Serial internet entrepreneur Ray Nolan talks iPhone apps, Irish entrepreneurial talent and Worky.com, his latest venture that plans to challenge the traditional job-seeking site.
What is Worky.com and what makes it so different from the average job seeker or recruitment site out there?
Worky.com is a completely different beast: it is a hiring network that does not contain static listings, but rather interactive profiles with real-time data and the options for easily adjustable searches for those hiring, as well as seeking work.
Many jobsites have what I like to call ‘bad Google’; searching for keywords doesn’t always get the desired result for the employer, and they are free to re-list the same job numerous times, which makes it more difficult to sort through for the jobseeker.
It is more of a full-on application than a website. Jobseekers can easily tweak their profile to state desired salary, as well as how available they are, but can also keep track of jobs that interest them and remain anonymous in case they are currently employed.
Potential employers can use this tracking system to keep tags on potential employees for a certain position, while also retaining a history of ones they have ruled out.
What costs are involved for users, both jobseekers and employers?
Jobseekers and employers can upload profile and job specs and browse through listings for free. The only cost involved is when they wish to communicate directly with a chosen individual.
You’re working on a Worky.com application for download from the iTunes App Store – do you think all online services should offer customers an iPhone app?
iPhone apps are not applicable to every business or business model. If the functionality of the app is largely derived from data retrieved online, then it’s hard to argue if an app is appropriate.
Design an iPhone-sized site that does the same job. This requires far less investment and is easier to modify and maintain.
Do other ‘app stores’ such as Nokia’s Ovi Store and RIM’s BlackBerry App World have potential to earn their slice of the mobile applications pie?
As for other app platforms, I can see them all catching up. It’s hard to see how they will match the iPhone hardware in the short term though.
What are your thoughts on entrepreneurship in Ireland? Have we the thirst to be a nation of start-ups, or indeed the Government backing?
I strongly believe that we have a wealth of entrepreneurial talent. There is a healthy start-up culture and it should be nurtured.
The cost of nurturing a start-up is minimal compared to the potential upside in terms of employment and overall benefits to the economy.
Government backing is solid if sometimes unexciting. There are a few initiatives emerging of late, which illustrate lateral thinking.
Collaborations between industry and Government bodies such as the Internet Growth Alliance provide a fresh perspective on motivating start-ups, rather than bogging them down with paper roadblocks.
Conversely, start-ups need to understand that reaching out for cash from day one is not always the best option.
The further down the track you are before raising money, the more of the company you hold on to. Even a good prototype will usually mean that the entrepreneur gets to hold on to more stock during a fundraiser, than with a concept alone.
Get as far as you can on petrol fumes before filling the tank!
By Marie Boran