New Google Service Can Make You Money

By Brian Rhodes, Published Dec 27, 2013, 12:00am EST

Want to work from your couch, advising people on security and surveillance, and get paid doing it?

Google has a new service which is empowering just that, already offering security and surveillance consulting services. In this note, we examine how it works, who is offering it and the potential risks and benefits.

Compared to Expert Networks

For years, a number of so called 'expert' networks have connected specialists to wealthy clients for phone calls. Specialists, including security and surveillance professionals, would be paid a few hundred dollars an hour and the expert network (companies like GLG) would get an additional cut. Account managers set up clients and help coordinate calls amongst investors, bankers, etc. and the specialists.

Given the expense and the time to get set up with these groups, these services are limited to the most deep pocketed and advanced requests. It could not scale down to everyday requests from the mass market.

Google Helpouts

This year, Google launched helpouts, building upon their hangouts platform, combining video / web conferencing, with purchasing of on-demand services.

It's application goes far beyond security and surveillance. We recommend watching their 1 minute introductory video:

Essentially, you can get interactive personal help. Some are free, most professional ones are paid with Google getting a 20% cut.

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Surveillance Helpouts

As of the date of this post, there are only 2 people offering CCTV / surveillance help, with both charging a rate of ~$50 per hour. Neither, from their descriptions, strikes us as being great experts.

On the other hand, given Google's massive reach, it does have potential for other surveillance professionals to list themselves and find new customers.

Risks / Potential

The biggest risk is: will people pay? Given that lots of online retailers give away free 'consulting', there is a clear competitor.

That said, just like IPVM has built a sizeable business selling information in a world filled with free alternatives, we suspect a number of surveillance professionals could achieve success building their reputation and reviews on Google helpouts.

There are many people out there who want more independent, expert help then they can get from a company salesperson and Google helpouts enables people to access this at relatively cost and high convenience.

What do you think?

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