Jigsaw Uses Contacts As Currency

The New York Times’ “A Service That Aims to Make Cold Calls a Bit Warmer” gives some interesting background on a new social networking service called “Jigsaw”. This is an interesting one.

I can totally see that the dynamics of the model are great and I am sure they could make a business of this. Still, I’d be really concerned about the fact that the data they’re trading is someone else’s personal information. Given that the first thing I ask when I’m cold called is “where did you get my name?” and “how did you get my number/e-mail?”, this “valuable information” being shared could end up hurting relations as prospects get creeped out by how they were found. Also, I really hate that they want to supplement an paid service with ads. Ads don’t belong in every business model and I think pure online services like this dilute their value greatly when they try to make a few extra bucks with banner ads.

Does anyone know if CEO Jim Fowler (not “the Jim Fowler”) has a blog? It would be interesting to hear about his experiences with privacy and business model issues as they clearly have an interesting idea here.

(Tip’o the hat to Kevin Speicher at “Woodgreen” for the link)

Originally published at www.onedegree.ca on March 28, 2005.