Search Results for: jigsaw

Update on Jigsaw, marketplace for business contact information

I enjoyed meeting with Jim Fowler yesterday, CEO of Jigsaw (our wiki profile). Jigsaw is a marketplace for business contact information.

Some noteable data points:

+ We know from our (Nitron Advisors‘) own experience that the problem with most traditional list services is that their data is often out-of-date, whereas Jigsaw has attracted a community who are motivated to cleanse the data on their behalf. 80% of Jigsaw phone numbers are direct dial, in part because of their approach to gathering data.

+ Most Jigsaw revenues come from recruiters and financial advisors. 50% of revenue is from corporate clients, who find the data cleansing service that Jigsaw offers particularly valuable. All of Salesforce’s salesforce uses Jigsaw . Only a small percentage of corporate customers upload data, but Jim sees that percentage increasing over time.

+ 1/4 of revenue is from resellers/partners — you can see a list at .

+ He’s identified several competitors:, 7 Chinese competitors. Jim claims that he is the only player with significant traction.

+ As with all social networks, Jigsaw has some users who abuse the system. So like all data vendors, Jigsaw has started to insert dummy records to track abuse, resale, and so on of their data.

+ Jim claims that some corporate sales brokers have stopped selling databases with emails, because of their concern that their lists will end up on Jigsaw.

+ Although many people (Michael Arrington, Rafe Nadleman) are critical of Jigsaw on privacy grounds, to date only 200 people have asked to be removed from Jigsaw, and >2500 people have asked to be added to Jigsaw so they can proactively manage their data.

+ The database is used heavily; 70% of all contacts in the system are "bought" at least once a year.

+ Jim claims that the people who are really hurt by Jigsaw are CEOs like him and me, because it makes executive recruiters more efficient—so that they can steal our employees more readily. He says "As soon as we’re cash flow positive [this year], I’ve told all our employees that we’re giving free lunches every day. We have to do what Google does, because I know that so many people are working hard to recruit our employees."

Earn extra money by selling contact data to Jigsaw?

My coauthor Scott Allen recently wrote a widely-linked-to article on 10 Legitimate Businesses You Can Start for under $20. Perhaps we can add an 11th business: sell contact data to Jigsaw.

I just got the press release below from Jigsaw. Of course, there’s a big difference between ‘proving the business model’ and being cash flow profitable. I can’t comment if in fact they are profitable.

Proving the business model…

Jigsaw Data Corp.’s Business Contact Marketplace Starts Generating Income for Members

San Mateo, CA – March 9, 2005 – Three months after the official launch of Jigsaw, people participating in the first open marketplace for buying and selling business contact information are starting to make money. Jigsaw Data Corporation announced that it is making its first round of payments to members who earned and then sold Jigsaw Points. Among those making money in this first payout, the top 10 point-earners each will receive more than $750.

Members earn Jigsaw Points when they enter new contacts into the database, update existing ones or refer new members. They can either use their points to purchase other contacts, or they can sell their points to other members to make $1.00 for every correct contact entered into the Jigsaw system.
Unlike traditional data services, every business contact in Jigsaw contains an accurate email address, title, telephone number and address.

“It’s great to start earning money doing something as easy as entering business contacts into Jigsaw. The concept is so simple: You enter contacts, you make money. Jigsaw’s a completely innovative service that’s going to change some key steps in the way we all do business,” said Jigsaw member Michael Danziger of RAE internet in New Rochelle, New York.

Since launching in early December, Jigsaw members have been adding approximately 3,000 new contacts per day to the database. Personal email addresses and cell phone numbers are not allowed. Currently, there are approximately 400,000 contacts at 38,000 companies in Jigsaw, up from 20,000 contacts at the start of the marketplace’s beta program in August 2004.

“To see people actually make money with the Jigsaw system so soon after launching is incredibly rewarding. The business model works,” said Jim Fowler, co-founder and CEO of Jigsaw. “The marketplace is doing what it’s supposed to do, provide incentive to members to add their excess business cards and keep the data fresh for other members. We expect this to make Jigsaw the go-to place for accurate business contact information.”

About Jigsaw Data Corporation
Jigsaw is an online marketplace where people buy, sell and trade business contact information. The Jigsaw marketplace offers members access to a database of corporate contact information that increases efficiency by shortening the time required to find necessary business contacts. The data contributions and collaborative oversight continuously made by the Jigsaw community ensures the accuracy and growth of the Jigsaw marketplace. Jigsaw Data Corporation is located in San Mateo, California. The company is funded by El Dorado Ventures and Norwest Venture Partners. For more information, please visit the Jigsaw marketplace at


Darcy Provo
Antenna Group Public Relations (for Jigsaw) 415-977-1920

Profile of Jigsaw for our Social Software Guide

We are adding this profile of Jigsaw to our Social Networking Site Guide. We have written on Jigsaw previously; you can see our past blog posts here.

Ross Mayfield, Silicon Valley Sleuth, and Matt Marshall have all previously written on Jigsaw. See InnerSell for a comparable model.

It’s worth noting that this business model makes a lot of people very, very annoyed. But that doesn’t mean that it can’t be highly popular and profitable.

Jigsaw Data Corporation

February 2, 2005



Jigsaw is an online marketplace where people buy, sell and trade business contact information. Jigsaw offers members access to an online database of (they claim) fresh and accurate corporate contact information that increases efficiency by shortening the time required to find valuable business contacts. The data contributions and collaborative oversight continuously made by their users help to increase the accuracy and increase the growth of the Jigsaw marketplace.


Jigsaw’s client base consists primarily of sales people and recruiters who are interested in reducing the amount of time it takes to find contacts and speed up the about of time it takes to find direct contacts.

The Jigsaw marketplace has approximately 320,000 business contacts within 33,000 companies (as of January 2005) and is growing at an average rate of 2,500 complete new contacts per day. Jigsaw has thousands of users who buy, sell and trade business contacts, some of whom add up to 5,000 business contacts per month.


Officially opened on December 6, 2004.


1. Jim Fowler, CEO and Co-founder

Jim co-founded Jigsaw after working in the sales industry for 15 years. Jim served as vice president of sales at Digital Impact (DIGI), Paramark and TightLink. He also held sales management positions at Personify and NetGravity. Prior to his career in software sales, Jim was owner and operator of Lookout Pass, a ski resort in Idaho, and served in the US Navy as a Diving and Salvage Officer.

2. Garth Moulton, Co-founder

Prior to co-founding Jigsaw, Garth worked in technology sales at several technology companies including Digital Impact (DIGI), Sawyer Media, Personify, Open Environment Corporation and Cambridge Information Network (CIN).

Corporate Overview:

Jigsaw is based in San Mateo, CA. They launched with $5.2 million in venture capital funding from El Dorado Ventures and Norwest Venture Partners.


Monthly membership costs $25, but is free to those who add 25 or more contacts per month (“Pay or Play” Option).

Contacts are obtained with points. Points are obtained by adding contacts, correcting contacts, referring other members, or by purchase. Every contact in Jigsaw costs 5 points (or $1).

Adding a contact earns ten points – provided other members don’t challenge the entry. Challenged contacts result in a ten point penalty. Members get a double refund when they get a bad contact. Members can buy points (and soon will be able to sell them). Those who want to obtain their points with money instead of by adding contacts can purchase points for 20 cents each ($1 per contact). Proceeds go to members who have excess points and choose to sell them. Referrals drive Jigsaw’s growth; members get 125 points for each referral (or 25 contacts).


We have written on Jigsaw previously; you can see our past blog posts here. Quoting Peter Caputa, it’s "like an LDAP directory managed by a distributed network".

We give Jigsaw a lot of credit for a creative business model which outsources almost all of the labor involved to its customers. We particularly like how the point system is designed to tap into the competitive nature of sales people. They amass points in proportion to their contributions to the marketplace, and use their points to acquire more contacts or to sell them to other Jigsaw members.

Jigsaw obviously raises significant privacy concerns, perhaps exacerbated by the fact that members enter data anonymously. In order to help alleviate those concerns, every contact listing has the person’s direct phone number and business email, but no personal cell phone numbers or email addresses are allowed. People may enter themselves into the database, allowing Jigsaw to potentially compete with firms such as Ziggs. Anyone in the database can set personal preferences that outline how, for what or if they wish to be contacted.

Another concern is data quality. However, on further reflection, creating fake data, which is not readily identifiable as faked, would require significant work—and it may be simpler just to pay the $25/month.


We definitely suggest trialing the Jigsaw service.


Nitron Advisors and Teten Recruiting are both Jigsaw customers.

Jigsaw raises $5.2m in funding

(Via the WebCommunities Yahoo group):

Jigsaw – The Business Contact Marketplace, an online marketplace where people buy, sell and trade
business contact information, is launching with $5.2 million in Series B financing (it raised $750,000 in its Series A). The company doesn’t think of itself as a networking venue, however — it says it’s “absolutely 100% pure data.” The company most directly competes with Hoover’s Inc., owned by Dun & Bradstreet Corp. Other competitors include infoUSA Inc. and Eliyon
Technologies Inc.

Social network privacy and Jigsaw

I just received this email from Jigsaw:

> Dear Jigsaw Beta Member,
> Our Beta Program ended on August 13th and we’ve had a great response
> to the PAY or PLAY options. The Jigsaw community continues to grow
> rapidly, and we now have over 105,000 contacts.
> Remember, if you PLAY (and add 25 contacts to Jigsaw per month), you
> can continue to use the service for FREE. For more details, go to:
>etc. etc. etc.

Unfortunately, the email was sent showing all the emails of the perhaps 500 recipients, instead of using a BCC. So every recipient could see the emails of every other recipient. Several recipients sent very silly responses to the entire list saying, “I’m a broker in California, here’s what I do.”

To put it mildly, this does not promote confidence in social network software.

To Jigsaw’s credit, they at least sent a follow up email (with a BCC) apologizing. I do not believe that Orkut ever apologized for their gaffe (orkut spam). In fact, Orkut said that they had to send their messages, even three months late.

Jigsaw’s error was one of carelessness, not deliberate. By contrast, the Orkut incident was a baked-in design problem.

ZeroDegrees also has received some flack for social network spam (“SNAM”) (see Stowe Boyd’s experience with ZeroDegrees ). ZeroDegrees (and some other social network systems) allows users the option of inviting every single person in their address book. As a result, some users (e.g., Stowe Boyd) have accidentally sent invitations to everyone whom they’ve ever traded emails with, including their own blog.

I understand ZD’s argument that users had explicitly opted to send out emails to their whole address book. However, I suggest that giving users the option to do something which only a very small percentage really should do is not good user interface design.

It is doubly imperative for social networking companies to be careful around these issues. Given recent crackdowns on spam, spamming people is asking for trouble. The flow of extra email that social software systems are generating is already damaging the industry.

UPDATE: Jas Dhilon (CEO of ZeroDegrees) called, and said that he personally sent emails to everyone of his firm’s clients’ contacts who accidentally got SNAMed, apologizing to those people.

Jigsaw's response to questions about spammers on their site

Jigsaw, a business contact exchange, just launched their official website. Their unique business model raises a lot of privacy/anti-spam concerns.

I wrote to the CEO, Jim Fowler:

> One obvious concern people will have about this service is that folks
> will use the addresses for purposes of spamming, and/or that the
> people behind Jigsaw have some nefarious intent. What information can
> you provide to alleviate those concerns?

He wrote back the following and gave me permission to reprint for publication:

Using Jigsaw for the purpose of collecting email addresses with which to spam is strictly prohibited by the Jigsaw Terms of Use. Any member Jigsaw identifies as a spammer will be locked out of Jigsaw permanently. In addition, Jigsaw does not use data added by members for spamming purposes.

From a practical standpoint, Jigsaw is not conducive to spamming because it
takes effort to get data out of the system. Even though a user gets at
least twice as many contacts out as he puts in, the effort is far too great for general spamming purposes.

That said, Jigsaw is a community database. Jigsaw members can take all of their data out of the system at any time, and it is possible that members could use the contacts they collect for spamming purposes. You can help by reporting any spamming activity by Jigsaw members to privacy @ jigsaw . com.

Best regards,

Jim Fowler
Jigsaw Data Corporation

I hear his points. That said, at some time soon someone is going to hack into the database of one of the major social network sites, and some users will become significantly less comfortable about the amount of personal information that is readily available on the web.–creative new business model

I think Jigsaw : The Business Contact Exchange has a very creative business model. I learned about them from a conversation I had with Vanessa DiMauro of CXO Systems. Many people will be offended by the idea that Robert gets benefit by selling Simon’s contacts…but fortunately, the Jigsaw system is anonymous. Jigsaw has potential to be quite successful, if they do not get sued into submission.

From their site:

Jigsaw is a Business Contact Exchange. Members exchange contact data they have for contact data they need.

Jigsaw is a collaborative system. Each member provides a few pieces of the puzzle. Jigsaw assembles them for the benefit of the community.

Quality contacts. Members are given strong incentives to add quality contacts and help keep them current. All contacts in Jigsaw have complete contact information

Mission:Jigsaw’s mission is to map every business organization on the planet, contact by contact, and keep them current through a collaborative effort. The resulting database will help business people perform their jobs more strategically and efficiently.

Value Proposition:For every contact a member adds, s/he gets two in return.

How does Jigsaw work?Members join Jigsaw in order to get contacts. Contacts are obtained with points.
Points are obtained by adding contacts, correcting contacts and referring other members.

Members choose which of their contacts go into Jigsaw. Members usually exchange contacts of lesser value for those of much higher value. All contacts are added anonymously.

Every contact in Jigsaw requires five points regardless of title or position.

Adding a contact earns ten points – provided other members don’t challenge the entry. Challenged contacts result in a ten point penalty. (Jigsaw is a self-correcting system).

Referrals drive Jigsaw’s growth. Members get 150 points for each referral (25 contacts).

Jigsaw is NOT:

A data aggregator (like Hoovers). Jigsaw leverages the collective knowledge of its members to provide great contacts at all levels of an organization.

Contact Management (like Plaxo). Jigsaw is for finding contacts you don’t have.

Social Networking (like Linked-In or Spoke). Jigsaw is about contact information, not relationships. Use Jigsaw when you need to find specific contacts at a given company and want to contact them directly.

Business Model:
Jigsaw is currently free, but will charge a flat $25 monthly fee upon formal launch. The low cost and the very high quality of contacts will help Jigsaw to quickly grow into a global community and create an unprecedented map of the business world.

Industry map

Social Software Landscape

Here’s a recent presentation David Teten made which highlights some of the most commonly used tools for accelerating your sales with technology.

When we originally published our book, we viewed social software companies as falling into five large buckets. We have listed a few representative companies in each bucket below. Please note that the lines between categories are fuzzy. Many of these companies could fit comfortably into a different box than the one in which we placed them.

Primary Customers

The Public


General Purpose

Realtime communications– chat, IM, VoIP, web conferencing, SMS. AOL IM, eBuddy, ICQ, IRC, Meebo, MSN Messenger, Skype, Twitter, Yahoo! Messenger


Virtual communities / social network services., AOL, Classmates, Craigslist, ezboard, FriendsReunited, Grouply, MSN Groups, MSN Spaces, Ning, Yahoo! Groups

Identity management. FreshAddress, Return Path, Ziggs

Identity protection. Cardcops, DebixLifeLock, ReputationDefender, TrustedID

Blog readers. Google Reader

Face-to-face meeting facilitation sites. Evite, Meetup

Blog software. Blogger, Six Apart, Radio Userland, WordPress

Tagging/Bookmarking. delicious

Virtual community builders. Affinity Engines, Groupee, iModules Software, Invision Power Services, Lithium, SelectMinds, vBulletin, Web Crossing

Virtual community builders focused on conferences. IntroNetworks, Pathable

Biography analysis. D&B, Hoovers, Implu, InsideView, Jigsaw, InfoUSA, Netprospex, Pipl, OneSource, iProfile, Spock, Spoke, Tracked, ZillionResumes, ZoomInfo

Executive appointment tracking.CTOs on the Move, DiscoverOrg, RainKing, Salesquest

Org Chart analysis. CogMap, Forbes Org Chart, TheOfficialBoard

Public social network mapping. Boardex, Capital IQ, LinkSV, Westlaw Peoplemap

Contact data management/CRM. Aptium, Best Software (Act), Frontrange (Goldmine),, SugarCRM

Blog analysis/publishing tools. FeedBlitz, FeedBurner, Pheedo

Primarily Business Use

Virtual communities / social network services. LinkedIn, Xing

Contact data synchronization. Plaxo, Spoke

Social network groomingSocialminder

Relationship capital management (enterprise-focused). BranchIt, Contact Network, Interface Software, Jigsaw, Leverage Software, Spoke SoftwareWorkflow. Basecamp, Groove, IBM Lotus Notes, iCohere, SilkRoad

Online Marketing Intelligence. BuzzLogic, Nielsen Buzzmetrics, TNS Media Intelligence/Cymfony, Brandimensions

Blogs. SixApart, Traction Software

Wikis. Atlassian, Google Sites, SocialText

Social network analysis/knowledge management. Autonomy

Competitive analysis. SpyFu

Job referral networks. Accolo,

Expert network research. DeMatteo Monness, Gerson Lehrman Group, Evalueserve Circle of Experts, Coleman Research Group, Guidepoint Global

Sales training. Miller Heiman

Sales support/lead gen/appointment setting. Vorsight, Evalueserve, SalesSupport360, GrowItSmart, CallBoxInc

Recruiting candidate support. eCyberGurus

Primarily Personal Use

Blog publishing networks. b5 Media, Gawker Media, Shiny Media, Weblogs, Inc.Virtual communities / social network services. aSmallWorld, Bebo, Facebook, Friendster, hi5, Multiply, Myspace, Orkut,

Mobile social software. Plazes, WaveMarket

Photo-sharing sites. Flickr,, WebShots

Dating sites. eHarmony, lavalife,, PerfectMatch, Spark Networks, TRUE, Yahoo! Personals

This table is very loosely based on earlier taxonomies by Geoff Hyatt, CEO, Contact Network Corp, and Stowe Boyd.

Following are some buyer’s guide for families of software referenced above:
Lead management software
Social networking software
Recruiting software
Online CRM software / Financial CRM software
Wiki software
Sales force automation software

Some other lists of social network sites:
Social networking websites
List of social software

Slides from Vistage CEO Conference this week

I enjoyed speaking at lunch at two Vistage regional conferences this past week, in New York and Chicago. (As background, Vistage is the world’s largest CEO membership organization based on revenue.)

You can download my two presentations here:

+ Chicago Conference: How to Accelerate Your Company with Web 2.0 Technologies

New York Conference: Seven Free, Easy Steps to Accelerate Your Business with Web 2.0 Technologies. I have also attached the New York handout below in HTML format.

Feedback welcome!

Seven Free, Easy Steps to Accelerate Your Business with Web 2.0 Technologies

Ch = Character

Co = Your firm’s Competence

R = Relevance of the other company

S = Strength

I = Information

N = Number of companies

D = Diversity

Value of Your Corporate Network = D * ∑Nn=1 (Chn * Con * Rn * Sn * In)


Next Step


1) Character

Review your senior executives’ profiles on


2) Your firm’s Competence

Experiment with for project management.

$0 for one project

3) Relevance of the other firm

Encourage employees to join,, and other relevant online networks.


4) Strength

Standardize internal phone calls on Encourage employees to use Instant Messaging services. (They’re already doing it, most likely.)


5) Information

Sign up on,, or for alerts about you and your competitors’ appearances in blogs and news sites.

Join to be eligible for paid consulting opportunities.


6) Number of people

Create standard corporate e-mail signature with strong brand reinforcement.


7) Diversity

Use Jigsaw or to identify contact information on prospects.

Jigsaw: $0 w/uploaded contacts. Spoke: $50/mo.

And one more resource:

8) Learn more about Web 2.0

Download The Virtual Handshake: Opening Doors and Closing Deals Online at


Glenn Gutmacher, Microsoft, on Recruiting with Online Networks

Glenn Gutmacher, Microsoft, on Recruiting with Online Networks

from today’s Virtual Handshake conference.

Receive 70,000 candidate resume submissions per month
Approx. 16000 unique new candidates per month
150 recruiters specialize by each business division

Organized by : industry (experienced), college, MBA , exec. Recruitment

He focuses on senior software developers

Fiscal year (july 1-june 30 ) drives hiring patterns

Most jobs are in Redmond, WA

Blogs fall under Microsoft Technical Communities

Blogs (
Technical chats (
Newsgroups (
Webcasts (
Online tech communities (
User groups (
Forums (

Benefits of blogging

Helps our staff be perceived as experts.
Closer ties to depts.
Bloggers become better writers/communicators
Reading peer blogs increase your knowledges, exposes you to more ideas
Generates ideas and content from customers/peers
Gets more visible on search engines
Generates press mentions
Track readership trends (where interest is coming from
Community development

Microsoft taking RSS to net level: Simple Sharing Extensions (SSE). Makes RSS 2.0 bidirectional: calendar appointments, contacts, favorites, news, etc.

Consolidated bios of many tech bloggers (

MS has internal blogging community
MSFT doesn’t censor or monitor what people say.

Blogging fears & objections: giving away the farm. Public backlash. Negative media coverage. Email volume spike. Employment termination.

Whatever issues emerge from the occasional negative post, it’s trivial relative to the amount of blogging going on.

His advice: put in standard answers to the most common requests you get in your signature files.

Collegiate outreach. (worldwide online community)
The Imagine Cup
Steve Sinofsky (VP of MS Office) writes a blog focused on campus recruiting (

How to presentations contributed to independent .net develoers community,

Tech CST recently purchased exclusive month sponsorship on HRSEO

They’re currently using Jobster and investigating

They use LinkedIn and OpenBC heavily. Tech CST’s Shally Steckerl is among the top 20 most-connected out of 4.2m users. Shally gets 200 requests/day(!). Value in serving as a connector node to recruiter and software developer communities.

Experimenting with Doostang, imeem.

Sourcers don’t use 3rd party plugins on MS computers

New tools:
Local search and mapping
Niche search: blogs, conference attendees/speaker bios, mailing lists, patents, personal homepages, reverse lookups, thematic, user groups, tech journals, tech standards working groups, PGP keys, Whois, etc.)

ResearchBuzz, ResearchShelf,,

The tools of sales/marketing are quite applicable to recruiting, and vice versa.

MSCRM 3.0, our next –gen CRM product, is being used by Tech CST to track prospects
They automate emails and scheduling of frequent calls. Once you leave a candidate alone for 6 months, it’s like starting from scratch.

Use Hoovers, Jigsaw, OneSource, ZoomInfo, Lexis-Nexis, etc.

“Dogfooding”: use internal-only blogs and other self-developed online tools in other ways to enhance collaboration internally. to aggregate RSS content
Product and technology topic-specific Sharepoint intranet sites to distribute reports, latest info, etc.