What?s Better Than A Business Card? Myndnet Says It Is

What’s better than having the business card of a software developer at Apple? Knowing that he was part of the UI development team for the iPhone. And therein lies the business model for Myndnet.com, a $1.75 million VC financed startup that pays a bounty for such knowledge.

Myndnet made its debut in September at DEMOfall07, a showcase for promising new products and companies, where it received warm coverage from the technology writers. Quietly growing since then, Myndnet has a few thousand members now signed up and responding to requests like a recent one for the name and contact information for ERP software buyers.

That one is still active on Myndset, so if you want to make a quick $40 all you need do is join the club and pony up your contact information.

Says Myndnet’s marketing chief Steve Zivanic, “We’ve had members make $1,000.” Another member, says Zivanic, is taking his family and the nanny to Disneyland on his Myndnet earnings.

At the moment, with only 17 requests up on the site, it’s difficult to see how you could make a living providing contact information, as some of the early reviewers suggested. On the other hand, it is easy to see how a recruiter, marketer or sales manager would find Myndnet a valuable tool when looking for specific individuals.

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Though it bears some resemblance to Jigsaw and LinkedIn Answers, Zivanic insists Myndnet is far more useful.

“Jigsaw gives you a title, a name and a phone number. If you’re sourcing for the scalability developers for YouTube, a title isn’t going to tell you that,” he explains. Whether or not Myndnet has enough scale itself to pull that off today is debatable, but it doesn’t cost to find out. Recruiters pay only if contacts are delivered and accurate. The minimum charge is $40 per name.

If Jigsaw is hearing the footsteps it hasn’t said, though it just discarded its old tagline “Buy and Trade Business Cards” in favor of “Complete, Collaborative Business Information.” We don’t know what that means and the company didn’t respond to us, but it wouldn’t be much of a challenge for Jigsaw to implement its own bounty program. The company claims a community of 350,000 members and it already has a message board with a “Datajunkies” forum where requests for specific contacts are routine.

John Zappe is the editor of TLNT.com and a contributing editor of ERE.net. John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.

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