Watch Fountain launch on stage here.
This interview with Fountain founders Aaron Patzer and Jean Sini, was conducted by the team at Job Portraits during preparations for the LAUNCH Festival.
Let’s start with your elevator pitch.
Aaron: Fountain helps you solve any problem in and around your home by connecting you to an expert over video chat in about 90 seconds.
It's $7 per 15 minutes to be put in touch with an expert, like an architect, general contractor, plumber, electrician, master gardener, pool specialist, or appliance repair person. Right now in Fountain you can communicate through video chat, photos, and texting; soon we will have screen sharing and white boarding as well.
Why this problem, and why are you the right team to solve it?
Jean: We met, wow, six years ago, and we always worked well together. We were eager to do a kind of rematch as cofounders. Why Fountain versus something else? You looked at a few ideas, right Aaron?
Aaron: Yeah. Fountain was the one that resonated personally with me. I bought my first house, which doesn’t come with an owner's manual, and there were plenty of things I didn’t know how to do. The hot water heater wasn’t working, and I had an olive grove that hadn't been trimmed in 20 years. I kept getting bad advice from people who were trying to rip me off and I just wanted something where I could ask plain-English questions and get somebody to walk me through it.
You can research a lot of this stuff on Google, but if you want to figure out how to stain your deck, it depends on if it’s in Phoenix or Maine, right? There are a lot of times where you need video or pictures and you need a back-and-forth conversation to really hone in on the right answer. That’s where Fountain is tremendously powerful.
And why the focus on home improvement?
Aaron: This is an area that reaches across the country, where pictures and video matter, and where you can save yourself real money. If you have somebody come in to do work for you, it’s going to cost you $100 to $200 just to get them to look at the problem, let alone the cost to actually fix it. Whether you believe it or not, you can probably fix most of the problems around your house, from a leaking toilet to patching drywall, if somebody walks you through how to do it.
In an ideal world, what happens the month after you launch onstage?
Jean: A huge amount of press and thousands of questions. We have a private beta now and we’ll be available in the app store when we launch, so we’re hoping for a lot of downloads.
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