Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Jim Fowler Jigsaw CEO Q & A Part II
Q.) When did you start selling the leads for cash [buy and sell points]?
A.) We opened up the point marketplace in January of this year. This move coincided with an explosion of data growth. Once our members realized they could add a contact and get two in return OR one dollar, they went a bit nuts. Our top point sellers have earned over $3,000 each selling their points on Jigsaw. Note: Jigsaw does not pay one dollar per contact. The dollar is paid only if there are point buyers. Jigsaw brokers the transactions.
Q.) How long has Jigsaw been online?
A.) Jigsaw was in Beta through summer of 2004 and officially launched in December 2004.
Q.) How many employees do you have?
A.) Jigsaw has 32 employees â€“ all of which can be viewed on Jigsawâ€¦. : )
Q.) It seems Jigsaw has several privacy issues. Can you explain why/how Jigsaw doesn't violate any privacy laws?
A.) Legally there are no issues with Jigsaw's model. Well established data companies would have been put out of business long ago if business card information was protected by the law. It is not, due mostly to the fact that people hand out their business card information freely in hundreds of ways, including online forms, conference registrations, signature files, and by hand.
That said, people are concerned about their privacy. Once it is understood that Jigsaw only deals with data that is found on a business card (except mobile numbers which are not allowed), privacy concerns usually evaporate.
There are over ten thousand data companies that attempt to provide similar data to that which is found on Jigsaw. The difference is that Jigsaw is the first data company to take an open and collaborative approach to collecting and maintaining a database, compared to the closed and proprietary approach taken by traditional data companies (like Hoovers or InfoUSA). Jigsaw is classic a disruptive technology using the Internet to leverage the power of an online community to make business contact data easily accessible and transparent.
Lastly, Jigsaw is the only data company that lets any person find out if they are on the Jigsaw database. While people listed in Jigsaw cannot remove their business contact information, they can view, edit and set their contact preferences. For example, people can write, "accept email only, don't call, not a contact for, interested in, not interested in, etc." Jigsaw is the only data company to provide this option and it empowers buyers to specify exactly how they wish to be contacted. Thus far over two thousand people listed on the database have set their preferences.
Jigsaw's fundamental belief is that by providing transparency to both sides of the buy/sell equation a huge amount of efficiency can be injected into what is currently a very time consuming a painful process.
Q.) How do you control members from sending out spam emails to contacts in Jigsaw?
A.) Jigsaw members are not allowed to participate in any illegal activities using the data on Jigsaw, including spam. If a member is caught doing anything unlawful or against Jigsaw's rules, the member will be banned from Jigsaw permanently. So far, Jigsaw has had to lock out only two members for spamming.
In addition, Jigsaw's model isn't a good fit for spammers. Too much work or money is required to get information off in the quantity needed by a spammer. Jigsawâ€™s members primarily do one-to-one marketing versus one-to-many marketing.
Q.) Have you been funded privately or via VC funding?
A.) Jigsaw has raised $6M in funding from El Dorado Ventures and Norwest Venture Partners. We are on target to be profitable in 2006.
By Jason Dowdell at 10:43 PM | Comments (1)