If you text (650) 419-4194, a smart Stanford kid will help you with anything you need.
That’s the premise behind Nerd. It’s an “invisible app,” meaning that it works via a text messaging layer without requiring an actual app that you download from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
All you have to do is text that phone number and someone — the company says it’s a Stanford student — will help you out with what you want or need.
Nerd has three major use cases, according to its website.
The first is college advice and tutoring. You can text Nerd and ask for someone to review your homework and someone — presumably a bright Stanford kid — will help you out, for a fee.
Similarly, you can text Nerd and ask for help with hiring or analytics.
Nerd, it seems, is targeting a college audience: they offer to specifically help with canvassing campuses for surveys and advertising.
We reached out to Nerd for comment on this story and haven’t received a response yet.
However, we did text Nerd to get a sense for how it works. It took about 20 minutes to get our first response from Nerd, and it seemed like whoever we were talking to was a little overwhelmed. We asked whether we were talking to a person or a robot, and they told us they were, indeed, a person. We then asked if they could connect us to Nerd’s founders, but we haven’t heard back yet.
Nerd sounds a little like Magic, a Y Combinator startup that promises to deliver you anything you want (as long as what you want isn’t illegal). Just after it graduated from Y Combinator’s accelerator program, it was reported that Magic was raising $US12 million from Sequoia Capital at a $US40 million valuation.
It’s unclear who is behind Nerd so it could just be a spoof (the domain registration information was blocked). Still, people are amused by it. Nerd was posted on product discovery site Product Hunt earlier today and it’s received nearly 300 upvotes from the community.