Paul Chittenden – Co-founder of JobKaster

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Paul Chittenden - Co-founder of JobKaster

We’re bootstrapping, so it’s a hectic schedule. I wake up, eat breakfast, and head out for work at my full time gig. When I’m at my full time job, it’s all business. I don’t mix startup life and work, but I do sometimes make phone calls at lunch or even meet potential clients and/or partners on my lunch break. We’re always busy, and I may work a 9 hour day or up to a 14 hour day depending on what’s going on. As soon as I get off work, I head to the gym and hit the iron. I don’t function well if I neglect my workouts.

Once I get home, I fire up the laptop and start working on JobKaster while eating dinner. We’re getting ready for our new release so I’m focusing on marketing and launch strategy. It’s a lot of research, outreach, and planning. I’m working on several big partnerships as well. I’ll typically work another four to six hours on JobKaster once I get home, then hit the sack and do it all over again.

Paul Chittenden is a seasoned Sales Professional in the Oil & Gas Industry who has worked for two of the most respected companies in the world. Although he has found success in the corporate world, the lure of technology and entrepreneurship has kept him up late at night working on various projects of his own.

His latest and most promising project helps job seekers find local jobs in order to cut their commute in half, increase job satisfaction, and spend more time doing the things they love.

Paul is Co-founder of JobKaster and is hell-bent on disrupting the job search industry. JobKaster’s innovative approach to job seeking will help you find the job you love in the community you love.

What are you working on right now?

My business partner, Ravi Budhu, and I are currently working on JobKaster, a map based job search app that helps job seekers easily find local jobs. Users can either search by their current location or enter the location of the area in which they want to work, and the jobs will pop up on a map to show all of the jobs nearby.

The job board industry really lacked a way to easily find local jobs. Most zip code based job searches we used really offered suboptimal results and sometimes, gave jobs way outside of the specified area. We wanted to fix that by showing the jobs on a map.

User feedback has been great… We have Dad’s working at Fortune 500 companies just wanting to shave some time off their commute to spend more time with their kids. We have high school and college students that are looking for a job close to home due to lack of transportation.

JobKaster is going to be the best solution on the market anytime someone wants to find a job in a specific area!

Where did the idea for JobKaster come from?

For me, the idea for a map based job search came from a very strong frustration of sitting in Houston traffic in my daily commute. I hate traffic! It might stem from the fact that my supercharged Mustang isn’t as fun to drive at 1 or 2 MPH or the fact that my leg was getting cramps from constantly holding down the clutch.

I couldn’t help but think that there had to be a better way to find jobs closer to home. I used a map based home finder on the Houston Realtor site, HAR.com (which is awesome) all the time, and I thought that this would be the perfect way to find a job!

But actually…The idea for JobKaster came from Ravi first. I didn’t know it yet, but he was building JobKaster while I laying out the plans for my own location based job search app. He was my biggest competitor for a while, and really, the only one of my competitors that I was remotely worried about at the time. A mutual friend introduced us, and next thing you know I was on a flight to Arizona to meet him in person. Shortly thereafter, I stopped development of my own project and joined JobKaster as Co-Founder.

How do you make money?

We make money when an employer posts their job. It’s quick and easy.

Research shows that employee retention increases in relation to shorter commute times, and recruiters love this.

What does your typical day look like?

We’re bootstrapping, so it’s a hectic schedule. I wake up, eat breakfast, and head out for work at my full time gig. When I’m at my full time job, it’s all business. I don’t mix startup life and work, but I do sometimes make phone calls at lunch or even meet potential clients and/or partners on my lunch break. We’re always busy, and I may work a 9 hour day or up to a 14 hour day depending on what’s going on. As soon as I get off work, I head to the gym and hit the iron. I don’t function well if I neglect my workouts.

Once I get home, I fire up the laptop and start working on JobKaster while eating dinner. We’re getting ready for our new release so I’m focusing on marketing and launch strategy. It’s a lot of research, outreach, and planning. I’m working on several big partnerships as well. I’ll typically work another four to six hours on JobKaster once I get home, then hit the sack and do it all over again.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I keep a notebook with me at all times. Inspiration strikes when you least expect it. I keep a running tab of all my business ideas, but JobKaster is my main priority at the moment.

At JobKaster, we’re lucky to have a great team. If Ravi or I have an awesome idea on a new product feature, we can hand it to Jeff and Justin on our development team and be fully confident that they can make it happen. They’re rockstars!

What’s one trend that really excites you?

It would definitely be the switch to mobile. Before 2007, I would have never guessed the things that you could do with a mobile phone. Today, I couldn’t leave home without it.

That’s one thing with JobKaster that we are really focusing on… The mobile job search experience. Our mobile experience will be excellent.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

I grew up in the oilfield so hard work is in my blood. I would have to say that my worst job was working in a shipyard. It was grueling work, and I would be so full of grease and oil that I would change clothes at lunch.

I loved working offshore on rigs and platforms, but it was pretty rough at times too. It may have been the seasickness every time I got on the crew boat or the fact that you missed holidays and birthdays with your family and friends.

When I think about it, I do sometimes miss the hard labor though. Sometimes there is nothing better than a good hard day’s work.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

I would have started searching for a partner earlier. I was determined to do everything on my own, and it took me a while to realize that I couldn’t do it. I had a personal pivot where I realized I needed some help. Partnering with Ravi was the best decision I’ve made so far. We’re moving 10X faster and our skills complement each other perfectly.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Learn. Your education shouldn’t stop the day you graduate college. You should continue to educate yourself throughout life. Books, there is so much knowledge online these days, and of course networking.

Develop a good group of mentors. Don’t just utilize them to solve your problems. Find out what areas they are having problems in their own life (business or personal) and find ways to help them. I guarantee this will provide way more return in the long run.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Wow! I’ve had many failures. My first big failure was a job board for oilfield workers. It was a promising idea, but I lacked the technical know how to do the things I wanted to do. Looking back, if I had the team I have now, I have no doubt that it would have been successful.

As an entrepreneur, failures are just an obstacle. You fail, you learn from your failure, and you move forward. I don’t regret anything I’ve done. My failures are truly some of my biggest learning experiences.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I think there are some huge opportunities in environmentally friendly businesses. Going green is an ongoing movement. If you can find a way to save people money and let them help the environment, you will be a winner. I’m thinking solar, retrofitting businesses and houses, geothermal, etc.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?

Besides world peace, I would like to change education. I think our current practices are outdated, and that we need major reform in the educational system. As far as how to go about that, I’m not sure.

Tell us something about you that very few people know?

If I could start life over from 5 years old, I would start training to either be an MMA fighter or a punter for the NFL. I love MMA, and the only way I would ever make it in the NFL is if I were a punter or kicker because I’m too small and slow. Punting seems like the most laid back job on the field.

What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?

Evernote: Evernote is absolutely the best note taking app in the world. Any idea, interesting article, or picture can be sent directly to Evernote. You can then search Evernote by keyword or by tag to find your notes. It’s awesome!

Gmail: Who wouldn’t want to use Google to search their emails?

LinkedIn: It’s one of the best networking tools around. It makes it easy to search a company for the decision makers and get an introduction if you don’t already know them.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham – Everyone needs to know how to sell, and this is the only book on sales you’ll ever need.

Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?

@ramit – Ramit Sethi is a personal finance guru first, career advisor, and someone who pushes people to start a business on the side to make more income. More importantly, he’s hilarious. I love his take on “getting into your customer’s head.” A lot of his stuff is promoting his courses, but his free material is well worth it!
@randfish – Rand Fishkin is the CEO and Founder of SEOmoz. He is the number one SEO guru.
@mashable – To keep up with Mashable news.

When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?

I just read a post on Reddit that was about men who missed obvious signals from women that were clearly interested in them. Men really are clueless sometimes, and it was really funny!

Who is your hero, and why?

The first thought that comes to mind is my parents, but I assume you are looking for a hero in business.

In business, I would have to say Richard Branson.

Sir Richard has set some of the most audacious goals, and conquered the majority of them. He’s started iconic businesses such as: Virgin Records, Virgin Airways, Virgin Mobile, and Virgin Galactic. Where he failed, he kept moving forward. He’s a risk taker and adventurer. I may never be as successful, but I hope I can embody some of these traits in my adventures as an entrepreneur.

What are some blogs that you would recommend to our readers?

Tim Ferris:  – His blog posts are some of my favorite on the web. His guest posters are great. Playing basketball with the President (Ben, from Buried Life), Hacking Kickstarter (Mike Del Ponte), and Free PR like American Apparel (Ryan Holiday).

Seth Godin: – He’s simply a genius. Author of the Purple Cow and many others.

Amy Hoy – Unicorn Free: – She’s entertaining and delivers practical advice for startups based on her own experience with her web apps.

What’s your favorite quote?

“That which was obtained too easily, is esteemed too lightly.”

Connect:

http://www.jobkaster.com
JobKaster on Twitter: @jobkaster
JobKaster on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jobkaster
Paul Chittenden on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/paulchittenden/
Paul Chittenden on Twitter: @pauljchittenden

Published on January 17, 2013 .

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