BK: Mark, congrats on the acquisition. How did the acquisition come about, and why did you decide to sell the company?
MM: Actually WorkZoo wasn't on the market. The Vertical Search conference was approaching, and I decided to do some networking prior to the show. I contacted Jason Goldberg, Jobster CEO, and we started chatting. Jason told me about Jobster and what they're doing, and I got very excited about their business model. Jobster has built a software platform that lets companies target 'passive job seekers' whereas WorkZoo targets active candidates.
In our conversations it became clear that there is a huge amount of synergy between vertical job search and Jobster's new approach to recruiting. I flew up to Seattle on very short notice, and I met the impressive team that Jason has assembled. We continued chatting and the ideas just kept flowing. So we made a decision to join forces.
BK: It's interesting to see you took the site to where it is with only two people -- how did you manage to grow it so well with so little resources?
MM: WorkZoo is built using purely open source software - the same way Google has been built. We use Linux, Perl, Apache, MySQL and several other open source products. This reduces our operating costs considerably and also provides a more flexible and stable technology platform. Right now we have a great platform for innovation.
We also took an approach of not outsourcing anything unless it was impossible for us to do ourselves. My wife and WorkZoo co-founder, Kerry Boyte and I did almost all of the legal, financial, marketing and operations stuff ourselves. We live in a very different world from 10 years ago, and there is a wealth of information and resources for entrepreneurs online and much of it is free. Google is an incredible resource and if you have a problem, it's likely that another business owner out there has the same issue and has talked about it online.
BK: Did you ever look for angel or venture funding to grow the company?
MM: No. We were approached by many VC's but we never actively sought outside funding. WorkZoo is entirely funded by us and once our traffic started to increase the company became self funding.
BK: Jason, why did you decide to acquire WorkZoo, and what was the thought process in acquiring the site?
JG: At Jobster we are driven by customer needs and innovation. WorkZoo has the right technology, the right people, and it’s the right fit for Jobster. WorkZoo is the leader in vertical job search and they have proven time and time again that they also have a deep understanding of customer needs. By bringing these two companies we’ll be able to better serve our customers and together we’ll be able to help connect great people with great opportunities
BK: What's next for WorkZoo--are you going to move up to Seattle, or will you be expanding here in Southern California?
MM: My wife and I are excited to be moving to Seattle to join the Jobster team where I'll be managing Jobster's search engine technology.