How do you usually look for answers to burning questions?

Stas Voronov
43 replies
In the process of working on a startup, I constantly have questions related to marketing, development, and design. And I need answers right now, not after reading 2-3 books :) On forums I see there are usually general answers or self-promotion. There are mentoring sites where you can get session for $50-100 per hour. But we're a startup, where we get $50-100 😀 Most often, I need one or two calls from an expert. But how to find them?


Eugene Hauptmann
Leverage your network, as with anything you want to do in your life. After some time, you'll learn, those rates are not expensive. Build relationships, grow your team, get experienced mentors and advisors. Also you can skip reading books, but most of the questions you'll face will be like A or B, not like true or false. For that you need a context and an expert input. So build your network early! Also Slack and Discord groups can serve as a great place to start asking your engineering questions.
Stas Voronov
@eugenehp You're right about networking and so on. But a lot of specific questions arise, and any networking may not be able to cope with accelerated specialized issues. For example, how to make a specific model for face recognition or how to set up FB Ads in Australia for IT engineers. How do you act in that case?
Eugene Hauptmann
Hey @stas_voronov, Let me address this step-by-step: "For example, how to make a specific model for face recognition or how to set up FB Ads in Australia for IT engineers. How do you act in that case?" 1) "specific model for face recognition" – at we already have talented devs and scientists, ex-GAFAA, and most of them have PhDs in different fields, including AI. It took a decade to build a network and hire most of them. It's an excellent example. If someone doesn't know or doesn't have enough experience building the face recognition model, we will use our network as a team to get the right answers. We do hire folks who went through MIT and Stanford. This was we can tap into R&D much deeper if it goes beyond using state of the art ML model. 2) "How to set up FB Ads in Australia for IT engineers" – this is another great example since I don't have a lot of experience in this direction. But we used to have an office in Hong-Kong, and still do business with our customers in the Oceania region. So, I'd reach out to my network there first. Second, again, accessing a network of GAFAA connections, and reaching out to people I know at FB to connect me to someone who leads this direction in Australia.
Stas Voronov
@eugenehp Thanks for detailed answer! But what about those who do not have networking in a certain area, and need answers right now?
Eugene Hauptmann
@stas_voronov I understand the "urgent" approach you're asking about. My point would remain the same, it gets down to a phone call within your network (friends, advisors, investors, ex team members and so on). Otherwise other options listed in comments here below would do, but you'd have to pay for them either with money or your time. If you're part of any accelerator, you might enjoy "office hours" format. Going back to your urgency point, if it went down to the moment when you need answer "now", that usually means something was off with your management process (or strategy). Happy to brainstorm further. Side note: We do train engineers internally, and I see many of similar questions come up when they progress from juniors to seniors.
Lisette Fabian
Agreed with @eugenehp recommendation on building your network. Also, take a look at who provide free Mentoring for Engineering & Product Enthusiasts, Marketing & Communication Manager, Designers, People Manager, Startup Founders and Creative Minds.
Sarah Wright
Hi Stas! Are your burning questions specific to your product or are there any you're willing to share here?
Stas Voronov
@sarah_wright7 The question is rather about the general approach. My team and I constantly have questions, about 50% are solved by forums and networking. But what about the remaining questions?
ayberk bozkus
The most of forums contain unnecessary knowledge for you, because you dont ask it and these are not for you. Firstly you need to find same situation in forum and it takes time or you can ask it. Second, you have to use your own network in this regard. Thirdly, there are people who can answer your paid questions as well as support you for free, but remember that you need to get their attention by asking them quality questions.
Stas Voronov
@ayberkbozkus Thanks for answer Probably the main question about the third approach. Where to find experts and how to reach them quickly, that is the question
Pulkit Zaveri
Growing your network can not only helps you find answers, it can be leverage many other things. Example: We recently lost a team member. As we are a small team it had huge effects on our growth plans. We reached out to our network and by the end of next day we had someone in place.
Kushank Aggarwal
Reddit is a good start
Jack Davis
If you want expert advice you are going to have to pay money. If you want free advice you could ask anyone walking down the street, but the value of the advice is probably low. It is usually worth it to shell out money for stellar advice. A good place for expert consultation advice for startups is Superpeer. I will link Ryan Hoover and Chris Messina as they are two of the best. Ryan made Product Hunt. Chris invented the Hashtag and helped Google and Uber with product experience. , . Hope that helps!
Debajit Sarkar
You may consider Twitter, Stack Exchange and Reddit. On Twitter, identify who are the experts in the field of marketing, development and design and whether they are on Twitter. If they are active on Twitter ask them what's the best way to reach out to them. In my experience some individuals will answer your questions on Twitter itself while others choose DM or email. Also, keep an eye on individuals who post on the Twitter TL of these experts. Quite a few of them are professionals from the same industry. They too are probably well equipped to answer your question. StackExchange is where you can find some really good experts. You can post your question in the relevant SE community. Follow the guidelines of that particular community properly when it comes to posting a question. Reddit is another useful resource. However, since most people post comments on the condition of anonymity you need to be active on a few sub reddits related to your area/s of interest to identify who the real experts are. Once you have identified them you can pitch your question to them.
Sarah Jordi
This is shameless self-promotion, but also true: I open a conversation on Angle with my question in the title and then discuss it with everyone who joins! :) (Btw. we are launching today on PH) Alternatively I ask around in my network if I know someone who could help me.
David Choe
The best places I've found are: -Keyword based searched on Twitter. i.e., "interest" -Indie Hacker and specifically Indie Hacker Groups - I just joined a group called "Growth" and learned/validated a shit ton of things -Capiche: this is a bit smaller of a community, but incredible place to talk all things SaaS
Anna Avvakumova
I joined several Telegram chats about product management. Community there is really supportive. Some members are great professionals with practical experience, but somehow they find time to answer very thoroughly even stupid questions.
Mehdi Rajabi
We need more and more experts every day, unfortunately these people are not very social media networks and have little social activity, so access to these people is not easy. On the other hand, every day there are more and more people who have no knowledge but are confident, which causes us to get a lot of wrong information and ask our questions.
Taksheel Hariaksa
Mostly my network but also Quora. Great knowledge-base there!
Romain Cernik
Hey @stas_voronov I also usually my network. The best place to know which person is the best to answer you. In my startup we use mentors, found in linkedin after looking for people talking about subject (a simple search for this subject in this social platform do the job. Interact with them, add them and go ! )
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Darrick Youceof
I mostly leverage my network. There is so much you can do with their help
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