Quora is a question & answer website with the goal of being the "easiest place to write new content and share content from the web." Quora questions are usually called "threads".
Just like Quora questions are put in different categories, Quora users are categorized by their interests and expertise. Popular startup-related categories include:
- Statup Advice & Strategy
- Startup Founders & Entrepreneurs
- Lean Startups
- Startup Weekend
- Startup Acquisitions
- Startup Compensation
To get started using Quora, check out the How do I get started using Quora? thread. It's a good idea to find some friends to follow (which is easy to do if you connect your Quora account to Facebook), and begin following some of the startup related topics above, along with some specific questions. Once you follow some topics and questions, they will show up in your news feed when visit Quora (see picture below).
In addition to startup related categories, it is a good idea to follow other categories you are familiar with so you can answer questions and develop a good reputation on Quora. To answer a question, all you need to do is type your answer into the "Add Answer" box (see picture below).
Have a startup-related question you need answered? Quora has experts with experience working at startups like Facebook, and PayPal who have answered several startup related questions. Since Quora has a comprehensive list of startup questions that have been answered already, make sure you do a search to see if your question has already been answered. To give you an idea, here are some of the most popular startup questions asked on Quora:
- I want to start a tech startup. No experience with coding, what are my options other than finding a technical co-founder?
- What are the best practices for converting blog traffic?
- How do I become a Hustler?
- What is the best way to learn more about startup fundraising?
- What are some techniques startups use to initially draw attention to their product?
If your question isn't already on Quora, you can ask a question by typing it in the search box and clicking on "Add Question" (see picture below). Your question may be re-categorized or redirected by a volunteer moderator. You can also ask questions via email or text.
Unlike Quora which allows people to ask questions about anything, Sprouter is a question & answer site that's specifically designed to give founders help with launching their startups. Like Quora, Sprouter's interface allows you to ask questions, comment on answers, and share advice with your social social networks. What makes Sprouter unique is that they have a curated set of experts including Eric Ries (creator of Lean Startup methodology), Aaron Patzer (Founder, Mint.com), and Robert Scoble (well-known Techology Evangelist and Blogger). The answers aren't crowdsourced, like on Quora, and the founders of Sprouter say that this ensures that the answers come from people who know what they're talking about.
You can easily ask questions from a box on the front page (see picture below). All questions asked on Sprouter are kept anonymous, as opposed to Quora where users have to opt-out of having their name associated with a question.
You can also post questions to specific experts. If you had a lean startup question, for example, you could ask lean startup expert Eric Ries directly instead of going into a general lean startup category like you would on Quora.
Topics covered on Sprouter include law, marketing, and funding. In addition to questions and answers, Sprouter offers a weekly entrepreneurship magazine as well as events designed to bring together local entrepreneurship communities.
Since Quora and Sprouter are free, you can try both sites to see which one works best for you. You may also benefit from using both sites, since using both will give access to a greater variety of perspectives.