Markets in everything

by on December 24, 2011 at 8:05 am in Economics, Uncategorized | Permalink

Esther Dyson reports, the link is added by me:

Specifically, Insidr brings together consumers who have practical questions about how to deal with a specific company and (mostly) former employees of that company. For example, you want to know whether you can still get the unlimited-data-roaming plan that your friend has, but the company refuses to give you a straight answer. Somewhere, a former employee (or perhaps a knowledgeable phone-store saleswoman) knows the answer.

1 anon December 24, 2011 at 8:30 am

Insidr is an excellent link.

(Geeks already discuss these things many places.)

And on Verizon Wireless anyway, if you have multiple products (multiple cell plans, broadband plans, etc.) and are a long-time customer, you can usually get pretty good customer service if they mark your account with “VIP” status.

2 Rahul December 24, 2011 at 9:41 am

How are they verifying the “insiders”?

3 NanOto December 24, 2011 at 11:41 pm

I currently work for a large consumer-facing company and got a solicitation from this or a similar company to serve as an expert. If I remember correctly it was a pop up on a professional networking site.

4 Noumenon December 25, 2011 at 12:18 am

“We started Insidr because we feel frustrated and helpless when we have to call customer support. “

“We started Insidr because we’re tired of funding our own customer support lines. We hoped that similar to how Dell has full-time volunteers helping people clear out their spyware, we could harness people’s altruism to add to our bottom line.”

Just a thought I had.

5 Antony Brydon December 27, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Noumenon – Interesting comment, we’re definitely using Insidr for our own customer support, and encouraging folks inside and close to our company to sign up to answer questions (see It’s cheaper than building a customer support function. One downside is that some issues do slip through the cracks. — Antony at

6 sam December 25, 2011 at 5:37 am

One of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen. First, most of the information that people seek can be found with a little bit of searching on Google. Second, because the people answering the questions no longer work for the company, the kind of problems that can be worked on are limited. This is just about as dumb as Groupon, if not dumber. Groupon takes advantage of struggling small businesses. Insidr takes advantage of lazy people.

7 Antony Brydon December 27, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Sam, I very much agree that a lot of questions people have questions that can be better answered by searching online. A good example is a question about the programming code for your remote control — no need to spend $5 for something like this, and we wouldn’t want an insider to spend time on this. We encourage folks to use insidr as the last stop, not the first stop, when they’ve exhausted traditional channels or can’t find the right information online, and want more help from someone with some relevant experience. — Antony at

8 joshua December 25, 2011 at 9:02 am

Another relative success for branding with a silent ‘e’ (Tumblr, Flickr, etc)

9 Esther Dyson January 2, 2012 at 8:03 pm

a couple of points in response: The insidrs can volunteer if they want, but the system is set up so that they can earn money for their efforts. as for Groupon/Insidr, the Insidr customers are willing to pay for what they consider a valuable service – as are, for example, the customers of TaskRabbit. (I happen to think Groupon is a different case, and, as I have written, that the numbers won’t work out well in their current configuration…)

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