LinkedIn is undoubtedly one of the most useful tools to connect with people from your work life. However, many users have complained that their LinkedIn profile doesn’t give them an adequate platform to show off their portfolio. This can prove to be an important missing piece for marketers, artists, designers, and even writers.
French startup Dokker is looking to change that by offering a platform for portfolios to sync up with LinkedIn accounts. Dokker is free and allows users to post any kind of document to their online portfolio. Once a user builds a Dokker portfolio they can share it with LinkedIn and also Viadeo, which is LinkedIn’s number one competitor in Europe.
Services like Dokker allow for a much more robust picture of someone’s work life rather than just text and recommendations.
We got a chance to speak with Fred Ducrot, Dokker’s co-founder, General Manager and Product Designer. Check out our interview below.
What is Dokker?
Dokker.com is an online service that allows Linkedin and Viadeo (Linkedin #1 competitor in Europe) users to create a portfolio of their professional documents and to publish/share it on professional social networks and the web. Our members can publish any document (Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, Microsoft Visio, PDF) to create their portfolio. Our service is free when a member publishes a document in his/her portfolio we grant him/her a download credit to be able to benefit from a document in its native format from another member.
In layman’s terms, how does it work? (In other words how would you explain it to your grandmother)
Once on Dokker.com, you just need to register with our Linkedin or Viadeo credentials. There is no lengthy form to complete as we pull data from Linkedin and Viadeo in real time.
During the sign in process we create, for you, a dedicated portfolio page. You just then need to start uploading documents to showcase your skillset!
A portfolio or any given document can be published automatically in Linkedin, Viadeo or Twitter from Dokker thanks to our integration with these 3 social networks.
Each portfolio and each document has a public URL so that it can be shared anywhere on the web and, more importantly, is referenced by all the major Search Engines, providing the required visibility for our members.
Our members may also search any document belonging to other members by using our search engine or by browsing our document categories. Documents can be downloaded in their native format.
As our member’s identity is exclusively driven by Linkedin or Viadeo data, you can check the professional credentials of an author in one click.
Last but not least, each member benefits from a dashboard which provides key indicators on their network connections (registration, downloads, uploads) on Dokker as well as key figures regarding their documents’ activity (downloads, uploads, ratings and comments)
Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?
Fred Ducrot: General Management and Product Design
Fred came up with the idea of Dokker on the back of his many years as an IT and organization consultant. He has managed several worldwide implementation projects with Reuters, IBM and more recently at Econocom in France. He’s in charge of the day to day running of operations and product development.
Hubert Chesnais: Marketing & Sales
With 15 years of sales and marketing experience in the Software industry at an international level, Hubert is in charge of promoting dokker.com as a worldwide solution and growing the user and partner’s base. Hubert lives between Spain, the UK and France.
Albert Mahler: Advisory Board
Based in the U.S, Albert brings to Dokker a very wide experience of the web and the software industry coupled with an international trading background. Albert acts as the strategist advisor and a business angel.
Jonathan Travens: Lead Development
A web developer by passion, his expertise has been gained during several assignments at very large corporations involved in e-commerce and transactional systems. Always ready to take on a new technology, he drives our technical initiatives and ensures that the solution is up to user’s standards.
Where are you based?
Our headquarter is Based in Bordeaux, South West France. We also have representation in Malaga, Spain and Miami, Florida.
What’s the startup scene/culture like where you’re based?
Bordeaux boasts a vibrant startup scene with great companies starting to be very successful. Companies like Azendoo.com or Storific.com are being acknowledged as Startups with great potential. Bordeaux is the perfect location for starting a business has it has great transport links to all major cities in the world. The weather in Bordeaux is also quite good all year round. With the ocean only a few miles away it is a bit like the Valley but with a French touch to it!
How did you come up with the idea for Dokker?
I was a Director of Consulting for a French Consultancy firm and, one one hand, I was horrified to see my consultants and my customers starting from scratch their work documents again and again for every project or every new task. On the other hand I knew that there was material on the web but buried in very large sharing sites or published by users called “MickeyMouse1976” that did not provide a great deal of confidence… At the time I was also recruiting consultants and always wondered why I could not access some of their past work deliverable to check their real professional skills. This is how Dokker was born. A site where you can publish your 100% professional documents to gain visibility with customers and recruiters and download material from other professionals just like you.
What problem does Dokker solve?
“With over 300M profiles on Professional Social Networks, how do you stand out from the crowd?” You are unique and remarkable. Publish and share your work documents on Dokker.com.
What’s your secret sauce?
From the start we have designed our service to be multilingual. We are already operating in English and French. We shall be running Dokker in Spanish soon. Basically, we can integrate any new language in a matter of hours once the main translation has been done on paper.
Are you bootstrapped or funded?
We are bootstrapped but we have received a grant from the French Government as an innovative company.
What are some milestones you’ve achieved?
We managed to code Dokker in under 4 months with an alpha release ready last August. We then successfully launched it as a public beta at the WebSummit in Dublin on October 17th.
What’s your next milestone?
We are testing, with a few customers, an extension of our service so that they can manage an entire and very innovative recruitment campaign on Dokker. We hope to be ready to release this new feature sometimes in February.
What’s one challenge you’ve overcome in the startup process?
We’ve resisted the temptation to blow our money on conferences and tech events. They can seem fun but they are also very time consuming and expensive. For example we made a conscious decision not to go to LeWeb last December as it would not have been wise to spend that money and time in Paris when we had work to do at the Dokker’s HQ!
Who are some of your mentors and business role models?
We appreciate very much the work of French Entrepreneurs Marc Simoncini (@marcsimoncini) and Jeremy Berreby (@jberrebi) who run respectively the Jaina and Kima Ventures funds. They prove that you can be based outside the US and be very successful. We’ve also met in the US Scott Maxwell from OpenViewPartners.com. He was very inspirational for go-to-market techniques.
What’s next for Dokker?
We want to keep building our user base as well as building a robust B2B business model with our innovative recruitment campaign management solution. But more importantly, we want to see people be noticed and hopefully recruited thanks to their Dokker portfolio. That is our aim. In these troubled economical times, we want to empower people to that they can prove what they’re worth while enabling companies to identify the right candidate.