Daniel Sweet, who blogs at Fracat.com, posted some questions that many are asking. And I haven’t addressed them in a public way yet. So here you go. I welcome other brutal questions because (a) they are real issues, and (b) I would have them too, if I were evaluating this as a customer (for the record, I am the biggest customer. No one has logged into JibberJobber more times than I have :)).
First, on security:
My assumption is this: if it is on the web, itâ€™ll be stolen.
The parent company to TJMaxx / Ross just got most of their customer data stolen. Banks get their data stolen (though they rarely report it because of the bad publicity) and theyâ€™re pretty serious about security. The military gets their information stolen and theyâ€™re more serious about security.
I agree with this assumption, and I’ve had to come to terms with it myself. While I’m “concerned” I still favor web-based e-mail and participate in the Internet in various ways. I’m not saying that you are overly paranoid but if someone is then JibberJobber is not for them – and make sure to get rid of the online banking access, eBay, buying tickets online, etc.
In my IT classes we learned that the safest computer was the unplugged computer. Unplug it from the network and you are pretty safe. Unplug it from the wall and it’s safer!
I can’t pretend to be “more secure” than your bank, or than the U.S. military. I can’t pretend to be more secure than Gmail (which does not have me go through SSL to access my e-mail, which I consider quite private). Furthermore, I think that a company that says that they can’t be hacked, or won’t be broken into, doesn’t understand how many bad guys there are out there – whether they are professional bad guys or just really smart 12 year olds with no parental supervision.
The only thing I can say is that my team has been involved in developing web applications (and everything around that) for quite some time. Security has always been an issue. I’m not going to talk about our security measures but can say that they are inline with general security practices (please, for the bad guys, this is not an invitation to prove me wrong!)
Second, on flaky web 2.0 business models:
In addition, it makes me dependent on you, your hosting service, and your business plan. If you do any of the standard â€œweb 2.0â€³ things (change business plan, change focus, or, God forbid, go out of business) then my ATS is down the drain.
I can take the typical corporate stance and say “we aren’t going anywhere, we are as solid as a rock and you can confide in us!” But that sounds too hollow – I never really trust statements like that (isn’t that what CEO’s are paid to say?).
I will say a few things to address this. Take them for what they are worth (if you are a skeptic then I don’t expect you to believe it), these are my honest answers.
I am very focused on executing my original strategy. Its to provide a very functional system for regular people to manage their careers. I am partnering with various companies (announcements to come later) and am moving down a path quickly.
With regard to going out of business… if we didn’t receive any more revenue we have the funding/capital to operate as-is (with current staff) for at least two more years. But revenue/cash flow is becoming less of an issue (and we’re not even a year old yet).
However, since you can never say never, there are ways to get your data out of JibberJobber. Right now you can export most things (premium feature). Soon we will have a synch with Outlook contacts. The plan is to not hold your data hostage and make it available to you when you want/need it (outside of JibberJobber) – more on that later.
One thing to note, I have three years of experience working at a flaky company. As I started JibberJobber I had a long list of things NOT to do… and work every day to NOT emulate what happened in that old company.
Third, on JibberJobber being an ATS:
I have, in fact, been thinking about JibberJobber as a potential ATS and will still investigate it to see itâ€™s usefulness to that purpose.
I would not call JibberJobber a full-on ATS (applicant tracking system, used by recruiters). I have never seen one, I don’t know what needs to be in it, etc.
But it is a great relationship manager, getting better all the time. Some people use it for their consulting business, others use it in their small (perhaps one-man) businesses. I think that some recruiters might be able to use it just fine as an ATS but I imagine there are other tools that are more appropriate for your needs (ouch, I hate to say that but I can’t over promise).
If you have any other questions, let me know. I’ve heard a lot of them already – and if its appropriate I’ll answer here on the blog. I appreciate Dan’s candidness.