Chris McCann's Personal Blog

Life's too short to not do awesome things

The Entrepreneurial Thought Process in Action – ProjectJobs_

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In my last two posts here and here I laid out what entrepreneurial (effectual) reasoning is, the process it involves, and the underlying logic & 3 principles behind the entrepreneurial reasoning.

Now I want to show you a real life example of how this thought process works in action, because remember the entrepreneurial thought process is all about action, action, action, without any elaborate planning.

I recently have begun a new project which I’m calling JobShoots for now. As my personal bank account was nearing $0 I started frantically looking for a part time job, contract job, or anything I could find on sites like Monster, Yahoo Jobs, Jobster, etc and I kept running into a major problem. Every time I applied or called in about a job offer someone else had already beat me to it and the position was filled. I couldn’t get the job postings fast enough by going to the individual pages and I didn’t want all that job information to clutter up my RSS reader of Email Inbox.

I had an idea about a month ago that there should be Twitter accounts that inform job seekers about opportunities that come up in their geographic location. Instead of having to check a job site everyday, the available job opportunities would be “pushed” to them in their twitter account, which someone can subscribe to in their specific city. The main benefit to job seekers is they can be better informed about job opening and find a job quicker and easier.

In line with the entrepreneurial process I created the twitter account Jobs_SLO and pulled several RSS feeds from job listing websites into my Twitter stream (If your confused with all the twitter lingo check out the Jobs_SLO page and you can get a better understanding of what I am talking about). I threw up the page really quickly just to test out the concept and to see if this is something people demand and if people would actually use it. There was no cost to me besides my time and a little Yerba Mate Tea.

Good thing was people actually used it. I gained 100+ subscribers in less than two weeks but the bad news was the RSS syndicator I was using was crap. Since Twitter only allows 140 characters in the posts, job descriptions would be cut off, the links would be wrong, and overall the postings were in horrible quality. But despite all this people still came and demanded my content.

I let the project just sit for about a month and I didn’t do anything with it until I came across the SSE Ventures program yesterday. My friend happened to tell me about it since he knew I ran Innovation Quest and the Cal Poly Business Plan Competition, and told me I should check it out. I did and its pretty amazing that Stanford has pulled together student government money to fund entrepreneurial projects started by Stanford students (Wow I wish Cal Poly could do something similar!) and I decided to check out the company’s website that recently got funding from SSE Ventures which is the company DiffBot.

DiffBot makes a product called FeedBeater which specializes in taking dynamic html pages and turning the updates into an RSS feed, exactly what I needed for Jobs_SLO. So I thought to myself what the hell and gave FeedBeater a chance. It took a day for the feed to become functional but to my amazement it creates a very clean 140 character summary of the Job Description, the Industry, and a Link to the job postings I wanted to communicate to my twitter followers.

Now that I am slowly figuring out how to make the content good for job seekers, I thought to myself if this kind of content is demanded in San Luis Obispo County (which is only 200,000+ people strong) why wouldn’t this work in other cities and county’s? With this in mind I created:

To test out if this is really going to work in these other larger cities.

Bit by bit I am just trying stuff out and throwing stuff out there and seeing what happens. I have no idea what is in store for ProjectJobs_ but I am keeping my senses open to unexpected randomness and taking advantage of any opportunities that come my way.

If you have any ideas of what I should do with ProjectJobs_ or who I should talk to please leave it in the comments below or email me directly at chris.r.mccann@gmail.com

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