I am not surprised to see Rich Barton involved in another startup, especially one with a social networking concept. I am also not surprised to see this new venture, Glassdoor , hit the scene in stealth mode as his other company,Zillow did. Lastly I am not surprised to see Benchmark fund this thing.
From the comments on Dustin’s blog you can see that others at Zillow know about this venture and claim that it is not real estate related. Not everybody believes this but I believe them because it would be too great a conflict of interest for Rich and Zillow.
I think that Rich and his team at Glassdoor realize that the concept of harnessing social networks is ripe. Transparency, collaboration, search, and the wisdom of crowds are all part of this picture. Growing up we used the saying “you make a better door than a window” whenever someone blocked your view. I believe that social networks and web 2.0 are set to open views and provide access to information that has been, until now, behind closed doors.
We are heavy users of Google Docs and other free services. but the fact is we don’t use them because they are free – we use them because they are the best choice for us. I have always believed that “Free”, in the right context, makes sense. Chris Anderson, author of the Long Tail and editor of Wired thinks so too. Check out his latest cover story on Wired.” Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business“
You may not agree with all his statements but ultimately the ideas he espouses are dead on. There are some particularly insightful statements such as “Technology is giving companies greater flexibility in how broadly they can define their markets, allowing them more freedom to give away products or services to one set of customers while selling to another set.”
Any provider of an online service should take note. I know we will.