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We’ve been working on this for the past few months. We soft-launched a couple of months ago, identified the biggest problems users experienced, and then fixed them. We still have lots (and lots and lots) of work to do, but I think we’re ready to start showing it to more people.

Our hunch is that a lot of folks are happy to help others—but, few have all that much time. So, Officehours lets folks set times when they’re available to help. Others then request these sessions. If approved, we connect them for a 10 minute call that runs through our system. (We take care of time zones, notifications, and all the other scheduling stuff.)

I hope you’ll check it out—and ask questions if you have any. :-)


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    Out of curiosity, is there a plan for what the business model will be? So far it seems everything is free on both sides, if I’m not missing something.

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      We’ll start with job postings as we think this is a good environment for them. Once we have categories in place, recruiters will be able to tailor ads to appropriate audiences, which I think they’ll like. Additionally, they’ll be able to link their Officehours profiles to the posts. So, if someone wants to learn more about the position, or the recruiter wants to have a brief informational interview, they can use Officehours to do so.

      Job posts don’t sound particularly exciting, but at ~@$200/each (which seems like a pretty common rate), we don’t need to sell many to stay afloat.

      After that, we’ll start to offer value added services for those who want them. We see these as most useful to institutions (e.g. colleges and universities) that would like to group all of their people together, and offer prospective/current students support online. We haven’t worked everything out with this, but the folks I’ve spoken with in these places seem to think such features could be helpful.

      Honestly, though, we’re not too concerned about revenue, yet. We’re just two guys, so our costs are pretty low. Plus, we did a bunch of things over the past year to buy some time (i.e. got rid of our office, started working from our homes, did a lot of client work, and saved money). So, we can run for a stretch before cash becomes a problem.

      This is important to us, because something like Officehours isn’t that viable as a business until we can achieve a certain volume of traffic/activity. And that can’t happen until the experience is very good for all users. So, for the next while we’re just going to work on fixing bugs, improving the user experience, and adding new features—with hopes that we get the mix right.

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      The snap-scroll feels very strange. Maybe only snap if one of the bottom buttons is clicked?

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        Yeah—that’s a finicky thing to get just right. We’ll play with this more. The button-only approach you suggest would probably make the most sense.

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          Couple other notes:

          1. Clicking “Profile” while logged in gives an error “User does not exist”. While true, mildly nonsensical.
          2. Of the twelve links in the bottom left corner, an appreciable amount don’t do anything unless you’re logged in, and are a little hostile to just clicking about. Especially since that nav bar disappears on login and error screens, breaking the flow of clicking around.
          3. Advisor list seems pretty homogeneous; focus is only an startup support? Seems like the service is reasonably generic, but it doesn’t come off in your current advisor list. I can imagine this as useful for bakers, makeup artists, writers and more.
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            Thanks for the notes. A few responses:

            The “User does not exist” message is a bug. Not sure why that’s happening, but we’ll fix it.

            The links in the footer are tricky. Certain areas just aren’t relevant until you’re signed-in. We could probably replace certain pages with temporary pages. E.g. the Calendar page could show an example of a calendar and say, “this will have your events in it, once you start offering/booking sessions.” or something of the sort.

            The advisor list is still in its MVP state. (There was little need to make this more fully-featured until we had a few users.) Now that we do, we’re in the process of adding categories. These will help visitors sort through advisors more easily. They’ll also be able to filter by time, karma, et cetera.

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        BTW: A little video we created to help explain how it works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kfbav261Lqg

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          Did you create the video in-house? What process/tools did you use for this? It’s nice.

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            Thanks—it’s nice to hear that!

            I storyboarded it, and then built the assets in Illustrator. (I tried to keep transitions really simple, as I don’t have any direct experience with animation.)

            Once those were ready, I animated them in Flash, which seemed like the best tool for the job. I hadn’t used it in ~15 years, so it took a little while to get used to. That said, it was easier than I remember it being.

            I then used a decent microphone to do the voice over and Audition to boost it a bit. (I think the audio could be better.)

            The sound effects all came from iStock, which saved some time.

            All in all, I’m happy it turned out OK. That said, I’m sure it could be a lot better if a pro would have put it together.

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          It would be nice to have a filter on this page: https://officehours.io/advisors

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            We didn’t rush on this feature, because we wanted to get user feedback quickly. (Plus, there was little need for it, when we only had a dozen advisors.) Now that we have a few more people using the service, the need for categories is much more pressing.

            So, it’s in the works—and should be complete within the next 2 – 3 weeks.

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            The “Play Video” button seems to be broken in Firefox 42.0 on Linux Mint 17.1. I am seeing the error message “TypeError: player.seekTo is not a function” when I click it.

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              Weird—we’ll look into this.

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              there is a ‘profile’ button at the bottom, when not logged in, that then when clicked results in an error.

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                Oops—we’ll fix this.

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                Iceweasel 38.2 on Debian - Main page UI - continuously scrolls & jumps around the page ever second so I can’t read the text.

                The text I did read convinced me to have a look & give it a go though :) (If I can get the browser to behave… :)

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                  This is the first time I’ve heard of this specific issue—but we do find new ones every day. ;-)

                  We’ll look into this and see what’s going on. Sorry for the inconvenience!