Multiple jobs are the new norm as the gig economy takes off and those with traditional 9-to-5 careers look for additional streams of income to bolster their finances. Yet it’s not always easy for people to monetize the specific skills and knowledge they possess. Now Konversai, the world’s first personal knowledge marketplace, is introducing a way for people to easily share and monetize their knowledge from anywhere.
We spoke with Konversai founder Sushma Sharma about the gig economy, knowledge sharing, and her belief that everyone has something they can teach others.
Ivan Widjaya (Q): How did you get the idea for Konversai?
Sushma Sharma (A): I worked for many years as a corporate attorney as well as the head of the practical law department at City University of Hong Kong (note: Sharma holds law degree from both Oxford and Columbia University.) During that time, I had the privilege of traveling all over the world, and I saw the devastating consequences that lack of communication, opportunity, and knowledge has in many parts of the world. But I also learned a great deal wherever I went on my travels. It really fostered this enduring belief that people teaching, communicating, and sharing with each other what they know can have a profound effect on humanity.
Everybody, no matter where they are in the world or what their life circumstances are, has valuable knowledge to share that can benefit someone somewhere else in the world. The likelihood of these two people connecting might have been very small if it weren’t for a platform like Konversai, which makes it easier than ever to connect with anyone anywhere.
Q: What is Konversai exactly?
A: The best way we’ve found to explain it is as a true knowledge-sharing platform. It can be used by anyone with an internet connection anywhere in the world.
Users who want to be knowledge providers sign up and create a profile where they can detail what they offer – from travel guidance to homework help to menu planning for a dinner party and everything in between. They set their own rates and times, and connect to knowledge seekers on our platform through live video. Payments and scheduling are all done on our platform. We have guides for how knowledge providers can promote themselves and maximize their earning potential.
Q: Do these knowledge providers need formal training or degrees?
A: No. Some of our knowledge providers have formal training in their knowledge space, and others don’t.
The idea behind Konversai is that anyone can earn money from the knowledge they have. Providers simply adjust their rates based on their experience and degree of service. The community can also rate knowledge providers, so the better the session they provide, the more knowledge seekers they can draw. Plus, Konversai providers offer sessions on a variety of topics, from academic subjects to beauty and style, health, motivation, and technology.
Anything that anyone might want to learn – how to cook a chicken casserole, how to do the perfect push-up, how to sew your own clothes – can be offered as a lesson on Konversai.
Q: What makes Konversai different from browsing a YouTube tutorial or reading an online guide?
A: Konversai offers a personalized, individual experience with an actual person as opposed to watching a video that cannot respond to your questions or give you more guidance on specific areas if you run into trouble. Knowledge seekers can work with our knowledge providers on a topic as general or specific as they want.
You could find a knowledge provider to give you ongoing guitar lessons, or you can find a provider to teach you to play one specific song for your anniversary or event. And you’ll actually have a person there to guide you in your knowledge-seeking journey, not just a general video designed to maximize clicks and views.
Q: How do people become knowledge providers?
A: As long as they have an internet connection and a Skype or FaceTime ID, anyone can join by signing up at https://www.konversai.com/.