Arbolus Journey
June 19, 2020
2 min

Can technology find experts better than people?

Will Leeming

An alternative to expert networks, we are using our Hyperion matching engine to create affordable expert relationships.

Earlier this month my co-founder Sam wrote about our Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal of Creating One Million Advisory Relationships by 2021. A key part of achieving this goal is our automated matching engine, Hyperion.

Before we get started, a quick introduction. Arbolus is a technological alternative to the expert network industry. We have built an industry-leading platform for companies and experts to work together. We then provide introductions to experts through our Hyperion matching engine. While we are not an expert network firm, we offer an alternative to their services.

A bit of history on the expert network industry

The market was created in the 1990s when Gerson Lehrman Group (known as GLG) realised that hedge funds were interested in speaking with their network of medical witnesses. Over the next 10 years, GLG grew their network to more than 500,000 experts and their client book to include most hedge funds, private equity funds and consultancy firms. During this period, a number of companies like AlphaSights (my old firm), Third Bridge and Guidepoint successfully copied their business model. Today, the expert network industry is worth several billion dollars.

Companies are overpaying for 75% of experts

Over the past 3 decades, expert network firms have built their networks into the hundreds of thousands. The result is that when a company speaks with an expert - there is a greater than 75% chance that the expert has come from their network, rather than being custom recruited. What's more, 60% of these experts are on the networks of all the major firms.

Custom recruitment is a term in the expert network industry, when the firm uses LinkedIn and similar sources to find experts on a project. It is because this is such a labor-intensive process that ENS firms can charge so much.

Over the last 10 years, customers have increasingly been paying ENS firms to find experts in their own networks rather than custom source. This matters, because companies are overpaying to speak with these experts.

Why we use technology to drive down the cost

When we started Arbolus, we did so with two goals in mind: to create a better experience for all users (expert and customer), and to drive down the cost through technology. The first we solved with our platform, the second with Hyperion.

Hyperion is a machine learning engine which gives customers access to thousands of experts who have opted in to short term advisory relationships. Hyperion also uses public sources and its referral mechanism to find new experts on projects.

The process is simple. When a user creates a project, Hyperion reads the brief using natural language processing. It then makes expert recommendations to the user. The user then selects the experts of interest. Because this is a technology solution, the cost is less than 40% of an expert network firm.

So, can technology find experts better than people?

We wouldn't say our technology can find you better experts than those found by people. Instead, we would ask you to view Arbolus as an alternative source of experts. Hyperion can:

What's more, our platform is best in class. To prove it, we offer any new customer 1 month free. Just contact us for more details.

Will Leeming

Will is one of the Arbolus founders. After 10 years working in professional services in London and New York, he set up Arbolus with his business partner Sam. Focusing on product, technology and operations, Will spends most of his time in London and Barcelona.

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About Arbolus

Arbolus is a global experience platform. We use technology to connect people for the purpose of sharing experience.

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