🔧🚀 The Early Days with Sneha: Building Geeks and Experts
Welcome to The Early Days: a series checking in with kickass Founders sharing honest lessons, tips & tricks and a sneak peek into building from the ground up, in public.
In the early days of ideating Geeks and Experts (fka GEXPR), it’s safe to say that my co-founder VB, and I were quite sceptical about talking about the product, the vision, and the audience, and in general, we shied away from the “build in public” movement — almost a given now! We protected this “brainchild” and yes, even thought of confidentiality when we spoke to mentors, advisors, investors, and so on.
Meet Sneha who's doing this with Geeks and Experts, the spark, the inspiration in her words.
Why did you start your company?
G&E was born out of a personal need of looking for advice from domain experts or getting inputs from experienced professionals without relying on warm intros or cold DMs. It's pretty complicated to simply find an expert and get on a quick call with them to ask a few questions when you’re stuck. Lengthy videos and tl:dr blogs don't provide the same value that one-on-one conversations can provide.
Need-based advice is hard to find when you rely on warm intros and cold DMs. We're here to change that.
Can you share your greatest lesson learned?
It’s still very much the early days for us, but for the most part, it involved trying and testing different versions of our product before we could understand what users want. Not building a product in-house was one of the biggest lessons we learned as it not only caused delays in getting the product in front of our customers but it also resulted in red flags from mentors/advisors/investors who preferred that we have full tech ownership. That's when we leveraged no-code and low-code tools. In short, ship your product as soon as possible.
What drives you to keep going?
As an immigrant, I understand the transparent door many feel that stands between them and the opportunities out there. Language barriers, intimidation, and imposter syndrome are real - we want to make it easier for everyone to access advice no matter where they're from or whom they know. Today, we have built a sizeable audience of experts and users who are currently using the product especially to address questions about idea validation, no code, low code tools, building an MVP, and so on. We are establishing connections between independent entrepreneurs across the globe via real-time conversations and domain experts have the opportunity to share their knowledge for a fee or for free. These connections keep me going!
Your proudest moment in this journey?
Increasing my luck surface area to get access to opportunities and looking for lessons, not losses! I decided to be more candid about the journey so as to not repeat the same mistakes I made earlier. It was through sharing my learnings, being vulnerable, and not fearing rejection that I increased my luck surface area and I “lucked out” on the following opportunities/resources I wouldn’t have otherwise:
- PR masterminds workshop
- Customer discovery tools
- Founder wellness coaching
- Build in Public mentorship
- Featured as a guest blog
- Invited to podcast interviews. As clichéd as the saying is, if you don’t ask the answer will always be no. Ask for feedback. Ask for introductions. Ask for advice
How did Kernal help you get to an MVP?
When you are new to entrepreneurship you have to move fast and get feedback and insights as quickly as you can so that you are not burning time or money in the process of getting to product market fit. I still do close to 10-12 customer interviews per week to hear directly from our users and understand their pain points. I have made many of these meaningful connections and got some early users for Geeks and Experts from Kernal.
Anything else we should know that would help our members build to the best of their abilities?
- Play the infinite game
- Minor setbacks feel more like detours than roadblocks when you are not looking for a quick growth hack or a shortcut, so play the infinite game
- When you wear too many hats managing content, finance, customers, and pitches can feel overwhelming, so slow down to move fast, and zoom out to focus
- Lastly, as Sahil Lavignia puts it start, then learn. Pivot and iterate as you go!
Paperstreet for monthly updates. There is a free and a paid version, start with whatever works for you but sending these monthly updates will keep you accountable and on track to achieve your KPIs. Saba Karim from Techstars introduced me to the idea of monthly updates, even pre-revenue, you can talk about hypotheses, lessons, failures, traction, feedback from users, etc.
What drives you to keep going?
One conversation can change everything. I wish more people had access to those brainstorming sessions with domain experts, no matter where they are from or whom they know.
In conclusion, Sneha, the founder of Geeks and Experts, started the company with the aim of providing a platform for people to get advice from domain experts without relying on warm introductions or cold DMs. Her journey has been filled with lessons, both positive and negative, and she has learned the importance of testing different versions of the product to understand what users want and shipping the product as soon as possible.
To achieve the goal of being the go-to platform, Sneha emphasizes the importance of playing the infinite game, slowing down to move fast, and starting, then learning. Some of the tools she uses to keep herself accountable and on track are Paperstreet for monthly updates and Kernal to get to an MVP. One conversation can change everything, and Sneha's goal is to make it easier for everyone to access advice no matter where they're from or whom they know.
Keeping up with Sneha 👀
Do you have an idea that you're itching to share? Post here and watch your seeds grow into a forest. 🌲🌳🌲🌳
With nearly 10,000 members, 2,000 startup ideas and 200 MVPs, Kernal is an expanding community of founders, operators, and investors focused on validating and building pre-seed startup ideas. Post new ideas, browse startups with momentum, and get expert feedback to take the next steps of scaling your startup idea. This exclusive community is the most supportive place to be for builders at this stage in their journey. We welcome you to join here.