Where Founders Can Actually Find Answers
Written by Hypergrow‘s founder, Clara Buchanan.
As a founder myself, in the beginning it took a long time to sort through the vastness of the interwebs to find actually solid and reliable answers to the questions that I had. Especially the ones around funding (are government grants an option? Should I take a loan, go to an investor.. What things should I have in place before doing any of that?), leadership, recruiting, and work/life balance.
What no one tells you about starting a company is IT’S HARD. And it’s something that you shouldn’t do by yourself, at least for long.
Now, onto what you came here for ;). The list of where to find good answers from a founder that’s been through it before:
This one may come as no surprise to many of you, but Quora is actually a fantastic place to get answers due to their internal answer curation system. The system automatically seeks out who is most qualified to answer the question that you’ve asked and you can even choose specific people that you’d like to answer your question.
Many founders of great companies are on Quora, take this one for example:
Kevin Systrom, co-founder and current CEO of instagram answered the question himself and didn’t pull any punches.
In an effort to direct traffic to their accounts and establish an expert presence on the site internally, Clarity users regularly answer questions proposed within their niches. The advantage of this is if you ask a question that is of the “FAQ” sort, you’ll get a lot of varied replies including tips, tools, and previous experience from learned individuals on the subject.
There are 7 quality answers, many from individuals whom have been through it before and are offering seasoned and valuable insights. All in all, it’s a win.
3. Better Company
Was just invited to this app last week and I’m a huge fan. Better Company, positioned as a place where startup founders can find support, is a fertile place to ask those tough questions. Like “B2B SaaS, looking to raise money in next 6 months. Seen early revenue & great usage numbers from two verticals. Should we focus on only 1 vertical with VC’s?” for example.
The app is anonymous and anyone can ask and answer questions. It’s still invite only for the most part, and because of that careful curation they have been able to build out a great ecosystem of founders, investors, technical co-founders, etc. all there to answer the tough questions.
4. Niche Communities
No matter what you’re interested in, or what your needs are, there is a community for that. Here are a good few from facebook to get you started that you should already be apart of:
Niche communities such as developer communities, data scientist communities, etc. usually take the shape of forums, subreddits, facebook groups, and google plus email groups. High quality niche communities can be the best for making connections and answering those tough, specific questions.
5. Buy a Coffee
Some of the biggest questions I’ve ever had to answer were pried out of me by someone older and more experienced than myself that I met online and invited to have coffee with me. These people are not just fantastic mirrors to look deeper into yourself, your business and your professional trajectory, but they are also great mentors and friends.
I utilize twitter, linkedin and angel.co for finding and connecting with these people. Trust me, this is one of the best ways to grow your business quickly and get yourself on the right track.
There are plenty of high quality podcasts out there. Here are a few that I listen to damn near daily:
In summary, when you have a question, seek the answer. Don’t think that you know best or think that you’ll look like an idiot for asking what you might deem “stupid questions”, instead do your research. It’s likely that someone else has already asked or that others will be helped by the answer too.
Take responsibility and know that you’re not in this alone.