Overgear Talks: Everything You Need to Know About Finding Your External Expert

Being CTO of Overgear, an IT company, Alex Kozhevnikov is involved in the growth of the development department. In plans, there is an expansion of services and even creating a group of companies. The aim is to cover all key needs of gamers supplementing publishers and developers in creating services that they cannot or do not want to add on their own, but that are necessary for the economic and general infrastructure of the gaming market.
He implements new technologies and shares his expertise in the development of gaming, e-commerce, and fintech projects.

I came up with the idea for this article through my new experience of being a mentor in the startup accelerator. There one more time I understood the importance of external experts in the process of company development.

External expert

The goal of the accelerator is to attract people with completely different experiences in order to startuppers have the opportunity to get answers to their questions in a short time and boost their projects.

I think the best format to fill the gap in your expertise is expert sessions.

There are always gaps in knowledge, it’s ok. Even the greatest man on Earth still has growth points. To fill these gaps in the company, I prefer to invite external experts. It saves me time, and money for the company, as it minimizes the wrong decisions.

How to find your external expert

You need to understand what question you want to ask and for what purpose. Next, you need to identify top experts with consulting experience.

Don’t forget about the recommendations. They are very important, as you should be confident in the person whose expertise no one else can check.

Moreover, it’s necessary for you to understand that the person solved the same specific problem. In this case, it will be interesting to listen to him/her as they will be able to tell about some pains, and what is the best solutions for them.

What to pay attention

The best way to find an expert is to attend specialist conferences.

There, firstly, look at what kind of experience experts have. For better analysis collect all your notes into a spreadsheet. Pay attention to the specialists who work in top companies. Find out more information about them in mass media, read their posts, blogs, articles, whatever.

Having found specialists with the necessary expertise, you need to check whether they consult companies/ startups. Because if a person doesn’t have experience in consulting, you can face lots of obstacles. The key point that he won’t know what to tell you. He will not be able to point out problems that you do not know about. So, it is important to check the experts’ experience. That’s why you need to collect feedback about them and to check whether the feedback is matched with your request. The person may be cool, but won’t be able to help you.

If a person already had experience as an external expert, then it is likely to mean more productive work for you.
Networking and the theory of six degrees of separations work as well.

Pay attention to whether you have a common ground or not, whether the person understands what your product is about, whether he is interested to deal with you or not. Sometimes you talk to an expert and you see that he doesn’t care, which means that you need to look for another expert. The best option for you is an expert who also believes in your idea and understands your product.

Overgear’s story about finding a QA specialist

First of all, an overview of Overgear’s story:

Overgear.com has been actively developed since 2018, initially as MVPIn the middle of 2019, it became clear that the idea was working, major partners were found. At the end of 2019, strong growth in terms of clients began and it became necessary to grow from MVP into a full-fledged solution that could be further developed and scaled. Just from the end of 2019, a new team began to work and we face some challenges.

This story started with the realization that we got tired of the fact that our authorization often falls off and regression bugs constantly happen. It’s awful. So, after some period of torment, we came up with the understanding that QA is needed. It is cut and dry but we just wanted to sleep well and release new updates without any fear.

Our client base is growing, each error becomes more expensive, it is much cheaper for us to have a QA team than to face these errors constantly. So, everyone got the understanding that we need QA.

After we identified our problems and formed questions, the search began.

I started researching this question. I have never interviewed QA specialists, so I began to attend conferences, talk to familiar QAs, to acquaintances’ familiar QAs. Communication with QA specialists and conferences helped me to form some kind of understanding of the QA process, an understanding of how to talk with experts.

We found an external QA expert thanks to the recommendations of friends, in his turn, he guided us on the further process of creating a QA workflow, helped to formulate tasks and goals. I found several specialists on the market, we collected recommendations about them, understood who suits us in terms of our specifics, experience and tasks, and invited this lucky person to our team. Happy end!

Don’t mistake external experts to mentors

A mentor develops you, and an expert shares his/her expertise to solve a specific problem. A mentor can help when there is expertise, but you need to be guided or directed in some way while an external expert helps when there is no expertise, but it is needed.

At some moment an external expert can play the role of a mentor. All in all, an expert is a specialist who can help you when you’re lack of expertise but need to fill the gap.

No conclusion. Only a guide to action

The first steps:

Formulate the problem. You need to understand what questions you want to ask and for what purpose.
Next, you need to identify the top experts who can help you. Conferences, professional environment, acquaintances, recommendations are your tools for the search.
When a list of candidates is formed up, you need to select specialists
who have experience of being an external expert;
who have already solved the same problems.

Talking to selected experts pay attention to:
relevant experience;
common ground, whether they understand your product and share your values;
whether they’re interested in you, your startup.
Remember that an expert can save your money, time, and, for sure, your nerves.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.