If you find yourself getting tripped up as you expand your business, growing startup Quora can be an invaluable resource.
As OPENForum.com reported in July, the "crowd sourcing and collaboration Q&A tool allows users to ask the Quora community questions, most of them technology or startup-related.
Not only can you ask questions of its knowledgeable community (it includes some prominent VCs and CEOs), but you can follow topics such as "leadership," "venture capital," or "Google" to stay up-to-date on conversation occurring in those areas."
But the site is more than that. Think of it as a clubhouse populated by some of the smartest, most influential, technically savvy people in Silicon Valley.
Here’s how it works. You type in a question at the top of Quora’s site. As you type, it auto-suggests similar topics or questions. If your question has already been asked, you’ll be directed to the question where you can sift through the answers to see if you can find a solution.
If your question hasn’t been asked, then you type in your question and wait for a response. Now, you’re not guaranteed to get a great response, but in our experience with the site, if you ask a smart question, you’ll get a smart answer.
While the site is heavy on tech experts, it has plenty of other good advice too. It doesn’t have to be a tech-focused question. Curious about managing inventory? Ask Quora. Looking for tips on hiring the right person? Ask Quora.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and founder of Facebook, for instance, used Quora to ask, “What startups would be good talent acquisitions for Facebook?” Facebook eventually acquired Nextstop, one of the companies suggested to Zuckerberg.
Quora was founded by one of Mark Zuckerberg’s oldest friends, Adam D’Angelo. D’Angelo and Zuckerberg built Synapse, a music discovery site, together when in high school. When Zuckerberg started Facebook, D’Angelo was one of the first people he asked to help build the site.
D’Angelo eventually became Facebook’s CTO, but stepped down in May 2008. About a year later, D’Angelo co-founded Quora with Charlie Cheever, another long-time Facebook employee.
Quora initially launched as an invite only site in January 2010. At the time, Michael Arrington at TechCrunch called it, “one of the hottest private beta tickets in town.”
As a small business owner, you can’t ask for more than smart answers to tough questions. It's an interesting search alternative to Google.
Photo credit: Guerrilla Futures, Jason Tester