Connect Ventures’ entire portfolio is now on Job Garden, plus what I’ll work on next (Week 21)

Matt Webb
Matt Webb
Aug 28, 2018 · 3 min read
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Keji is Connect’s Head of Founder Network. That means she looks after all the startups invested in by Connect (their portfolio). If you remember, back in Week 12 she became the second person to have a board on Job Garden, kindly agreeing to be a bit of a test case as I developed the system. At that point her board had just a handful of companies.

A milestone today: Connect’s entire portfolio (well, those startups that are hiring) is now on Keji’s job board. 🤘

That’s 179 open roles across 26 companies. There are some great recent ones: everything from front-end developer to UX; project management to sales; even one Financial Crime Specialist.

Check them out.

Companies publicise their open roles in all kinds of different ways. Some use applicant tracking systems with a public webpage (such as Workable, which is a joy to integrate), and others use their own blogs or custom-designed pages with data presented any-which-way. Some keep jobs all on one page, some require crawling. Some have broken SSL certificates.

The milestone with Keji’s job board is a big deal for me because it shows that my syncing system can adapt to all these different situations.

A stat:

Job Garden now knows about 933 open positions at 57 companies.

Here’s something I said seven weeks ago back in Week 14:

At the moment there are 10-or-so integrations, 400-or-so jobs in the system, two job boards. Enough to see that it works. But what if there were 2x that? Things would start breaking so I would have to build new systems and new tools. What if there were 5x? There would be enough data for some slicing and dicing. I would have to find faster ways to build the integrations. Or 10x? By this point things would get interesting.

Well I’ve now got 5x the integrations, and 2x the jobs. Yes, I’ve had to build new back-end systems to help me manage this. And yes, I’m hitting some new challenges…

There’s a new job board I’m working on adding, and the challenge is of a different scale. It’s not complete yet (so it’s hidden) but already I can see it lists 490 jobs across only (so far) 13 companies.

Which throws up all kinds of interesting questions:

  • How is a curious job seeker, active or passive, supposed to navigate a large number of jobs? Location? Some kind of generalised role “area”? Seniority? Compensation? Companies their friends are at?
  • How can I find and attach this metadata for 1,000+ jobs at a time?
  • How can this data be visualised and made useful?
  • What opportunities are there to connect a potential job seeker with a great role, given a relationship between them and Job Garden over email or Twitter?
  • What new opportunities will come once all this data is in one place?

The first questions are chewy challenges, and what I’ll be working on first.

But the last question is the interesting one: if I solve this existing problem, what new opportunities will emerge from method of the solution?

There’s a great saying coined by Deng Xiaoping, the Chinese leader (1978—1989) who walked China towards capitalism. Facing huge economic reforms, and uncertainty about how to perform these in the specific cultural context, the policy was “gradualism”: take steps one by one, each careful, but each learning from and building on the last. The saying goes: cross the river by feeling the stones.

I love it. What it says, to me, is that you might not know the route, or even the exact destination, but the journey will teach you. And not only that, but when you walk into the river, you might see a way that isn’t visible from the shore.

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Good jobs for good people. Beta.

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