How Mint’s founder is taking on a problem Google couldn’t solve

How Mint’s founder is taking on a problem Google couldn’t solve

At SXSW last week I met up with Aaron Patzer, a man best known as co-founder of financial management service Mint. Now he’s back with Fountain, a marketplace for advice, that officially launched earlier this month.

Focused initially on the home and garden, Fountain connects US-based iOS users with an expert over live mobile video chat. That sounds to us a lot like Google Helpouts, the platform that was recently slated for closure. However, Patzer believes he has the edge as there’s no need to seek out the right expert for your problem via a directory. Instead, Fountain asks you to type in the problem you have and then uses natural language analysis to connect you with a suitable person to solve it.

Fountain app

Experts are sourced from directories like Angie’s List, as well as popular YouTube channels. Fountian splits revenues with the experts, keeping 30 percent for itself. As you might expect, the goal is expand into other fields such as technical support in the future.

You can listen to our full chat below, including how Patzer plans to tackle imbalances in supply and demand.



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