A product I would love to see: professional networking via Facebook

Giff Constable social media, technology

Last Fall, I was thinking about a few things:

  • people are increasingly trying to do professional networking via Facebook, but support for such a task is awful
  • my LinkedIn network does not really overlap with my Facebook network
  • my FB network has tons of successful, smart people who know other successful, smart people
  • if a friend of mine recommended someone they knew, that would carry a lot of weight

So if I’m hiring, why couldn’t I search among friends-of-friends on Facebook for talent?  If I was looking for a job, why couldn’t I search among friends of friends to see what their companies were looking for?  If I needed an introduction to a company, why couldn’t I see that overlaid onto my personal social graph?

I realized that there is a company that does this kind of thing, but for dating.  It’s Thread.com, with their FB Connect app. Thread was backed by the FBFund, First Round, and a lot of prominent angels.  I really want to see someone build the Thread.com for business. I want to use it.

With a whiz programmer friend, we actually started building it as a little hobby project but it got shunted aside when Aprizi took shape.

There are a number of challenges to this business, including choosing a business model you’re really happy with, and Facebook’s tech quirks and rules around FB Connect.  Many people haven’t filled in their work histories on Facebook, but I believe that as soon as someone needs a job, or really needs to hire, they would become highly motivated participants (and I think you would want them to enter profile info directly into your app rather than into Facebook).

If LinkedIn truly opens up their app API, there could be really interesting ways to bridge the two networks.

I still haven’t seen anything like this, and really hope someone builds it.  If you decide this is something you want to build, I’d be happy to share some Balsamiq mockups I created for you to use or trash as you wish.