Early-stage companies often raise money in a seed round for the sole purpose of figuring out if their business will scale to something big. If, before the money runs out, they think the business scales, they then raise more money in a series A round. In most cases, the nascent business doesn’t scale, so the company has to change focus completely. That was the case with ClearGears, so we’re now trying to figure out our new focus, Interview Jet.

We’ve created the site, brought on clients, and sent out a bunch of emails asking employers to pay to interview our candidates.

Here are some of our findings after three weeks:

Hypothesis:

      We can find candidates through multiple channels.

Conclusion:

      We can, but it’s really hard and painstaking. For the business to work, people will have to sign themselves up.

Hypothesis: We can convince companies to sign up for the service.
Conclusion: True. We have had multiple companies sign up each day since launch.

Hypothesis: Companies will pay for interviews.
Conclusion: Yes, they will, but we learned that they’re equally as willing to pay a much larger placement fee, and they prefer free interviews. Even small companies say this.

Other learnings: No one likes spam. We have to send emails to companies based on their preferences. Unless and until we can do that, we should not send emails.

Our next step is to make it easy for companies to set their preferences and for candidates to create their profiles. We’ll then build a system to match candidates to companies, with human screening in between. The technology is relatively easy, but winning the trust of job seekers and potential hiring managers is hard. We’ll continue to work fast and be lean. Today we, for example, we used Posterous to launch our blog.

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