Startup Spotlight: Fountain – Instant Answers by Mint’s Aaron Patzer
Skip to the website: https://www.fountain.com/
Fountain is a new startup by Mint founder Aaron Patzer that was launched in 2013, but has been flying under the radar until recently. Fountain helps people connect instantly with experts on any topic. You can choose to setup a consultation via text, phone or video call.
The most common pathway for finding answers to questions is Google, but anyone who has used Google consistently knows that where it excels in providing information, it fails miserably in succinctly demonstrating to users how to use that information. For instance, if I Googled, “How do I swap out a dishwasher” I would surely get a step-by-step, visually-rich guide on how to complete the task. While this is instructive, it does not take into account edge cases that arise. Anyone who has embarked on a home improvement task knows that hiccups inevitably arrive and when they do, whom do you call? Google?
This is where Fountain presumably comes in. As an example, in researching the topic of startup equity recently, I came across an interesting question:
If a startup has funding, but no product, and needs a user experience designer to design the product from scratch, what amount of equity should be expected?
So, I thought to myself: this is a perfect task for Fountain!
I downloaded the app, logged in and proceed to type in my question. Shortly after (hours, but not days), I received a response to my question which kicked off a back and forth texting session with the Fountain expert. Who was that expert? None other than Aaron Patzer himself, a well respected technologist, founder of Mint.com and co-founder of Fountain. He gave me the advice I was looking for in plain language and I left the conversation assured that I received the information from a trustworthy source.
Most important Fountain Features:
Fast Help Anywhere
The main benefit to using Fountain is that you can connect with any expert, on mostly any topic, for free from your smartphone. While I would not necessarily call it “instant” or “fast”, the response time is tolerable for the high quality help you receive.
Talk & Show on Video
The ability to talk to an expert directly and demonstrate (via video) the problem you’re having, could be described as absolutely game changing. Imagine having a problem changing the break pads on your car and instantly get a mechanic on the line to help you work it out.
Draw on Photos
If you’re having a problem demonstrating exactly what you’re talking about you can draw on your photo to highlight the problem area. For instance, imagine needing a Photoshop expert because you can’t figure out why a channel mask as activated? I wouldn’t mind the ability to draw on the photo to clarify what my problem is and where I need help.
Currently the app is free to use, but you can assume that in the future users will have to open their wallet.
Check it out: https://www.fountain.com/