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Intro: Transforming Mentorship and Consulting in the Hustle Culture Era

Intro: Transforming Mentorship and Consulting in the Hustle Culture Era
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Hustle culture is making its mark on the consultant class, and Intro, a platform enabling users to book time with experts for a fee. 

Raad Mobrem, who stumbled upon a mentor in Kinko’s founder Paul Orfalea, leading to invaluable entrepreneurship lessons and the eventual sale of his app, Lettuce, to Intuit for $30 million, is behind Intro. This platform aims to make finding business advice from proven successes as straightforward as scheduling a video call for a fee, with notable figures like Zillow cofounder Spencer Rascoff and former CEO of Anthropologie, Hillary Super, on its roster.

What might have once been dismissed as “Cameo for business” is gaining legitimacy among founders bombarded with advice requests on social media. Intro provides a structured avenue for these exchanges, where a financial commitment signifies the inquirer’s seriousness.

The concept of monetizing mentorship, however, is not without its critics. Alex Lieberman of Morning Brew views Intro as a means to discern genuine interest. “When people reach out to me on LinkedIn or Twitter and I respond to them and ask a follow-up question, not many get back to me. That means they didn’t actually care that much,” he observes. “When someone is willing to spend money or have skin in the game to have a conversation… it’s just a function for showing they actually care.” This perspective suggests that the platform also serves as a filter, separating casual inquiries from those truly invested in seeking guidance.

Khusniddin Muradov, a well-known entrepreneur in logistics, who gives advice on implementing technology and making operations efficient, shared, “Intro makes it easy to get expert advice that was hard to find before. It helps people learn from each other across different industries.” He added, “One person asked me for advice through Intro, and now we’re working on a project together. Intro also helps you meet new people and create new networking opportunities.”

The rise of social media has made many successful people cautious about giving away their time for free, fearing they might be taken advantage of. Andrew Chen from Andreessen Horowitz, for example, charges $975 but doesn’t want business pitches during these sessions.

Intro is facing a challenge with transactions happening outside the platform, similar to what other service platforms like Uber and Airbnb have experienced. Jessica Sloane, an event planner, suggests people book directly through her for longer sessions, indicating some experts prefer working outside Intro’s system.

Intro- Transforming Mentorship and Consulting in the Hustle Culture Era s

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There’s also a bit of secrecy among users and experts about using the service, which might make you think Intro is more about business consulting than mentoring. Howard Lerman, who founded Roam, used Intro to get quick feedback on a feature from Nikita Bier, showing the platform’s value in getting expert advice without the need for a full-on consultant hire.

In the end, Intro is changing how consulting work is done, breaking it down into smaller, more accessible pieces of advice. This new approach doesn’t make people feel bad for consultants losing work to a tech platform, as it’s seen as a modern way to get help.

Published by: Nelly Chavez


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