The serendipity machine, and what is Job Garden anyway?

19.24, Wednesday 5 Aug 2020 Link to this post

Last week I added a book a call link to the homepage of my consultancy site – keeping open a few 30 min slots every Wednesday for informal chats.

Most of my projects have emerged from serendipitous coffees and people emailing without necessarily knowing the way I work. Most of my most brain-buzziest conversations too.

Informality is tougher during lockdown… perhaps this is a way of keeping an open door despite everything? Anyway, if you fancy a chat, here’s the booking link.

I think of it like building the serendipity machine and I’ll report back in a month or so with how it’s going.


And this afternoon I had my first two calls!

I caught up with old friend Simon Willison (who, I have just discovered, has his own Wikipedia page). And it turns out we follow along with each other’s projects by each reading our respective blogs, obv, so he’s fully aware of my aggregated-job-boards service thing Job Garden, as previously (but infrequently) mentioned here.

BUT, Simon was totally unaware of who Job Garden is for, mainly because that’s changed in the last few months, and specifically because I haven’t talked about that change except on the JG homepage. Probably because I mentally categorise this place, Interconnected, as my public notebook for whatever’s going through my head, rather than a place for, y’know, MARKETING, which would be the smart and proper thing to do.

And, for me, it was one of those facepalm moments of “um, why haven’t I talked about that?” which is exactly why I need this random-video-call-powered serendipity machine, because it turns out that - when I don’t have conversations with actual humans on the regular - I miss some sooooper obvious stuff.

So let’s rectify that right away:

What is Job Garden anyway? A belated explanation.

Job Garden builds and maintains portfolio job boards for investors.

VCs want to help the startups they invest in with their hiring.

They can do that by pointing attention at the open jobs. VCs often command a lot of valuable attention with a Twitter following (either as an organisation or individual partners), or similar on LinkedIn, or with an email newsletter.

So at Job Garden, we have a custom web crawler that pulls the latest opportunities direct from the public careers pages of startups. We tag and geocode the jobs.

And, from that, we create aggregated job boards.

For example, here’s jobs.unreasonablegroup.com (we also support custom domains).

Unless the VC has a lot of organic traffic to their own website already, a web-based job board is only half effective. So on top of that, we provide:

  • tools to automatically get the word out on social media and in the VC’s own email newsletter
  • traffic analytics – to check that targeted attention is hitting the mark
  • plus live insights into hiring activity, such as “hey, this company is hiring in Sales for the first time, maybe go lend a hand.”

The basic package for a VC is free. There’s also a premium tier.

All of which is to say: if you’re an investor, do get in touch because I’m sure we can help. And if you run into any investors, please let them know about Job Garden.

And now back to your scheduled programming.

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