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Selling out your friends might not seem the best way to nurture your relationships, but if the transaction involves hooking them up with their dream job - they just might forgive you. Top Prospect is an innovative new startup that connects with your existing contact networks on platforms such as LinkedIn, and then allows you to suggest friends for job roles. If they get the job - you get paid a bonus - anywhere between US$5,000 and US$20,000 depending on the role.
Before you get too excited at turning your colleagues into cash, at this stage most of the job roles are in the US, and there is also a heavy tech sector skew. Nevertheless, Top Prospect is an intriguing concept and one of many new services that I predict we will see in the future that enable hyper-connectors to better commercialise their networks.
What makes a good market? Plenty of buyers and sellers certainly. But with competition in the web classifieds space pushing the value of all listings to zero, capturing critical mass through disruptive pricing tactics will no longer work. Market leadership now depends on moving past the ‘newspaper ads on the web’ model to creating true value exchanges.
The rumour mill has it that Google is about to enter the fray with a classified listings product. The listings model, as popularised by Craigslist has been a persistent thorn in the side of both newspaper groups and eBay, which has of late been aggressively acquiring stakes in free classified players.
As the old saying goes, people pretend to work, when employers pretend to pay them. The good news is that structural changes in the recruitment industry are making it easier for candidates to find themselves a better job. But with the space becoming increasingly crowded with managed service providers, online job boards, social networking sites as well as the traditional band of recruitment industry suspects – the real question may be who really gets to make the money, and who has to just act like they do.
If you believe the accepted wisdom, the best way to find a wife, boyfriend or job is to get set up by a friend. That might explain the latest dotcom craze of uploading your entire contact database of friends and colleagues onto the web, and encouraging them to do the same. Something must be working, because millions of people are now happily chatting, mixing and swapping photos of themselves on an emerging multitude of social networking websites. Whatever you are looking for, the only thing you can’t easily find on one of these sites is a clear business model. So far it seems that social networks have been more successful in raising money than making any of their own.
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