Petaluma Experts Incorporated started as an idea. As it’s founder, I, Bukka Levy, and host of the Petaluma Experts Incorporated Podcast, as a business owner myself had an interest in meeting other smart business owners and fascinating entrepreneurs. When I started to reach out to these people and started talking to them, I realized others needed to hear their stories too. These were experts in their respective fields, smart and intelligent, not to mention, many had discovered unique ways to impact the lives of their customers, clients and patients. So I asked, “Why not share these stories? Why not Interview these people? Create a Podcast? Why not create a site where they could be posted and listened to?” With that, the concept of Petaluma Experts Incorporated was born and a team put together to bring it to you.
Some of our Core Beliefs:
1 —We believe if you can’t trust the person, then you can’t trust his work.
Here is the truth. Trust is a function of “getting to know” someone. What is their story? Why did they choose the career path they chose? What drives them? What motivates them? What is their philosophical viewpoint? Does it align with yours? Do they have a family? Have they experienced tragedy? Adversity? Have they bounced back? When put into a difficult situation, how do they respond?… These are the kinds of question that can only be answered, by having a conversation with someone. This is why Petaluma Experts Inc, is a site dedicated to interviewing local experts. There are no reviews or ratings. Only stories. Only conversations. And you’re welcome to listen in, to find that next professional you may hire. The idea, frankly, of hiring someone, when you’re in need of critical advice, from an ad or marketing piece, is ludicrous. As the saying goes, “truth in advertising.” HA!… Truth lives in stories, real, authentic, stories… Only by hearing someone’s voice, and understanding their thought-process, can you come to trust them.
2 — We believe relationships – Actually getting to know someone – Is more powerful than a Google or Yelp review.
Let’s face it. Aren’t most review sites bombarded with fake and fraudulent reviews, or reviews, written by people who tend to over-exaggerate or under-exaggerate their true experience. How can the same establishment, for example, have so many 5-star reviews and 1-star reviews, at the same time? Time Magazine recently published an article titled, “9 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Trust Online Reviews.” But this just gets to the bigger point, accurately expressed by entrepreneur and angel investor, Peter Shankman, who wrote, “A business model [i.e. online review sites] that allow anyone to review, at any time, with no structure or background is a flawed model. There’s no reason for me to trust anyone I don’t know. It’s the INTERNET, for the love of God. Why should I?” He has a point doesn’t he? “Why do people allow themselves to be influenced by complete strangers?” I suppose when the decision is trivial, like which restaurant to eat it, then it’s no big deal. There is little at stake. But… when it comes to getting real advice, for an important decision… Really? You’re going to trust a stranger? We believe, bluntly, there is a better way. To first hear their story…
3—We believe the consumer is too smart to fool. And even though some aren’t, they shouldn’t be misled.
You don’t really think these review sites are “objective” do you? Of course not. You are too smart. The reality is, many of these sites allow businesses and service-providers to “pay for” top rankings. Take Angies’ List for example, according to Consumer Reports, “Angie’s List misleads consumers by prominently promising that “businesses don’t pay” and that it’s a consumer-driven service supported by membership fees. But almost 70 percent of the company’s revenues come from advertising purchased by the service providers being rated.” Huh? But the real kicker is that Angies’ List then charges consumers a “membership fee” for the privilege to view their skewed and misleading ratings. Or take Google + whose reviews have also been called into question… because businesses can reach out to customers who’ve posted bad reviews, and beg, bribe, make amends, or otherwise convince the aggrieved to change or delete their original opinion. “This can skew the ratings positively,” states Consumer Reports. That being said, we believe the public deserves better. The consumer is not stupid and he shouldn’t be treated as such. This kind of “false objectivity,” many online review sites are guilty of, speaks to the character of their site.
4—We believe trust can’t be bought. It must be earned.
Unlike other sites, I never sell out. If someone is on this site, interviewed, it is because he or she earned it. It is because they are smart. Intelligent. Have contrarian beliefs and views, and thus, something to offer—a different perspective. Or they have a long, celebrated track record of delivering their customers, clients or patients superior results. Unlike popular “review sites,” which are big Wall Street businesses disguised as consumer-sites, we are not. We have no shareholders to appease or keep happy. Our trust. Our integrity, cannot be bought. On Petaluma Experts Inc, those featured, are the experts that we believe will have the greatest impact. And be of the greatest service, to Petaluma residents. And, we are committed to helping these folks impact more lives, through spreading their stories…
The Petaluma Experts Inc Podcast, in a sense, works just like Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe, which aired on the Discovery Channel for many years. To book and schedule future guests, in addition to our own efforts to find the best minds, we depend on your recommendation of local experts, inspiring entrepreneurs, and thought-leaders in the community. In other words, who should we Interview? Have a recommendation? If you know of someone who has an important message or story to tell, please introduce us. My email is: Bukka@PetalumaExpertsInc.com. Thank you!