In our ongoing effort to render our name obsolete, NotQuiteProfitable.com has been searching for new markets and new businesses where others have already demonstrated success. In this way, we can leverage our unique core competency of imitating the innovations of others. Knowing that it takes a great deal of work to create a completely new market, we prefer to follow the advice of our founder who said, “Some people win races by going faster than everyone else. Others win races by not crashing.”
As a part of this search for the corporate version of a free lunch, we have begun work on a new job search website and expect to have the site online within a matter of weeks if not years. Why choose to move into the job search business at this point in time? The answer is simply that the business of managing job searches on the internet has been repeatedly shown to meet the two criteria we look for in any new enterprise.
- We can make money at it.
- We can be successful (see #1) without actually delivering anything.
There’s gold in them thar hills. We recently assigned a summer intern to the task of researching the profitability of job search web sites. We never did get an direct answer to the question which has shown us that the middle school internship program might not have been the best idea. There is at least anecdotal evidence from a cursory examination of the multitude of job search web sites now in existence. These sites have proliferated to the point where they have run out of all of the good names. If this were not the case, then there would not be a need for sites with names like Snagajob.com.
Where’s the beef? Experts tell us that somewhere over three quarters of all open positions are never posted externally and can only be found by people inside a corporation. These same experts (or at least other individuals with really impressive credentials) also continue to state that the most reliable method of finding a job is through personal networking. This means that an individual using a job search website is looking at a minority of the available jobs while using an inferior method for searching. With all of this stacked against that individual’s job search success, it is no wonder that they fail again and again. One begins to understand why they are unemployed.
The important point for us is that the individual can not then blame the website because they chose to use a toolset that almost guarantees failure. While these sites have the benefit of allowing you to search for jobs while wearing your pajamas, they have the downside of requiring a Charlton-Heston-class miracle to actually produce results.
We love businesses like this! It is a money machine where the customer has no real expectation of getting anything in return. While many users pay nothing to get nothing, millions of others are willing to pay for “premium services” which are the job search equivalent of a lotto ticket.
What do these job search web sites have in common? They all combine the complete lack of privacy of Facebook with the opportunity for success of an online penny auction / bidding site. This is an area where we can do quite well as we are fully capable of abusing our customer’s trust while providing nothing in return.
After we determined that there was money to be made without the need to actually provide a worthwhile service, it only remained for us to determine the base of customers we would try to service. Well, not really service, but you know what we mean. Some demographics have already been covered by other job search web sites and we did not want to have to actually compete against another firm. That ruled out going after the people that are looking for those mythical $100K+ jobs that theLadders.com keep dangling just out of reach. We were not going for the movers and shakers of the business world, but the moved and shaken. They are less likely to complain when things don’t work out.
That gave us a pointer to the customers we were seeking. We wanted the people that the job market considers –
- Too old and expensive, or
- Too young and inexperienced, or
- Showing too many piercings and/or tattoos, or
- Unmotivated and just plain lazy.
While many in this group may be customers of existing job sites, we know they are not being served there. Why shouldn’t they not be served at our site as well as any other site? These are the people that no one will hire. Ever. While they may never be linked in, we can give them a group identity along with all of the others who are Locked Out.
We hope you are as excited as we are about this new venture. While another summer intern is busy working on the code to support the new site, we will soon start our marketing campaign. The first thing you should expect to see will be simple black and white billboards with teasers like these.
- Do you have the analytical skills of a art major and the personality of an economist? Then you may be LockedOut.
- Do you have the attention span of a performance artist and the sensitivity of a mathematician? Then you may be LockedOut.
- Do you have 35 years of proven results but don’t own a smart phone? Then you may be LockedOut.
- Are you an ex-heavy-metal-drummer looking for a position as a school counselor? Then you may be LockedOut.
While we think these make a pretty compelling case, we are always looking for more creative material that we do not have to pay for. If you have any suggestions for billboards, please add them in the comments section below.
We also encourage you to check out the broadcast schedule this summer. We are working on a reality TV spinoff based on LockedOut.com titled, “So You Think You Can Work?”