Tl;dr: NeedHop, the 1:1 help platform that spun out of Chairman Mom, now lets you offer PAID phone calls to people who need your help.
Let me know if/when you create a profile so I can book your first call!
Ok, now some background…
Many of you know about NeedHop, a company that was spun out of Chairman Mom late last year/early this year.
In short, we kept noticing that there were a ton of women using Chairman Mom threads to arrange invaluable 1:1 conversations with other women who had gone through very specific things they were facing now.
But here’s the thing: While yes, many of these were “invaluable” and even life-altering, that doesn’t mean those conversations should not be valued at all. In fact, we believed that your life experience has tremendous value. It’s typically something you may have trained for, gone to school for, gone through hell and back for. It’s an asset that’s probably a lot more valuable than your car or your home or other things that we have ways to monetize in the sharing economy.
Why wasn’t there a platform that valued people’s life experience?
This ignited a whole bunch of other things that were frustrating for our team and our community. How, in particular, underrepresented people’s time is frequently undervalued. How often people ask to pick our brains over coffee, when really an hour or more of our time is worth way more than a cup of coffee. The social pressure to respond, the desire to respond even, but the exhaustion with the asks and the sense of unfairness in it.
Then there’s also the often-fraught topic of mentorship, particularly with women. The notion that you have one lifelong mentor isn’t really how my career was built, and that’s the same thing I was hearing from other women. Situational mentorship is often the most vital lifeline. If you have decided to report someone for sexual harassment, all the mentors in your rolodex may not be as useful as an hour on the phone with, say, Susan Fowler or Ellen Pao or Sarah Kunst.
I don’t know about you, but when someone has been that person for me or when I’m seeking that person, I am hesitant to make the ask, because I know how frustrating it is to have a lot of asks of my time. I would welcome the opportunity to compensate them for their time and their hard-fought expertise, whether they need the extra cash (because especially now, many of us do) or whether they’d like to donate it to charity. I want to change the social norms around this ask, the same way Airbnb changed the social norms about crashing in a friend’s house from an awkward and imposing ask to something that benefited everyone.
Your time and your brain have value.
The early versions of NeedHop were about figuring out how 1:1 connections could solve problems, but the version that launched this week in the app store and on Android do what NeedHop was founded and spun out of Chairman Mom and raised capital to do: Solve these myriad problems and compensate you fairly for your life experience.
NeedHop was built by a lot of the same team who built Chairman Mom, and while it’s for everyone, it’s especially built to be a place that is welcoming to underrepresented groups. No matter how thoughtful our code has been, a marketplace will live or die based on its users. The team that spun off to do this didn’t need to leave their comparatively comfortable jobs at Chairman Mom to launch this. They felt passionately that this was something that could help people. (My role is executive chairman and I’m a co-founder, but I spend 95% of my time on Chairman Mom, which is having a breakout year and needs even more hours than there are in the day.)
At the time, we thought if the world went into a recession, then it would really be helpful. We had no idea what 2020 had in store, but with record unemployment and millions of people sidelined with valuable life experience, we feel more passionately than ever about the importance of the mission and finding those people liquidity on the market.
Here are some things I would pay money to learn about, just off the top of my head:
- Advice from anyone who has bought a home or refinanced one in these times. (I’m trying to do the latter. I don’t want a mortgage broker, I have one. I want to talk to anyone who has been through it to compare notes. Remember this platform is built for LIFE EXPERIENCE, not professional lead generation!)
- EDUCATORS who can entertain my kids virtually for an hour during the summer without me doing anything. Language? Arts? Fun science projects? I am open to a lot of ideas here! I want to give them some fun structure and activities without going full virtual camp.
- Any SAHM moms or homeschool moms that have a treasure trove of tips for the same idea as above? Tips on finding me a few hours a day of concentration this summer are insanely, insanely valued, and I know there are women who have this in their head right now!
- Anyone who has in-depth experience with Airstream living. I have one and am terrified and overwhelmed and have never used it.
I’m sure there are more things I need. Please join our mission to help put a value on something that the world tries to convince us doesn’t have one.
Oh! And one other thing: NeedHop is phone calls only. Because we are all so drained from all the video chats aren’t we? (Yes!)
Today’s new questions on Chairman Mom:
- Which virtual summer camps have you enrolled your kids into?
- Tips for surviving relationships in quarantine?