Have you ever noticed how “everybody wants to be a consultant these days…“? While this is often uttered pejoratively, at Maven we believe that the growing ranks of professional consultants points to an important characteristic of the modern Knowledge Economy- that the speed and ubiquity of communications and transportation make it easier every day for individuals to find innovative ways to share and profit from their knowledge and professional skills.
And yet, clearly not everyone CAN be a consultant, right? We all need to put food on the table, and the overwhelming majority of professionals focus in areas that don’t contain enough “buyers” to allow them to market their skills on a full-time, freelance basis. For every independent graphic designer, freelance publicist, private practice attorney, and self-publishing industry analyst there are thousands more who work through an agency, firm, company, or other larger entity. Simply put, full-time consulting is either inaccessible or undesirable to most people.
Maven originally grew out of the question “Why not?”:
- “Not everyone can be a consultant.” WHY NOT?
- “You can’t find certain types of people and get them to help you answer your professional questions (so you just have to make decisions in a vacuum…).” WHY NOT?
- “I can’t afford to hire a consultant, especially for such a short term.” WHY NOT?
- “I can’t share my knowledge with others because my time is valuable there is no way for me to profit from a short conversation.” WHY NOT?
- “Nobody would ever want to talk to me.” WHY NOT? (And oh, by the way, YES THEY WOULD!)
We realized that if we could break consulting down to its smallest possible component- essentially a short conversation during which knowledge is exchanged- and provide a way for people to monetize just that, then we truly could change “NOT everyone can be a consultant” to “EVERYONE can be a consultant.” Conversely, we could also change “NOT everyone can afford a consultant” to “EVERYONE can afford a consultant.” The result is Maven’s unique micro-consulting platform.
Think about it… A Knowledge Marketplace where professionals can occasionally participate in short micro-consulting engagements for profit and tap into the knowledge of other professionals in a secure, controlled environment that provides the right content and incentive structure on a technology-enabled platform. That’s micro-consulting; and that’s Maven.