Consultants: When in Trouble, Dial-An-analyst

When in Trouble, Dial-An-analyst

Jan Lewis, 35, is becoming the Dr. Ruth of Silicon Valley, dispensing insights over the phone to distressed inquirers in 15- and 30-minute doses. But Lewis' clients, mostly computerindustry executives and stockholders, are not seeking advice about their sex lives. For them, increasing compatibility means finding a better-suited computer hookup. Deciding if performance meets expectations is accomplished by analyzing stocks. In July, Lewis, a former employee of InfoCorp, a market-research company, decided that many computer firms needed counseling but could ill afford the big firms' high fees. Working out of her Sunnyvale, Calif., home, she formed a mini- consulting agency, now...

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