Sramana: What was it that you made available in late 2011? A goal-based system that could recommend career options based on your career background?
Adeyemi Ajao: That was the ambition, but normalizing that amount of data is a huge project. We figured out that we could classify people into professional categories, and we could tell people where their categories will show up when it comes time for companies to explore categories. We give people a number that tells them how they are doing professionally. A brand new MBA graduate might have a score of 17, whereas Mitt Romney might have a 100. We then give them a series of things that they can do to improve their score. That number was based on where you went to school, where you worked, and who your friends are. That scoring system is what we put out there in late 2011.
We launched on September 20, 2011. We had 50,000 users and today we have added a million users. We saw a lot of growth because people wanted to increase their network score so they would invite friends.
We found that people [had left out] lot of data. The information people had on Facebook was not professional. Most people put their schools, but only 30% of those put what their majors were. Those are important fields for a professional tool. The majority of people who join Identified will add professional information to their profile.
Sramana: What type of information are you providing to employers?
Adeyemi Ajao: When we launched in September 2011, we did not have an employer site. They could search our database and that was about it. Our algorithms are computationally expensive, so from October until about two months ago we have really focused on scaling. I had to find and hire a professional who had done scaling at this level before.
This also made us realize that it was time for our company to grow up. Brendan and I hired a bunch of people who had backgrounds in the gaming industry. I also hired PhDs who worked with big data in the financial industry. We are now almost done with our scaling problem, but it required expertise and then application of the knowledge the experts brought in.
We realized that in order to do this right, not each student at every school should receive the same school reputation scores. If someone goes to MIT and studies engineering, he should be acknowledged for that, whereas if someone goes to MIT and studies literature, that person should not have the same score.
In addition, scores should be dependent on the career path chosen. If your dream is the be Steve Jobs, then you probably don’t want the literature degree. There is also complexity in your professional network. It’s not just who you know, but how you know them. Have you worked together on a project? If time management is considered a great asset for a CEO, and a CEO has endorsed me and mentioned that I have great time management skills, that should count more than a generic endorsement.