Earlier this summer, a friend of mine based in Boston called asking for a favor. Her son had fallen in love with a picture of a pooch -- of a rare breed, apparently -- and he wanted his mom to buy said pooch who just so happened to be chilling with his litter mates in Saratoga, California ... the town next door to me. The favor: would I take a look at the critter and write back with comments before she made the trip to California? Though I’m not at all an expert on dogs, I gladly accepted the mission. I had a feeling that it was another kind of expertise she was looking for, and I had it in good supply.
The incident reminded me of a startup that I recently got wind of -- through the Latino startup grapevine -- that has an app for sourcing experts to verify the salient qualities of high-ticket items before you purchase them. Let’s say you want to buy a fancy car, but the car is in LA and you live in Miami. With the app, called Veryfier -- today in beta, on iOS -- you can find an LA car expert to look under the hood, kick the tires, and, perhaps, take the car for a spin on your behalf.