April 29th, 2019


Put off building something because of competitors

Ask HN: Are you put off building something because it already exists?
At the end of 2006 I decided to build a job search aggregator. After 2 months of developing a prototype I found out that indeed.com and simplyhired.com already implemented job aggregators for ~2 years.

So, instead of continuing with job aggregator - I decided to build a job board (postjobfree.com)

My job board grew OK, because indeed.com and simplyhired.com sent us organic (free) traffic for couple of years.

But then (~2009) Indeed and Simplyhired started to charge job boards money for the traffic, and then refused to send even paid traffic to job boards (~2012).

In addition to that, Japanese "Recruit" holding bought Indeed in 2012 (for $1.2B).

Then "Recruit" bought Simplyhired (2016).

Then "Recruit" bought Glassdoor in 2018 (for another $1.2B). Glassdoor worked as a job aggregator as well.

So now largest job aggregator companies convert from "job aggregator" model to "job board" model where customers are direct employers and not other job boards.

So few years ago I started to transform my job board business into job aggregator again. I think if I never abandoned job aggregator idea in the first place, my business, probably, would be a little bit more successful by now. However it is hard to tell for sure. I could have given up competing against Indeed and SimplyHired back in 2007-2012.

Originally posted at: https://dennisgorelik.dreamwidth.org/170964.html