Would you leave Quora for a dollar

US digital company : Quora wants to spread knowledge worldwide

Barack Obama explains whether he trusts the Iranian government, inmates talk about their lives in prison and scientists write about human DNA or climate change. At Quora, a US Internet platform, people receive a wide variety of answers to their questions. Even from experts with whom they would not ordinarily come into contact.

Exchanging and disseminating knowledge worldwide, that was the goal of Adam D'Angelo when he founded Quora in 2009. Its question-and-answer platform is now available in five languages, has successfully completed the fourth round of financing of 85 million US dollars and has around 200 million users per month. More than half of them live outside of the United States. After a test phase lasting several months, the platform was launched in Germany this week.

Germany as a land of poets and thinkers

D'Angelo is convinced that his company will be successful in the “land of poets and thinkers”. "I'm not an expert on German culture, but I believe that knowledge is valued here and that our product therefore fits very well into the country," he says. He is not very impressed that there are already numerous other platforms for the exchange of knowledge, that Wikipedia explains the world with facts and that people use portals like gutefrage.de for advice. "None of it convinces me one hundred percent," says D'Angelo and instead promotes his company. Quora, he is convinced, is different.

Basically anyone can ask, search for and answer questions on Quora. In contrast to competing portals, the platform distributes the questions specifically to those people who can provide high-quality and useful answers based on their specialist knowledge and professional experience.

Content is personalized

The more information a user reveals about himself and the more active he becomes by answering questions or following other users, the better Quora can personalize the content. The policy of using one's real name is to instill integrity and trust within the community. The company measures the quality of the authors through user feedback, among other things.

Their questions range from the search for a relationship counselor à la Doktor Sommer to the desire to better understand world politics. How do you know if your partner really loves you? Would India be economically superior to China if all Indians paid their taxes? Quora has an answer to almost everything. Sometimes the personal assessments of the experts are asked, sometimes pure facts. An interesting mix with added value, thinks D’Angelo.

Quora is free for users. The company is financed solely through advertising and investors. According to D’Angelo, there are many reasons for the authors to write answers free of charge. “Some are altruistic, others have a passion for a particular topic and therefore want to share their knowledge,” he says. Many also use the portal because passing on their expertise gives them a certain reputation. It has already happened more often that employers or investors recruited authors based on their contributions.

D'Angelo himself has given up his job as technical director at Facebook for Quora. Because he wanted something of his own, he put everything on one card at the time. “Facebook also worked without me. Quora only exists because I started it. That was motivation enough for me, ”he says. The experience he was able to gain in Mark Zuckerberg's company helped him found and run his company.

Win Angela Merkel for Quora

"From my work at Facebook, for example, I learned that it is important to focus on the long term," says D’Angelo. It's not about making as much profit as possible as quickly as possible. "It is much more important to keep the quality of a project high." This line has helped Facebook to assert itself against the competition and he is now proceeding in a similar way in his company.
Numbers and time pressure do not seem to be the most important things for the young founder.

Nevertheless, he has big goals with his start-up. "At some point, Quora should be available in all languages ​​and countries," says D’Angelo. Experts from all over the world could then pass on their answers and thus make knowledge globally accessible. “Providing knowledge can have a huge impact,” he says. The potential is infinite, but everything takes time. In Germany, the first thing to do now is to win over experts for the platform. Angela Merkel, for example.

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