Over the past few days I have been exposed to two amazing innovations per the exposure afforded by my job.
Last night I learned of a company that acts as a "Marketplace for Knowledge". They have a roster of "industry experts" in various areas. They document their area of expertise, their qualifications and their hourly rate. They market their service in general to various individuals and corporations in need of guidance from these experts. The service then draws upon their extensive database of experts and attempts to make a match.
Effectively the expert's "smarts" are extended to buyers around the world that they would not otherwise have access to. The people in need of advice as they make a business deal, for example, get exposed to different perspectives.
This is a brilliant use of information technology and the Internet. The key competitive advantage that this firm has going for it is it's algorithm which they use to select the industry expert most qualified to answer the question. As their service is used - the intelligence contained within also improves.
I was impressed at the amount of transactions and related value that was associated that this company is clearing on a daily basis. This is a business concept that can only exist in an advanced system of commerce where "business intelligence" is a premium. Connecting humans together and monetizing the exchange is what the "capitalistic Internet" is all about.