Intro is the latest app to turn celebrities into consultants

  • 4 min read
  • Aug 04, 2022

Intro is the latest app to turn celebrities into consultants

You may never own a mansion like Oprah’s, but now you can chat with her favorite interior designer, Nate Berkus—for a fee, of course.

A new application Introduction, allows anyone to book one-on-one video calls with industry experts for advice on everything from fashion and beauty to interior design, event planning and business development. While some users may book a session for a quick, specific question, the platform is designed to allow users to replicate an entire consultation experience. Calls are offered in 15, 30, 45 and 60 minute increments. With some experts, like Liana Levy, founder of Forma Pilates, it starts at $100 per 15 minutes, while Berkus and other big names charge up to $500. (New users get $10 off their first session.)

Founded in late 2021 by Los Angeles-based entrepreneur Raad Mobrem, Intro was built on a desire to “democratize access” to industry professionals—a goal inspired by a rare encounter Mobrem had with Kinko’s co-founder Paul Orfalia in It was made when he was only 18 years old. Mowbram, who previously worked as a consultant at Delta Air Lines and led a product team at Intuit, credits the brief conversation with his success. “In the 15 minutes we had, I asked him about entrepreneurship, and he told me some key lessons that inspired me and gave me the confidence to start my own entrepreneurial journey,” says Maubram. (By the way, Orfalea is also available to chat via Intro; 15 minutes will cost you $275.)

Intro isn’t exactly the first product of its kind. At this point, there’s practically an entire cottage industry of fan-to-celebrity communications. On Master class, Annie Leibovitz teaches photography while Serena Williams coaches tennis. And in cameo, fans can order personalized videos from Mark McGrath and David Koechner. The difference with Intro is actionability: Intro focuses on tangible, actionable feedback, not meet-and-greets with your idols and inspiration. (No offense to Serena and her colleagues, but those masterclasses aren’t really designed to turn you into a professional athlete, they’re more about general life advice. And most Cameo sessions are lost in the internet ether within days. .) Most experts Intro doesn’t accept small-scale projects from new clients and can’t be booked anywhere else online, so unless you’re Oprah or a Kardashian, this program might be your only chance for such high-level access. talent

The platform is backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Alexis Ohanian of Seven Seven Six (Ohanian, known as the founder of Reddit, is an expert on the platform), CAA founder Michael Ovitz, and an unknown network of celebrities, athletes and CEOs. On the home page, there is a form to request to become an expert, which notes that experts have the opportunity to earn up to $500,000 per year using the platform. Intro receives 30% commission from experts.

I was given the opportunity to test the service and decided to speak with Shawn Henderson, an interior designer who at Summary of architecture Trusted AD100 list, with over 20 years of experience. At Intro, Henderson’s 15-minute sessions start at $199 (an hour will set you back $765). Henderson told me he tries to do about six sessions a month, sandwiching them between larger-scale projects and summer trips. He has worked with clients in five or more sessions and checks during renovations and purchases of furniture according to his suggestions. After planning a weekday afternoon, we went to the video conference in the Intro app and immediately started designing the chat. With a countdown at the top of the video call, it’s hard not to want to make the most of every second.

I gave Henderson a tour of my home so he could understand my design style before showing me the laundry area I wanted to focus on. I explained my problem: my washer and dryer were taking up too much space at the bottom of the stairs. Since it was already an eyesore, I was encouraged to leave a pile of laundry around them. Henderson immediately went to work, sketching out ideas for moving me around washer and dryer for a stackable unit, moving them to the back wall via a (probably expensive) plumbing solution, and making room for cabinets. He also included options for a sink and drying rack or a folding table. He then explained another option, where I could create an enclosed laundry room instead of an open one using a pocket door. He was unable to provide prices, but used specific websites and brands to review wallpaper for the back wall and durable floor paint to cover my unsightly tile floor in the area.

None of Intro’s experts communicate with customers outside of the program, including posting links or providing scans of designs. When I asked Henderson how it works, he quickly explained that his Intro clients take detailed notes. I found myself with some notes from our call and screenshots of his designs. But most of all, a sense of confidence in my previously vague ideas. I can show the screenshots to a contractor as I go along with this remodel, but I need to do more formal drawings per Henderson’s recommendation. The Intro app does not allow chatting or sharing images.

After finishing all the details I got from the video call about my laundry room, I asked him about a bad idea I’ve had for a long time: putting a freestanding bathtub in my bedroom. Here, in the last three minutes of our video conference, I was looking for a professional opinion and a real reaction, not a sketch or a mockup. Henderson, who had already considered the style of the bathroom faucet and the overall decor of my home, asked me not to go with traditional English telephone faucets. “You don’t want a themed room,” he explained. Something more transitional would be better in my space. I would have liked to go through the options with him and choose them together, but this tactile advice was enough to lead me to the drawing board as I planned this addition.

If you’ve done your research, created your Pinterest boards, and done as much homework as you can, the introduction may be the last step you need to consider before starting a renovation project, new fitness programs. Or the dramatic new haircut.Would I have paid Henderson $199 to confirm the belly about the bathtub? Probably not, but I appreciated his openness to deviating from the original theme.

For business development, Intro directly replicates a consultation, giving business owners the opportunity to speak to Ohanian and other industry leaders. Who knows, in a few years, Intro might use the success story of a young entrepreneur who used the app to promote his services. That, or they need some convincing “before and after” photos of the kitchen remodel.

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