Sunday, January 15, 2006

Jigsaw Continues to Grow Content and Corporate Revenues

I had an update from Jigsaw CEO Jim Fowler the other day on their progress in developing their online database of business contact content. Already holding more than 2 million business contacts and growing at a rate of about 10,000 new contacts a day, Jigsaw's formula for developing high-quality business information from content contributed by business professionals seems to be unfolding rapidly on both the individual and institutional front. While sales and contributions on an individual basis are still the key to Jigsaw's success - especially for sales people who are more likely to want to keep their own contacts and contact history from job to job - Corporations are excited to get what amounts to a near-realtime update service for their sales forces. This is especially important for keeping up with middle management contacts who are oftentimes the doorways in to corporate accounts, contacts that are far less likely to crop up in updates from Web mining services and traditional database services tracking more senior management positions.

While social networking services for business contacts such as LinkedIn and OpenBC offer the ability to traverse business contact networks to get from one professional to another, people on these services are typically reluctant to onpass sales-oriented requests from relatively unknown contacts. This helps to increase the quality of referrals, but sometimes you just have to get to a contact no matter what. The transparent market model of Jigsaw offers sales professionals a marked advantage for those who need to find contacts for a particular account regardless of the quality of their social network. Content from public sources such as Jigsaw may never replace completely private databases of business information, but they are beginning to develop momentum and breadth of content that's likely to create a "go to" source that will challenge major database providers of business contacts to rethink traditional content collection methods sooner rather than later.
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