Got a quick question? –They’ve got a quick answer… and you pay-by-the-minute.
Three hundred million. That’s the number of estimated total startups created in a year. About 1.35 million of these annual startups are related to the tech industry and, as you might imagine, only a tiny fraction of that total number end up going on to greatness. That’s because a startup can’t just be a minor tweak on some pre-existing business model with a cool-sounding name that drops the last vowel or adds a ‘z’… you need to provide something people need – or possibly something people don’t know they need yet. Every time someone has been foolish enough to suggest that there are no more mountains to be metaphorically climbed, some revolutionary idea comes forward to disabuse the silly notion that we’ve reached some apex. But it must be said that it is getting harder to have unique ideas. The internet has made nearly everything one can imagine possible – both good and bad – and as such, you can find some version of most everything. This fact, however, doesn’t mean startups are dead – as proved by the millions of people who choose to give an idea a try each year. It does, however, mean that you really need to stand out from the crowd. Online teaching is not revolutionary. Online coaching is nothing new, and as we all found out during the peak of the pandemic, even direct teaching over the internet to school children is possible… although certainly not optimal.
But we’ve got news for you. A group of entrepreneurs has managed to rethink the concept of online learning and coaching. They’ve consolidated their ideas into what might be called a learning app or a skill app. This idea – like most great ideas – is simple. If you need a direct, immediate answer to a question, say, how to use a particular type of drop shadow shading on Photoshop… why spend hours sorting through the web? Just fire up an app, search for a Photoshop expert, and then quickly ask them how to do the shading for your new logo. The Photoshop expert might be able to provide you an answer within 5 minutes, and the kicker is they only charge you for those 5 minutes. You have a plethora of choices and can search through a database that’s rich with experts in fields from personal training to cooking, and everything in between. The app is very easy to use. After downloading and registering, you first select the general category of skill you are looking for and thereafter check out the profiles of the various experts available. You could choose to make an appointment with a specific person or you could just get a random expert if you need something immediately.
Each of the featured experts has a profile with a photo and as interactions with users increase, ratings and comments on the experts’ performance and teaching style, etc, will help you choose who you might think could assist you the most. And because they’re using a pay-by-the-minute structure, if the first choice isn’t working out so wonderfully, you can always switch to someone else – at minimal cost to you. And you don’t have to only use these experts for quick queries about Photoshop, for example.
Perhaps you are looking for someone to lead you through an hour-long music lesson or yoga session. That’s also possible and is likely going to be considerably cheaper than if you were to go online and find a traditional one-on-one online coach as the more choices of experts there are, the more the model tilts toward the consumer. It’s a buyer’s market, so to speak. These are freelance professionals from almost every industry you can imagine who are available almost instantaneously for real-time face-to-face video calls. This also takes away a bit of the formality sometimes associated with online teaching and reduces anxiety and or embarrassment – this person is there for you…just you.
You don’t need a subscription, and you don’t have to commit to an entire course. Your sessions are also recorded and saved to your profile, so you can look back at them and review what you were taught. This is often not available in many other online learning models as companies have concerns that the knowledge given out over the internet could be uploaded to YouTube or some other platform, but because you have created an account with the app, and you are speaking one-on-one face to face with an expert, they trust you with your info, and it’s always accessible to you via the app. Finally, maybe you’re an expert. If so, you could set up a profile and get freelance work via a skill app. And it could be anything… maybe you’re an awesome knitter with 20 years of experience and some free time. Why not make some money teaching an interested teenager a few tricks of the trade? Musicians, writers, computer specialists, mechanics, chefs… the list of skills acquired through decades of learning are almost too numerous to count. Put your life’s learning towards helping others solve their problems – and make extra cash. The idea of connecting seekers to experts for one-on-one face-to-face video conferences is – without hyperbole – revolutionary. Skip the hours of Googling and simply pick up your phone. During the call, you can even actually ‘show’ the expert the problem. What once might have taken half a day could be resolved in under 5 minutes… for a charge that’s reasonable and transparent. One-on-one video call help paid for by the minute: We have a feeling this start-up idea is one with legs.
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