Sramana Mitra: I find that attrition is one of the biggest problems in the industry because any learning or domain expertise that you develop in the person walks out the door once that person walks out the door.
Harley Lippman: When that happens, there are unintended consequences. Someone leaves, for example. Now you have to have a meeting on the side if you are going to replace that person. Just having that meeting costs time and money. Let’s assume you are going to replace that person, which is typically the situation, you now hire another person. That person may not work out. So, it compounds the impact on the project because now you set back even further. Let’s be optimistic and say the person does work out. But, as you say, the learning curve might make that person take six months to become productive. >>>
Sramana Mitra: You discussed different regions: Michigan, Cleveland, Georgia and Kansas City. What are each of them individually? Are those competitive landscapes?
Harley Lippman: In certain cities there is more talent and certain skill sets than in others. .Net or Java people – certain places have a greater preponderance of those people. In Kansas City, for example, you may have more project managers. First of all, you want to diversify locations – this is a mitigation of risk. Second, you have greater access to a different or additional talent pool. >>>
According to market reports, the worldwide talent acquisition and staffing services was estimated to be worth $27 billion last year. LinkedIn (Nasdaq:LNKD) may be the largest professional network, but it still has a huge market opportunity to tap into, and the company is focusing on expanding their products to get a bigger piece of the pie.
Sramana: How do you determine a non-linear career path? What is that conversation like?
Kevin O’Conn0r: Organizations go through different stages. If you are in an early stage, then an individual’s career development is in his or her hands. When you get to a bigger company, career paths become far more linear. It is very difficult to become a VP in six months when there are a thousand people in the organization. In a startup, that is completely possible. When you are a startup and you have someone who comes in willing to work for less because they have equity, and they are willing to sleep in the backyard if needed, and they are willing to do whatever needs to be done, then you have a match for a startup environment. >>>
SM: That is the question I was asking you. Are you working with the application layer companies, which are the AgilOnes, the Oversights and another 10 or 20 companies that are leaders in their categories? There is certainly as services business around that. >>>
eMarketer’s latest report predicts the U.S. mobile advertising market to grow 77% this year to $7.29 billion. Two years ago, the mobile advertising market stood at $1.48 billion. Growth is projected to continue in the years to come, with the market estimated to be worth $27.13 billion by 2017. The segment will account for 45% of digital ad spending and 14% of total ad spending in 2017. Google should continue to dominate the market, with mobile advertising revenues growing from $3.98 billion this year to $9.29 billion by 2017. Facebook is predicted to remain the second largest ad network, with mobile revenues growing from $390.9 million in the past year to $1.86 billion by 2017. That is strong growth given that Facebook earned almost no mobile ad revenues in 2011.
Sramana: Part of the advantage in vertical search is the ability to zero in on a market segment using a precise taxonomy.
Kevin O’Connor: Absolutely. That is why we built a platform that lets us handle virtually any taxonomy. If you look at shopping comparison engines, you will see they are a price comparison engine, which makes them weak. We pull out a taxonomy for a product or service that goes beyond price.
Sramana: Do you run different sites for different verticals?
Kevin O’Connor: We do. FindTheBest is for products and services. FindTheCompany is for accessing and sharing information about companies. FindTheBest is our flagship. >>>
TechCrunch has posted a cool video of a Google glass tour of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Take a look! For this week’s blog posts, click on the paragraph link. >>>