California Startup: Recmnd.Me The People Recommendation Site, Interview

Recommendation startups are hot right now. It seems that every time you turn around there is another startup or app recommending something or other. Now Jesse Gant, who has a lengthy resume in some big startups like, has invented the people recommendation startup.

Now we all know that LinkedIn offers referrals and references, but those are all from your top tier contacts. I couldn’t tell you how many  times a friend of mine, or even a nodding acquaintance has asked me to write a referral or reference for them on LinkedIn. A few I’ve done, others I’ve passed on.  Most hiring people and recruiters know the value of a LinkedIn referral, which is about as valuable as your LinkedIn password was yesterday.

Recmnd.Me allows you to post a profile for yourself and once you’ve signed up people can decide on their own with just a click if they’re going to recommend you or not. Gant told TechCrunch that he had seven references on LinkedIn throughout his entire career, but on he already had 21.

The other piece for Recmnd.Me is that if you’re looking to fill a position or need, and you search, say, “software developer” Recmnd.Me is going to rank the software developers in the network for you to see and  choose.

Through one of our great friends in Utah we were introduced to Gant who took the time to do an interview with us. The interview is after the break.

What is Recmnd.Me?
Recmnd.Me is an easy and fun way for people to recommend and rate each other. It’s great for employers and recruiters looking to quickly hire top talent or for finding the best realtor, doctor, teacher – you name it.
Who are their founders and what are their backgrounds?
Jesse Gant is the CEO and co-founder. He has 15 years at companies such as,, Omniture (now part of Adobe), Move Networks and Teradata spanning ecommerce/subscriptions, social, video, search, map, analytics and other technologies. The other co-founder is still employed, so we prefer to keep him confidential at this time. But suffice it to say, he holds a high level leadership position at a large tech company.
Where are you based?
Orange County, CA
What is the problem that solves?
As hiring managers ourselves, we realize that employers and recruiters are always trying to find “A” players. Subsequently, people are always asking for the best doctor, realtor, etc. The best way to discover them are through personal and professional recommendations. We hear the average LinkedIn profile has <1 recommendation. That’s because it takes too long to be thoughtful and unique, so people generally don’t do it. On the flip side, employers and recruiters waste too much time sifting through resumes, so by ranking results every time, we speed up the process of finding top talent quickly by a variety of reliable criteria.
What’s your secret sauce?
Our secret sauce, if you will, is how we rank people based on recommendations and how we plan to adjust those rankings over time as we get more users and data. Think of it as Google’s PageRank, but for people. We’ll continually monitor it and make tweaks as necessary to ensure that no one is gaming the system. Our goal is to be the authoritative source for finding top talent, so we take seriously how recommendations are made and how we then use them to score and rank individuals. We hope people find it easier to manage their careers or client base by knowing how they rank among their peers and within certain locations.  People can manage their visibility and discover next steps in their career by monitoring how they are found and what they rank well for.
It looks like a lot of people have already started using Recmnd.Me, how did you build scale so quickly and what are you going to do to continue building scale?
It has a lot to do with our backgrounds. Both Co-Founders have worked at large companies managing millions of users and thousands of transactions – be it social interactions, ecommerce purchases or subscriptions. So we built it as a platform to be scalable day one. Leveraging a robust API layer, we can quickly extend our services to mobile and Facebook apps, which we plan to do so soon. The site itself is also viral by its nature. You recommend somebody and they are likely to recommend you back. It’s game-like, in that, who wouldn’t want to be #1 for their title or within their company or within a certain location. We also offer several ways to share rankings on Facebook, Twitter, via email or as embedable widgets on blogs, etc. You can even add a “Recmnd.Me” button to your personal website or blog to get recommendations much like you do the Like or Tweet button on Facebook or Twitter.
What is your monetization strategy?
We’ll continue to increase our user base, and then eventually offer premium subscriptions to employers and recruiters. That way, they can contact top talent directly and leverage premium search filters, advanced alerts and priority customer service. Job seekers and service professionals will be offered subscriptions or one time fees to see who’s viewed their profile and to be featured at the top of search results.
What is one lesson you learned in the startup process?
It was mentioned to us before launching Recmnd.Me, but trying to build a stellar product and acquire customers while raising funds, is not an easy task. Both take significant time and energy.
What’s next for Recmnd.Me?
We’re looking to release some new features to make it easier to get recommendations from others. We’re also hoping to integrate more heavily with major social networking sites like Facebook.
Where can people find out more?
We encourage everybody to come join the ranks to give us a try – https://Recmnd.Me/. This video is also helpful and explains some more about how it works and the vision for the website – But the best way to get a feel for it is to just sign up and browse the site to see what your competition is up to and also to see interesting data like the most recommended person at a particular company ( Or you can check out the most searched keywords on the site ( We designed it to be easy to use, and easy to share. 
Check out Recmnd.Me for yourself here
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