex.one