Maker Hunt’s AMA with Perri Blake Gorman from Archively and Unroll.me

We’re starting the AMA w/ Perri Blake Gorman -CEO/Founder of Archively : co-founder of Unroll Me. Perri, you can do your intro and we’ll jump right into the questions.

Oh hey people. I am currently working on Archively which is a new kind of CRM for recruiters and people researchers — it is the product of years of experience as a headhunter and general people person. I also founded Unroll.Me with 3 awesome guys which we sold to Slice/Rakuten in Sept.

Before all this — I headhunted wall street traders and sales folks for 13+ years in NYC and Hong Kong.

Q. Very interesting background, how’d you go from that to Unroll.me? —Michael Buckbee

I left headhunting at the peak of my career in 2008 about 3 months before I was supposed to make partner and I took time off. In that time I literally sat in Starbucks for 12 hours a day learning about marketing and Twitter in particular, this was like 2009…Not many people were using Twitter in Hong Kong back then and I became one of the top 100 people on Twitter in HK pretty quickly and then people started asking me to test their apps. It was really strange — I had never had anything to do with tech and I gave lots of feedback. People started to tell me I had a knack for product and I fell in love with the magic of someone building my feedback

So fast forward.

I moved back to NYC and networked the whole NYC tech scene in 6 months or so. I went to everything and watched tons of pitches and met with lots of founders. And then I said, I am sure I have got one of these ideas lying around! I came up with Unroll.Me when I missed an important email because it was buried and I researched what was out there (Unsubcribe.com was most obvious) and none had the solution that I wanted — mostly that I wanted a list of what I was subscribed to and to mass unsubscribe.

Long story short I met my co-founder Josh Rosenwald at Startup Poker in NYC and he had money to build a bunch of different things and Jojo and Steven were working with him.

I won.

So the way Unroll.Me was founded was really untraditional and I was a founder but I was really more like an advisor.

Q. Perri, why do you say you’re a collector of people on your twitter bio? — Violeta Nedkova

Well Archively is a ‘People Collection’ site of sorts…But if you know me, I am the person people come to and say “Do you know someone who does X, in Y place, that knows Z”.

Q. Can you tell us a bit about some of the early traction numbers and some of the “growth hacks” used to quickly grow Unroll.me? — Ben Tossell

The growth story is awesome.

I had never done this before and I knew I had lots of relationships with influencers to get it out there but I knew we needed more. I took a class with Mike Geery called The Road to 1 Million Users. It was in some church in NYC and it was so weird — we still laugh about that venue. Anyway — he talked about the growth tricks he had learned and I was inspired by online dating tactics, specifically the “Pay to unlock” something. With UnrollMe we put in Share to Unlock after your 5th unsubscribe.

People HATED it. They still do but, whatever, it works. So it was out for a long time. We got some early press. and that got us out there and then at 150k users Josh and Jojo put it back in and in 6 months they were at 1M users. It was so hot to see that, never paid for 1 user, no ads, just that viral hook and today I get tagged on Facebook at least a couple of times a week when people post it.

I love that story.

Here is Perri’s story on Medium

Q. Does Unroll.me make any money? —Michael Buckbee

Unroll.me is a data play and yes it makes money.

Q. You’ve spent 13+ years in the executive search industry. What problems did you see that made you want to create Archively?

Q. What type of relevant information about people do you deliver that someone wouldn’t get from a basic google search? — Eric Willis

So I make a lot of intros and like putting people together. Therefore I never blow anyone off as not interesting to me. I collect people for later ☺.

So Archively is a repository not a search engine. It allows you to curate and collect public information on anyone from any site. This goes back to collecting and building knowledge as opposed to a lot of the recruitment (and sales) you see today which is highly transactional. There are a lot of places to find information about people and it is shocking how many Fortune 100 companies use spreadsheets — Yes I said spreadsheets — to work with this data. It is also collaborative so it creates a lot of transparency across teams leading to better strategy and ultimately more targeted candidate engagement

Q. What are some of the use cases? Are people mainly using Archively for recruiting purposes? —Eric Willis

Yes mostly recruiting and there are some really cool crowdsourced directory use cases emerging. So a hack school is using it to crowd map the Vancouver startup scene and collect proprietary information like “I was asked this question on an interview” or “This startup has a really long process” etc. I would love to have an investor directory for this community that we all contribute to. But here is another use case:

A major tech company’s sourcing group had a time sensitive project to map a competitor who was shutting down. 4 researchers were pulling all the research then they invited recruiters and hiring managers into the workspace — like 14 people across the org to go through the profiles and get strategic and tactical about going after the people. These are headhunting scenarios that a lot of companies don’t really realize are possible.

Q. Can you talk a bit about Tradecraft and the type of mentoring you do there? — Eric Willis

I mostly talk to the Tradecraft students about strategies for building their network and getting to the people they want to get to for jobs. They are a great group.

First time Perri met Ryan in Dec 2013 when he was telling her about this thing called “product hunt”

Great. Think that completes the AMA. Thanks so much for doing this. You’re a really good story-teller.

Thanks everyone


Next AMA is with:

Sangeet Paul C — Platform Thinker: Research, Advise, Write, Speak on Platform Biz Models. Featured: WSJ, HBR, WIRED, Inc etc. Teach/Advise: MIT Media Labs, INSEAD, 500Startups — 7pm EST 7th April


Keep an eye out on our Twitter — @MakerHunt for details/updates.

Special thanks to Perri and everyone who participated. If you’re a maker with a product on ProductHunt, be sure to sign up to participate in the AMAs and connect with others.

Already a member? Get your questions ready for the next AMAs! For any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to: @ericw, @jonas, @remco, @catnoone or @bentossell.

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