Two more rules–
Don’t be evil (with your results) stick with organic results and don’t mess with the paid/pure results.
Rule # buy low, sell high
Combine search with verticals.
All rules on simply hired website
John zappe moderates, from the classified Intelligence Report
The next killer ap is a cell phone knows when it’s appropriate to turn it off.
gautam godhwani, Simply Hired
Craig Donato, Oodle.com
Konstantin Guericke, Linked in
Garrett Price, Kijiji
Q: why are classified suddenly hot?
gautam– classified have gotten hot, and what’s going on is we are experiencing a paradigm shift.
Craig: two things have happened that have made the time right– first is that there is just good solid local adoption. job hunting is local. Plus we see broadband adoption as well more people are getting online. plus classifieds are free, reinvigorated the category
garrett (is he ebay? did I miss an announce?) they have gotten big enough to be interesting to vc
Q: all the sites are free. only Craigâ€™s list changes for jobs. How is free a business model?
gautum: it’s tempting to lump us in with other startups with no business models. We are in a space where we recognize that the power is in being free. we want to monetize further down the job cycle, the qualified lead, the hire. that’s where the value is. real bmodels in the back of this.
Craig: free is not just startups– knight ridder is, yahoo is. etc. a lot of people agree that basic listing is free. but it’s all about upgrades. print becomes upgrade, virtual tour is an upgrade, etc. upgrades are based on performance. in the past, you give me 40 bucks; I slap you on the back, best of luck. but online we see a performance based model. As a result, we’re going to see something down the middle; you make ads that perform better and you charge for them.
garrett: we have a different view on that; we let the community lead us. with gumtree, Craig’s list the community asked to charge to create a better experience (no charge=crap?)
oh, kijiji is an ebay company, I get it
Q: how dependent are you on the willingness of you partners to provide you free content.
Gautam: I knew this was going to come up. offerings like ours is because offerings are going up, it’s so hard to get comprehensive information. People think an engine like ours will disinterminate them, but in reality we send them more traffic. we are considered a distribution channel. Users will always go to different destination for different reasons, brand, features, etc. but engines help them get there.
Craig: everyone embraces search, search is good. Most people now want the traffic from search; it’s a big shift in the last few months. secondly, you have to take care of your partners, provide information on who the lister is, send people to them.
Q; talk about social networking. simplyhired and linkedin just hooked up.
konstantin: you have to look at where social network apply and where it doesnâ€™t. social networks they say are good for cars, palm pilots, etc… but it’s a stretch, you don’t care that much. with real estate, you want a recommendation of a trusted agent. the third is high value transactions, like hiring a lawyer, accounting firm or hiring someone for your team. this is expensive to mess up. everyone has gotten a job form someone they know– the fit is 100%.
My bet is SN doesnâ€™t work across all categories. you also have to look at the play– some SN’s are advertising models, and that works, but it’s different. Linked in has good audience for job hunting, which is different from myspace. When you testimonials say “this guy runs the lower Manhattan bar scene” you know where what profile goes. when you are in your 20’s you want friends, when you are in your thirties you want to keep up with the ones you have, but jobs goes to 65.
Q: are jobs sites ripe for consolidation
Craig: two treads will push it the other way… people can publish their own on their own sites. Plus you want community and small sites are better at that.
gautam: I agree in the short term, but consolidation always happens. one trend you see is the user is continually more empowered.
garrett: there re two axis, one is search axis one is community. weâ€™re always focused on the community aspect (such as paloaltomoms site)
when you fall in between, you have a problem. you have to aggregate well, or have strong community.
Q: buzz is Google is doing a classified product. then what?
Craig: I’ll index them and include them.
gautam: Google will shake things up. a large player can really validate the space. Google’s will be big and different. what Google hasn’t done has shown its market dominance in specialized offering such as froogle, fighting a dogfight in the space. classified takes more than just search, it takes tools. Will Google do what it takes to create a specialized experience it takes to compete?
garrett: is an important partner, and we’re sure that what they do will be in the best interest for their shareholders and their partners (wild laughter at this nonanswer)
Q: why can’t a hirer just go to the cheapest location, knowing they’ll be scraped?
gautam: some users will only go to Monster, so they still need to pay. Some will use simplyhired. some will go to Craig list. Will it change the pricing model? likely.
Craig: a user isn’t bound, users can go where they an. a basic online listing will be free, itâ€™s a commodity. the battle for classifieds is how can I create a composition of products that is easy to sell.
Q: ebay hurt private party ads in newspaper. How does this affect traditional models like newspapers?
garrett: the damage is really overrated, because they are different markets. we’re happy to be a scapegoat, but we arenâ€™t really responsible. my mom is 70 and she still reads the newspaper… some people will not change. and there are preferences.
konstantin: we’re in the unique position at linked in where we do both– we charge for the listings yet we work with simply hired so why charge when Craig’s list is free? But there are advantages, via independent reference checks, you can see if you know someone. you have a pool of people you don’t have on monster. You can compete with free if you provide a lot of value.
Q: what does it take to be the leader in your category?
konstantin: provide value and charge for that (pay per interview, etc)
gautam: the winner will make the bet job database
Craig: we just need to be maniacal about getting every listing out there, to tag them rank them assess them and get better and better.