If you’re an entrepreneur or a freelancer, you probably have more than once needed urgent technical help with your product or site, and wished you could talk to a tech expert right away.
Technical knowledge and skills are the number one barrier for startup founders, who don’t have the resources to solve every problem themselves. Growing a talented team of engineers takes time and money, and your friends can only help for so long. A lot of entrepreneurs face this problem and lose precious weeks trying to find an answer that an expert in the field could solve in an hour.
Now think Stackoverflow meets Taskrabbit. That’s how Jonathon Kresner, an Australian entrepreneur now based in San Francisco, created Airpair. He came up with the idea around Christmas time, and by the first week of March, decided to quit his job to work full time on airpair. Helped by a few friends, he just finished the mvp cycle and launched the first version Thursday.
“Finding an expert to discuss best-practices and implementation details is the fastest, most efficient way to get started and avoid costly dead-ends. You know those experts exist, but how can you find them?” Jonathon explains, “we spent 6 weeks on proving out airpair on mvp, and a few people decided they wanted to buy packages from us, which we didn’t plan, 10 hours up front, because they had such a good experience on their first call.”
The goal is also to create a community of developers who want to learn new technologies and teach each other: “airpair is a community of developers that share knowledge through video,” adds Jonathon. “The vision is the worldwide IT community, which is much bigger than just startups.”
When an expert logs into the site, he’s prompted to fill an “expert profile” to sell one-on-one video sessions through Google Hangouts. For freelance developers, it’s mostly a way to make some extra cash on their spare time. Jonathon explains the pricing system: “we had people pay between $30 – $120 in our mvp, and we are now using the new version to ask them before hand what their budget is and get a tighter read on the market. Basically developers set their own rates, so if you put a low budget, your pool of experts is reduced, so effectively we will see how much people are comfortable spending.”
R. Bryan Hughes, Principal at LogicalCat LLC, shared his thoughts on the product and why he’s an early adopter after two sessions: “You don’t need airpair if you are extremely well-connected and have lots of industry-leading professional friends who all owe you favors. For the rest of us, there’s airpair.”
What do you think? Would you use a service like Airpair? Hit the comments!