Sean Weinberg the small fry cook and Co-founder at Rezscore.com, trying desperately hard to prove to people that they can use data to transform their day-to-day life, starting with their job search.
He’s on his second start-up now (this one is much cooler) and is very proud to be the dude brewing the coffee that powers the team. Sean starred on an epically bad Canadian TV show that aired on the Christian channel (he’s Jewish), acted in another movie by the same director that has not seen the light of day, and once ate a fist sized ball of wasabi on a dare. His body hated him for it but his mind was filled with glory. He’s also a (very) part-time law student at Rutgers-Camden School of Law.
What are you working on right now?
I am the co-founder of RezScore.com. It’s a wacked out, knock your socks off, crazy, never been done before, analytics platform for job seekers. We take the doubt out of your job search.
I’m doing everything I can to explode the mind-numbing black hole that is a job search and fill it with the bright light of hard information.
I’m also working on convincing my wife that we need to get a dog. It’s a hard sell.
3 trends that excite you?
The Platform Movement: The modern web’s low barrier to entry has birthed hundreds (thousands?) of companies It’ll be really exciting to see tools that do very niche things combine to provide single platforms for companies and consumers to manage everything. Our internal motto is integrate, integrate, integrate. We’ll work with anyone who could be a powerful add-on for our consumers. We want to be useful to them in every possible way.
I don’t understand Kurzweil’s singularity in the human sense, but I do think we’re due for a singularity in web platforms. I just hope it’s not Facebook. Mostly out of inventor envy.
Saving Money: Looks like the world is learning to be a little bit smarter with how they spend money. This is a human issue, not just an economic one. It’s heartening to see that people can really change how they approach problems. Gives us hope that we can actually change how people think about their job search.
The Rise of Angel Funding: Self-explanatory.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Compartmentalization is really critical for me.
I’m a bit scatter shot, so when I’m building something the first thing I do is create a very simple bulleted list with every possible idea, problem, solution, angle, work-around, numbers and hyperlinks I can think of. Then I sort them into component areas. The trick is to be broad with your categories but specific with the items in them. After that, I write out a 3-7 word Ultimate Goal (I do this second because the process of writing down every component part usually makes me rethink my original goal). Then I review the list and choose the item that I think is most critical to reaching the goal.
Then I attack.
Final thoughts: Speed is God. I don’t have an off-button. I’ll try anything at least once. I’ll show my product to people who don’t know anything about it and get their responses. They’ll give the best (and the worst – but also the best!) feedback.
What inspires you?
Thank you emails. Can’t arrange to get them in advance when I need them, but boy do they make a difference when they come in. What is one mistake you’ve made that our readers can learn from? Listening TOO much.
I’ve read the same advice all of you have: get mentors, listen carefully, read the blogs, do research, get customer feedback, etc. But it gets hard to separate the good from the mediocre. We listened to a lot of early feedback about what we could/ should be doing with our product. The feedback was from ‘experienced investors’. We wasted months trying to make our vision fit into what these folks told us was going to work.
It didn’t work.
When we returned to how we’d originally envisioned things, RezScore blew up (in a good way).
Know when to ignore advice, even when it comes from smart people. And to entrepreneurs out there, remember that investors generally don’t at all look like your typical customer. Don’t worry too much about what they think.
What is one book and one tool that help you bring ideas to life?
Book: The Art of The Start – pure gold.
Tool: Skype. You can do so much more with it than just make calls.
What is one idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Bayesian algorithms/ filters can be used for so much more than just spam (i.e. we’re using it for RezScore). Someone should build an automatic homework grader. We’ll give you the tech if you collect the data!
Second idea: if you’re a job seeker, sign up for an email platform (Constant Contact, MailChimp, SendGrid, YMLP). Almost all of them have free plans or free demo periods. Use them to send your resume submissions that are emailed out. Then you can track opens and clicks (assuming you’re including a link to your LinkedIn profile in the body of your email or a link to your ResumeBucket profile). You can also keep track of all your resume submissions, know when and who opened your application AND see if they’ve opened your email or clicked more than once. That’s some killer info.
Who is the one person you’d love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?
Charlie Sheen. Genius or nutjob?
What’s the most important skill for a startup founder to have?
The ability and willingness to pick up the phone. This applies to technical and non-technical co-founders. If you can’t/ aren’t willing to call someone about your product, you’ve got to either build the next Facebook or be prepared to fail.
Same rule for job-seekers.
Can you share a randomly generated haiku with us?
sneezing apple tree
chortles, tall cesspool escapes
Contact Sean Weinberg via email: sean AT rezscore .com
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.