Leena notes that she wouldn’t trust all of her friends’ recommendations of their friends and would generally “email our mutual connection to see if the [professional] is legitimate” before starting a transaction. I agree, and indeed we’ve made it extremely easy to contact mutual friends via Facebook message directly from the Stik.com search results.
A couple of commenters also worry that business deals gone wrong could cause problems between friends. While there’s some risk here, most folks will happily accept a small amount of friendship risk in order to minimize the risk of a bad experience with an unknown mortgage broker or another high-stakes purchase. People ask friends for recommendations offline all the time, and increasingly I see it happening on Facebook. For examples, just search the public stream for posts from people who need insurance agents and mortgage brokers. (Note: you’ll need to be logged in to Facebook to visit these pages.)
Overall, both Leena and the commenters point to the next step for Stik: a rich layer of recommendations and written reviews. We are already building this content, but currently it’s spread relatively thin over a large number of professionals. We’ve got some important new features coming to address this issue and we’ll write more about them soon.