Andy called me this week. It’s been at least a couple of years since we chatted last. He was asking about programs we have for coaches and job clubs… and noted that one of my competitors has since gone away.
My reply was that I have, over the years, seen a few JibberJobber competitors go away.
I’ve always felt that being in this business is kind of like playing leapfrog. We have something cooler than you today, tomorrow you have something cooler than us, and we hop around the competitive landscape with a “I’m better than you (for the next 24 hours)!” attitude…
I almost cared in the beginning, but knew that if I always tried to one-up my competition, I would drive myself, and my team, nuts. And we would focus on the wrong things.
I admit that some of our competitors have had way cooler things than we have had over the years. Some of them today have cooler things (including the interface) than what we have.
But what I know is this: we’ve been around for (almost) nine years. And we’ll be around for at least another 9 years. I don’t know how many competitors are left, but I’m guessing that of the 20 or so that popped up after we pioneered this space, 1/2 are gone. Cool features, cool interface and all. GONE. That means your data is gone. When you need their tools in your next job search, you won’t be able to use them.
Sometimes they had investors that got cold feet. Sometimes they were a one-man operation (nothing wrong with that), and when they got a job, they took their job search organizer off the back burner and put it in the freezer. Sometimes they thought they were going to be rich and famous, and when they didn’t make any money, and couldn’t figure out monetization models, they did the oh-so-popular “pivot,” which means they were too smart to stay in a very hard business.
I don’t know why they pulled the plug. But they have. Even if the site is still up, if they haven’t blogged for months (or years), I would take that as a bad sign. If they can’t take 10 minutes to blog, are they working on their system? Would you trust your data to a system that has been neglected for years?
Over the last nine years JibberJobber has been accused of looking old. Even the day after one layout update, someone emailed and said we looked like a site from the 1990’s. You just can’t win them all.
But here’s what we do have: a dedicated team of programmers and QA, and myself, who have been working on JibberJobber non-stop for nine years. We have grown, improved, added more features, enhanced and improved for nine years. We don’t have an investor breathing down our necks telling us what features to add or remove, or what numbers we need to hit, or we’ll have to pull the plug. It’s been a tough road, but we are in a position where we are here now, and we will be here for your next job search, and the next one…
I love getting emails from people saying this is their third or fourth job search, over the last nine years, that they are using JibberJobber for. That is freaking cool. Not that they are in job search three times, but hey, it’s the world we live in. I love that we are there for you.
If you don’t like our colors, or our boxes, or our reports… you can go check the other systems out. It will make their day if you say you are sick of JibberJobber and you like them better. Go for it. But when they go belly up, or stop development of new features, or don’t fix bugs for months and months, or one day they just disappear… you can always come back.
We’re focusing on four words this year:
I’m not saying we are awesome at those four things, but those are our focus for 2015, as far as development goes. Each time we create a new work order, we are tagging it as something that will make JibberJobber easier to use, faster, more reliable, or more intuitive. Do we have a lot of work to do? Tons. But we’re dedicated to doing this smart, so that we can be around for many more years.
Want to check out our competition? Go for it.
Want to help us be there for you, for the rest of our career? Join us. Help us. Give us suggestions. Tell us what we fail miserably at… and how we can improve. We are in this for the long haul.
And honestly, good luck to our competitors. It’s not heartening to see so many companies pivot too early. At the end of the day, we are all in this business to serve YOU.