"Can I pick your brain over coffee? Everyone has both been asked this question and asked it of others, but we’re all so busy these days—with scarcely enough time to get everything done on our calendars as it is—it’s hard to find the time. What if there was an easier way to give and receive professional advice, and a seamless way to pay and be compensated for it? After all, how many times have we half-jokingly said “send me the bill” after we pick someone's brain at Starbucks? We set out to make picking someone’s brain easier by using paid video calls to connect people looking for professional advice to people offering it. With professionals available from hundreds of different industries, you can find someone to answer your questions on just about any topic—from Aviation to Art, Fitness to Finance, Music to Marketing, Leadership to Languages, Software to Skydiving. "
"Picking someone’s brain is fast and easy. Once you find a professional who you think can help answer your questions, simply request a video call with them, propose a time, and add a quick note explaining what you’d like to discuss. Once you’ve both agreed on when to connect, you only pay for their actual time on the video call, based on their posted billing rate. For example, if a professional's billing rate is $2/min and your call lasts for 20 mins, you will be charged $40, plus a small credit card processing fee. You never pay for wait or buffering time, and the first two minutes of the call are always free, so you have ample time for introductions, small talk, and to further determine if the professional can help you. In this same spirit of fairness, after the free two-minute window expires, a minimum 15-minute charge applies, which helps the professional manage their schedule, and ensures they are adequately compensated for their time."
"Any professional can give advice on Brain Pick. You might already make a living as an advisor or consultant. You might already have a full-time job, you might be retired, or perhaps you just know a lot about a particular industry, topic or skill. Regardless of your profession, you can earn additional income on-the-side giving advice in your free time. To get started earning money offering your advice on Brain Pick, you simply set up your account, add your banking information, and choose the billing rate (eg. $10/min) you’d like to charge other Brain Pickers.
You can also offer free advice to people. Once your profile is live, people that are interested in picking your brain will request a video call with you directly in the app—you can accept, decline, or propose a different time. Once you join a video call, you can chat for as long as you both like—the first two minutes of the call are always free, which gives you both time to further determine if there’s a fit. In the same spirit of fairness, after the free two-minute window expires, a minimum charge of 15 minutes applies, so you’re always adequately compensated for your time.
After a call is complete, your customer is automatically charged for your time on the video call (eg. if your billing rate is $10/min and you chat for 20 minutes, your gross earnings are $200). We then directly deposit your net earnings (there’s approximately a 15%-17% service and processing fee) into your bank account, which typically takes 7-10 business days. You can accept as many calls as you’d like, at your convenience and on your schedule; during the day, at night, on the weekends, during the morning commute or a coffee break, or even while chilling on the couch or walking the dog.
At the end of the day, we wanted to create a more personal way for people to get answers and advice about whatever interests them, and a more convenient way for professionals to share their expertise and experience—and earn extra money for doing it. We all have valuable knowledge to share, and right now there's someone, somewhere, looking to connect with them. There hasn't been an easy way to do it. Until Now."
When I asked Jack how he came up with this idea, he said...
"So we came up with the idea for Brain Pick after receiving many requests on LinkedIn from people who wanted to pick our brains about the industries we worked in—usually asking to meet at Starbucks. We agreed a few times, but usually had to decline these requests. We hated saying no—as we always want to help people out—but we were simply too busy. And taking an hour or two meant missing work or shifting a paying client appointment. Then one day, after coming back from meeting someone at Starbucks for a couple hours, my wife joked, “You should be charging people!” And then the lightbulb went off."
For more information about Brain Pick