Sneha Saigal

Co-Founder of Geeks and Experts

Born and raised in Mumbai, Sneha earned her MBA at IESE Business School in Barcelona where she also became a WSET Level 2 wine sommelier. Sneha is the co-founder & CEO of Geeks and Experts, a micro-consulting platform to connect with domain experts via 1:1 audio/video calls, which she started with her husband VB, who is the co-founder & CTO.

A management professional, Sneha’s non-linear career path spans social impact consulting to tech growth marketing. Sneha strongly believes in positively impacting communities; right from her college days of piloting prison programs in Grinnell, Iowa to her fundraising efforts at non-profits in Mumbai, India.

Where did the idea for Geeks and Experts come from?

Geeks and Experts was born out of the need to make social capital available to everyone no matter where they’re from or whom they know. Independent professionals and small business owners, especially, first-generation, immigrants or underrepresented groups spend too much time looking for or don’t have direct access to expertise. At G&E they can search for verified experts, find one that suits their budget, and get 1:1 advice from them.

During our problem-finding research, we found that 89% of users don’t get advice due to access or availability constraints. We’re changing that. We want to make these conversations contextual and easy so that you’re not relying on warm intros or cold DMs.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

On a higher level, I focus on marketing, business development, and outreach for G&E for which I dive into customer discovery interviews to understand the specific needs and requirements of the users while trying to help them find solutions. It helps me to keep a pulse on what they want while also focusing on the overall vision, strategy, and business model of the product.

Often the shiny object syndrome really distracts you from focusing on one task at hand. In such times, I have found that the “Make Time” method by Jake and JZ of finding one key highlight for the day to focus on has helped me make my overall day feel more productive. Showing up every day also looks different for everybody and changes on a daily basis. But, the sooner the ability to do 1% better each day sets in the more productive you can feel.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I am big on writing everything down right from a blog idea to a customer acquisition strategy. It helps to make a running list of items on a notion list. What works best for me to make these ideas turn into a reality is to allocate time on my calendar to “make it happen”.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I am very excited and bullish on the micro-consulting trend that is emerging in the knowledge-sharing economy. You no longer need to have a following of several thousand to become a domain expert. You can niche down on your audience, become a thought leader and create multiple avenues to impart your lived experiences and expertise.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I’ve recently started to unlearn things that might have caused blind spots in the past and this has helped me to pick up new tools from scratch. It’s always a work in progress but meeting new people, connecting people to one another in a selfless manner, and learning from those around you is a habit I have developed and continue to nurture each day.

What advice would you give your younger self?

It’s never too late to make a change so don’t let your past self hold onto what your future self is capable of. I realized that writing is something that makes me tick and so now I welcome every opportunity I get to write and share my experiences, thoughts, and learnings. Of course, you’ll make mistakes and you’ll do the wrong things but you’ll learn as you grow once you are familiar with the discomfort and learn to embrace the unknown.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

The Office is a better series than Friends.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Read, read and read! I have read more books and blogs this year than I have ever. And, it doesn’t have to just be business and self-help books. Reading opens up your window to the way people live their lives, the challenges they face, or the wins they celebrate. A new practice I am trying to implement is to read about a place before you travel there whether you’re going for a short business trip or a family holiday!

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

I approach every new connection I make via social networks or in-person events with an attitude of building a long-term relationship with that person. I try to be the connector and introduce people if I believe that they would have a meaningful exchange and I try to offer any support I can by doing the small things – give a shoutout for their new blog, tell them you read a book they recommended, or give feedback for an event they hosted! Do all this without having any expectation of getting something in return. This approach increased my luck surface area and connected me to people who are my mentors/supporters today.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

There are quite a few but the biggest one would be waiting too long to ship the first version of my product. The sooner you get it out there, the sooner you can get feedback from potential customers. The best way to overcome this mistake was to go back to the drawing board and start talking to every user persona and rebuild a more agile version of the product.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Make people less miserable with “Readable”. We all know people who want to become readers, but don’t habituate (are lazy). If I build an app that sent them a paragraph a day (or a few lines if they’re really just starting), I might slowly entice them to read a page, and so on and so forth. This can apply to all age groups of (non)readers.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I’d include workout gear and a meditation app subscription in the $100. I strongly believe that you can’t pour from an empty cup and we know from the pandemic that nothing is more important than wellness. So, I try not to neglect things that can’t bounce back easily!

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

I love Grammarly because of the correction suggestions it throws back to improve my writing. I have the Chrome plug-in so anytime I write an email, tweet, or google doc, it gives me a great idea of my tone and so on. It’s super handy for any kind of content writing!

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky has got to be a book for the modern age professionals who get all too caught up in the “Busy Bandwagons” or “Infinity Pools” and are unable to make time for what matters the most.

The inventing deadlines method from Make Time is what helped me accomplish my milestone of running a half-marathon – a goal I had been putting off for many years. Especially, when some goals and ideas don’t have a pressing timeline, I have found that inventing a fake deadline builds much-needed momentum.

What is your favorite quote?

“Don’t make permanent decisions on temporary emotions.”

Key Learnings:

  • It’s never too late to make a change so don’t let your past self hold onto what your future self is capable of.
  • Doing the “safe” thing is not always the safest option.
  • Don’t make permanent decisions on temporary emotions.