Every week, I get about 3-4 emails from young people interested in becoming a Venture Capitalist. They want to understand how they can get a job at a good VC firm and would like my advice or connections. Even though I wrote a post about this – How to get a job as a venture capitalist, they are looking for personalized advice.
Which is nearly impossible to give without listening, learning and then processing their background. That takes time, typically 30-45 minutes, which I dont have at all.
This is a real problem not just for Venture Capital job seekers, but also for the millions of people who want help with their career path. They know where they are – their current role, where they want to get to – a specific role (in some cases) or want to understand options (in other cases(, but dont know how to get there or what do to to get there.
For example, an engineer who does not like coding sees a profile of a Group Product Manager and wants to understand how to get there – what opportunities should she be looking for, what courses should she take, what educational background does she still need to fulfill, who should she take on as a mentor, etc.
Most employees at any mid-sized to large company have been told – you have to be in charge of your career, and not expect your manager or the HR team to do that. The problem is most of employees can only do it in hindsight, after 15 years, looking back.
To solve this problem, I think we can borrow a leaf from the “Roboinvesting” startups like Wealth Front or Motif and look at creating Robo Career Counselor service.
This will be a web service, which a potential user will log into using LinkedIn. Given their background, education and title, etc, it has relevant background about their past and present.
It will then ask a series of questions such as likes and dislikes (professional job specific ones, not the ones that Facebook has) and suggest 10 profiles of other successful role models or people who currently have that role / title. It has to also ask more questions about achievements and metrics which the individual currently has at their job.
Then it can help you connect with those people for a fee. Obviously those people, the mentors or coaches, have opted in, so they can be contacted and are willing to spend the time and energy for a fee.
In some ways this becomes a marketplace for career counseling or “democratizing personalized career advice” if you will.
The service can provide many ancillary services to the mentors or coaches themselves on how to ask questions, train them on available resources and help build frameworks for the user to leverage.
This service I think will be immensely popular and solves a key pain point that many folks (not all, but a large enough market) have.
To be clear, LinkedIn could do this themselves, but I have such a poor and low opinion of the company, that I think even if they wanted to they’d mess it up.They also have the inherent advantage of having a lot of data, so they should be treated as the biggest competition for this service.
On the other hand, I suspect if you do a great job, they’d acquire this service, if they were smart. I believe they are, very smart, so I am willing to fund a company in this space.
What you need to have is 2 full stack developers, with a great background in shipping products at scale, some data related background is ideal, and a person in your startup who has been selling to or understands the career counseling space.
Best way to pitch me is not email, or Facebook or LinkedIn or a Direct Message, but on twitter @mukund.