Archive for the ‘Steven Rothberg’ Category

(January 04, 2008) Research tool vs connection tool. That’s  the difference between Zoom Info and other social software services, I think. I’m learning a lot about Zoom. That makes my experiments with Facebook all the more interesting.Somewhere in my web reading yesterday, I noticed one of those quotes that gets me going. Roughly, “Experts say that 40% of your hiring should be through referral networks.” I’m not sure that I have any idea what that means. As usual, the experts went unnamed.

A network involves people who you can call to get things arranged. A network is a potentially collaborative web of connections and recommendations. A network is made of people with whom you have connection.

Facebook manages to give the feeling of intimacy and respect in a way that I have not seen in other online communities or social software toolsets. Somehow, the protocols of offline friendship are maintained and the feeling of closeness is fungible.

(I should note that my children are a little less than perfectly happy about my entre. I understand this to be a reflection of the dynamic I am trying to describe. Facebook manages to create a sense of home-iness. It cements networks with a feeling of immediacy.)

There are several interesting applications available to prospective employees. Steven Rothberg’s has a number of applications including a search interface and a flow of the latest internships.

Ageneral search on the word “jobs” produces an enormous windfall of opportunity.

I am planning to get to know the Jobster application over the weekend.I

John Sumser. – © 2008 Two Color Hat, Inc. Santa Rosa, CA


(January 03, 2008) I have been experimenting.

In 1993, I was working as the Executive Director and Editor for the Point Foundation in Sausalito. Point was the non-profit founded by Stewart Brand that ‘owned’ the Well, the Whole Earth Catalog and the Whole Earth Review (a quarterly magazine). It was the job of my dreams

The offices were on the docks. It was a very unlikely place to be ground zero for anything. Imagine a big grimy garage full of smart, independent visionaries. Imagine a complete lack of funding. Imagine a place where the only fertilizer for a new idea was the idea itself.

One day, a fellow who worked for the Well walked into my office with his Mac Laptop in hand. “You’ve got to see this, John.” He had installed a copy of a software tool called XMosaic, fresh from the labs in Switzerland. It was one of the first copies of the original browser in the United States (like maybe there were two or three others).

He showed me a “home page”. If I remember correctly, it was by a guy in Japan. “John, we have to build a home page for the Point  Foundation,” he pleaded.

With all of the wisdom I could muster, I looked him dead in the eye and said, “Who would ever want one of those?”

The point of the story is that it’s possible to miss the future when you are staring right at it. After a couple of days of experimenting with Facebook, I am reasonably convinced that I made the same sort of mistake again. While Jobster was colonizing Face-space right under my nose, I was able to avoid giving the tool a fair try for nearly a year.

The good news here is that the mainstream recruiting industry and enterprise software vendors will take the usual five years to begin to adopt the new technology.

Facebook is other than I imagined. Everything I heard about sex was different than sex. Facebook is like that, too.

This morning, I received a gift from Chris Russell. Last night, I began working on prototypes for the Recruiting Roadshow logo. I like to have something in hand when I talk to the graphics people. I uploaded my experiments into an album. Chris saw what I was doing (we’re friends on Facebook) and had a few spare creative cycles. So he made and sent me an alternative version of the logo.

Facebook allows a kind of collaborative work that I haven’t seen anywhere before. More tomorrow.

John Sumser. – © 2008 Two Color Hat, Inc. Santa Rosa, CA

(December 21, 2007) There are a lot of people to thank for this past year. Starting and building the momentum of the Recruiting Roadshow took a lot of effort from a lot of people. Shifting from my comfortable home at interbiznet took support and energy. Bearing up under the new scrutiny at took some patience and the muffling of two layers of duct tape.
A number of good friends fed me with a straws (through the tape) at the difficult times. It’s good to have and build friendship as a part of making a living. My work is colored by the people who nourish me with their stories about the recruiting world, their ideas about what it could be like and their hopes for bigger and better times.  
I’ve always been fortunate to have relationships with people who start companies. As an entrepreneur who thinks about strategy, it seems pretty normal to inhabit a world that mostly includes other leaders who build businesses for a living.
Over the years, I have seen a thousand good tricks for making things happen. This year, though, I may have been shown the ultimate trick. 
Steven Rothberg, you may know, is the hard working founder of Very, very few people in our industry work as hard or as persistently as Steven. Through sheer tenacity, he built CollegeRecruiter into the powerhouse it is today. Steven spoke at both the Dallas and Atlanta Recruiting Roadshows.
Somewhere along the line, Steven sent me a wonderful had written Thank You note. It was short, sweet and very thoughtful. I was astonished by the way it changed my perception.

As far as I can remember, it was the first time ever that I had received one. Writing thank you notes is part of the conventional wisdom about doing business. I assumed that it was theory from people with no experience until I got Steven’s note.

As you can see, I remember the note very clearly almost six months later.

Steven got me started. I’ve been following his lead and hand writing Thank You notes. What’s amazing is the effect it has on me.

Thank you, Steven.

John Sumser. – © 2007 Two Color Hat, Inc. Santa Rosa, CA

John Sumser's Recruiting Roadshow
I spoke yesterday with the President and Founder of, my friend Steven Rothberg.

Disappointed at being shut out from the recent bidding for a piece of Facebook Steven is not one to cry in his beer. He is putting his investments elsewhere and sponsoring the Dallas Recruiting Roadshow instead!

It’s a shame Steven won’t be able to join us on the day to share his wealth of knowledge on using social networks for recruiting best practice like he did in Atlanta. But no matter — there is plenty here online to dig through and many more lessons inspired by his ongoing research. Case in point, see today’s post on Social Network Ignoramus: The Fate of a Recruiting Dinosaur?

Steven and continue to be good friends to the Roadshow. Thank you!