Course Correction: Dropping the Paywall

This year marks the 20th anniversary for Experts Exchange, the original question and answer community for technologists, developers and programmers. During our two decades of business, we’ve seen our members asking and solving over 35,000 questions per month. With this success we also saw a rise in outside competitors to our business. This led to us making hard business decisions like adding a paywall to stay profitable and as a result, ended up holding hostage the solutions to technology problems that people relied on us for. As the internet continued to grow and information became more readily available, this decision did not hold pace.

We realized that we needed to change course in order to remain a relevant and growing company once again. With this in mind, we started by updating our mission statement:

“We connect you with people and information to solve problems, inspire learning and influence the future of technology”

The core of our business has always been helping people solve their problems and facilitate learning. We want to continue to build Experts Exchange into a place where people can learn and better influence the future of technology. We have the power to impact people’s lives and the world around us simply by providing them the knowledge to solve their most pressing technological problems. It’s time for us to make that power accessible to everyone.

Over the last twelve months, we have been working with a large goal in mind: make questions and answers free and drop the paywall. We want to help people solve problems, learn, and make an impact in their industry. We acknowledge in order to do this and uphold our mission, that Q&A, the core of our community, is not something we want to continue to charge for. Anyone can now ask their questions and obtain answers from industry recognized experts free of charge.

Additionally we’ve developed new products such as Live, Gigs, and Courses, which are designed to foster learning and enable users to solve bigger problems, faster. With the Live product, members help one another in real-time and make some money doing so. With the Gigs product, members can post larger projects to be bid on and completed by freelancers. We also have introduced Courses, where anyone can take industry training to advance their knowledge in specific topic areas of choice.

We are dedicated to making this community successful for another 20+ years and making a difference in people’s lives. We know that with each question our community helps a fellow member solve, it is making an impact on something bigger than all of us. Whether it’s solving a coding problem that is helping the next space exploration or an Excel pivot table assisting a cancer research project, Experts Exchange is going to be there helping along the way.

About Gene Richardson

Gene Richardson is the COO of Experts Exchange, the leading network of technology professionals. An accomplished technology and business visionary, he has 20 years of executive, hands-on experience in large enterprises. Gene was a former Technical Business Development Executive at IBM and Vice President at Charles Schwab. He’s led globally-dispersed teams, strategic planning, cost-effective technology solutions and rigorous security, operational and quality controls for over 300 organizations. He received a bachelor’s in Computer Science and master’s in Business Administration from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.