How is AB5 (the Gig job crusher) affecting TA Tech vendors

Gig Economy

A recent article from the San Francisco Chronicle highlighted how Gig economy companies are dealing with the new California independent contractor law, AB5, that went into effect on 1/1/2020.

While a lot of the attention has been on companies like Uber and Lyft, there are other Gig Work platforms that are also being affected, like Wonolo, a California based gig worker platform.

Wonolo’s workforce is similar to many other platforms, like dog walking, freelance writing, and other platforms that offer independent contractors flexible work hours, but don’t provide benefits. This flexible, no benefits model just got harder to maintain in California, however.

Because Wonolo workers don’t meet the stated exemptions in AB5, the company has chosen to shut down gig operations in California. This is going to be an interesting ride, because California is one of Wonolo’s primary markets. Wonolo, and other applications might be able to continue to scale outside of California, or they’ll face changing to an employee model, similar to typical staffing firms.

What is AB5, and who does it affect?

California AB5 clarifies and creates exemptions to the California Supreme Court 2018 ruling, name Dynamex, making it harder for California companies to classify workers as independent contractors.

In short, AB5 creates a 3 step litmus test. Workers are considered employees, if:
* They perform tasks under a company’s control,
* The work is integral to the company’s business,
* The worker does not have independent enterprises in that trade.

This is going to be interesting to watch, because Uber, Lyft and other large gig platform companies are not laying down on this new classification. They’re fighting the law in court, while also proposing a new law to be listed in upcoming public elections.

There’s no doubt that flexibility of work options is a primary driver of the gig economy. It’s also one of the newest and biggest competitors to the traditional warehouse, hospitality, quick serve restaurant, and other part-time employers.

Glassdoor raises $50 Million, the website that made it OK to rant (“or praise”) about you’re current and former employers, just announced it has closed another $50 Million venture round.


This brings the total investment to over $93 million, in 6 years.

The company reports 22 Million members from over 190 different countries. shows monthly user visits of 3 Million.

What’s clear is that has invested heavily in creating an integrated Internet marketing campaign that leverages social media distribution to gain backlinks for their SEO strategy.

It’s clearly paying off.
* 62 million webpages indexed in Google
* 59,000 top 10 landing pages in Google
* 479,075 total backlinks
* 9,865 backlinks from unique domains
* 4,988 new backlinks

Glassdoor’s content marketing, blogging, and social media campaigns are top notch.
While Indeed was gaining SEO traction with aggregated job postings (Glassdoor is also doing this, but to a smaller scale), Glassdoor has been building a user-based content hub, like LinkedIn.

Their social stats:
* 11,447 unique pages linked from Facebook, and over 950,000 total links from Facebook alone.
* 2,732 pages linked from Twitter.
* 4,382 pages linked from Google+.
* 886 pages linked from LinkedIn.

* Stats from SearchMetrics.

What do you think?
Does Glassdoor have a big enough business plan, and user base to take on LinkedIn?

Monster going down like the Titanic, just slower!

The once 800 pound Gorilla in the Internet Job Search Market,, is slowly coming to the end of it’s life.

On December 4th, 2013,Monster started laying off hundreds of employees, and abandoning some international markets.

As a pioneer in the Internet Recruting and Internet Job Search industry, I’ve always lived and worked under the “Monster Cloud”. Monster has always been a big force in the industry, until the last 5 years.

Personally, I think founders bring a lot of focus and vision to a company. When they leave, a lot of that time, their vision leaves with them.
Think of Apple without Steve Jobs… (the thought of the Skully years… comes to mind.. well now too.)
Microsoft without Bill Gates…
Oracle without Larry Ellison, or
Starbucks without Howard Schultz?
Amazon without Jeff Bezos?
LinkedIn without Reid Hoffman
and of course, Facebook without Mark Zuckerberg.

That’s how I think of Monster without Jeff Taylor.

Taylor orchestrated the early years of Monster. He helped define Monster, and Internet Recruitment. He “crossed-the chasm” with Monster and brought Internet Recruiting into its existence.
The vision grew, and then was backed by bigger money, went public and continued to grow and scale up. The disruption of the “Print Classifieds” and transformation to “Internet Recruiting” was based on the single premise of creating a central portal to post your resume where employers could find you, and you could find employers with job openings.

Once the disruption was complete, the bean counters and Wall Street took over. Corporate money came in and innovation went out. Jeff left. That was August of 2005, and Monster has been slowly dying from that day forward.

Innovation was no longer a part of the corporate culture.
Instead, innovation became a line on the Balance Sheet, outsourced or purchased.
Without a vision, Market penetration and revenue became the game.
Monster went on to try to innovate through “acquisition”, which is a very difficult when it comes to your core company vision and technology.

That lead to several highly funded Venture startups whose sole exist strategy was “buyout-by -Monster” and other strange acquisitions.
* Tickle, an early social media site, $100 million, by Rick Marini, now Founder and CEO of Highly-funded, Branchout
* HotJobs, purchased from Yahoo, $245 Million, (essentially job seeker and client acquisition purchase)
* FlipDog, technology acquisition
* AffintyLabs, Social Networking platform, $61 Million
* Trovix, a Search Technology company, purchased in 2008, for $72.5 Million.

Some of the acquisitions made perfect sense.
Integrating these technologies into the Monster Brand, again, without a vision and real leadership, became almost impossible. Trovix, for example had great semantic search technology, that Monster purchaed in 2008. It took over 4 years for Monster to integrate the semantic technology they purchased into their core product. Monster’s 6Sense‚Ñ¢, was finally launched in 2012.

By then, Monster executives were hanging out on Long Island going over the “Next Deal”, while a little company in Mountain View, with an idea, passion, a great set of founders, and access to money, was working away at the next disruption…

While I have only met Jeff one time, from what I know about the early days, Jeff was definitely a character. You might have loved him or hated him, but he did have a presence and he built a highly successful company out of that energy.

Monster may not have always been out front on a lot of technologies, but they have adopted and continued to use their big international presence to continue to push the envelope of Internet Recruiting.

Unfortunately, I think a lot of people in New York are learning that Innovation isn’t something that can be purchased.

Innovation created and killed Monster, nothing else.

Just my $.02.

What do you think?
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Facebook’s New Job App will Eat Monster!

With the recent announcement of the long-awaited “Facebook Job App”, and having read some pretty negative reviews, I started wondering what kind of impact will Facebook really have in the “recruiting industry”.

First off, everyone wonders…
“Will this kill LinkedIn?”

Not at all.

I think LinkedIn will benefit from the competition.
In the recruiting world it sometimes takes a 5-10 years for technology to get adopted. That’s not bad, it’s just what it is.

“Social Recruiting” is still very new to corporations as a recruiting tool.
With Facebook getting into the market, more money and resources will be spent by HR and recruiting departments to “figure out” how to use the systems.

Because the Facebook application is pretty much terrible, LinkedIn is going to get a bigger share of the growing market. The market will grow, and only one provider has a viable product.

Facebook will cause some problems for the traditional job boards though.
Monster and CareerBuilder are not going to be happy about this though.

Facebook will EAT Monster.

My guess is that this is a “shot-across-the-bow” for Monster.
The Facebook app isn’t ready for prime-time, and the problems don’t see to be engineering… They seem to be systemic. Luckily for Monster.

If Facebook really wanted to be in the market, why would they come up with such a terrible application? Why would you create 4 tabs and not integrate the results? Even if it’s a test, this could have been done better. Does Facebook really have the will?

Right now they have 1.7 million jobs.
Indeed has over 7 million and SimplyHired 5 million.
(Maybe Facebook should buy SimplyHired! Heck, they’re only down the street!)

My guess that Monster was grabbing at straws to be a “job posting partner”. With the failure of BeKnown, their social application where “unemployed people can hang out and chat with other mutually depressed unemployed people”, they didn’t have much to talk about on earnings calls.

In the short-term, the Facebook Job App, might keep the Monster name around, but it’s really just duct-tape.
Will Monster get access to job seekers? Probably. But, will they own the job seeker? No more!

(Think Steve Jobs, with the music industry. Apple creates a new distribution system and they own the client… game over.)

The big problem: Monster and Facebook share the same demographics.
Monster and CareerBuilder have to face is they share the same demographics of the Facebook members who are most likely willing to share professional profile information on a social platform, Gen Y.

Gen Y and other younger generations are the life blood of monster. Monster and CareerBuilder sell more job postings and resume database seats to companies with high volume staffing requirements; part-time, entry-level, and middle to lower management positions.

Unfortunately, for Monster and CareerBuilder, this is probably the most probable market for Facebook.

Gen Y has been using Facebook as part of their life for many years now. Meanwhile, they aren’t on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is for building your career, not your average conversation for a 20-30 year old.

Gen Y might not care about including professional information on their profile, whereas Gen X and older generations hardly cross the social / professional online barrier.

As a result, you might see Facebook being adopted by Gen Y, while Gen X sticks with LinkedIn. Two different markets, two different platforms.

Just prepare for a new low of about 25% for the Monster stock in the next 12-24 months…

Just my thoughts.
Jonathan Duarte

The worst LinkedIn email EVER… Kind of sad but funny!

Today, I receive the following LinkedIn email… from a self-described “Branding Expert”.

Tom Peters described a Personal Brand in his now famous 1997 article published in FastCompany;

‚ÄúThe brand is a promise of the value you’ll receive.‚Äù

‚ÄúHow do you decide whose messages you’re going to read and respond to first — and whose you’re going to send to the trash unread?

The answer: personal branding.”

It’s obvious that this individual has absolutely no idea what “Personal Branding” is, even though she describes herself as a “Branding Expert”. I though I’d help her out, and anyone else reading this blog post.

First, just because I connect with you on LinkedIn does not give you the right to start sending me unsolicited emails. This, by it’s nature, is Spam.

Second, LinkedIn is truly about networking; however, you seemed to have missed that part. Instead you broke just about every possible Networking rule.

#1. Since I don’t know you, the first and only email you should have sent me is an introduction about yourself, and possibly a reason that you might be able to help me. The world does not revolve around you. I, like everyone else on this planet want to know “What’s in it for me?” Clearly, you just want me to subscribe to your email list so you can send me more spam.

#2. Never send bulk or generic emails to people you don’t know. Again, I don’t know you and you sent me an email with the opening “Hi!”… and the email was addressed to at least 11 other people. Come on. Do you really think I’m even interested in opening the email in the first place?

#3. Your newsletter and facebook page may be great, but I’m not going to subscribe or visit until you give me a reason to do so. Quite honestly, even some of the worst spam offenders in the world offer me something… “Free Viagra”, “$1 Million to my bank account, tomorrow”, “Over night get rich quick schemes.” How about a free tip on “Branding”, since you are a “self-proclaimed” expert. You don’t even do that. How sad. That’s simply terrible marketing, too.

#4. Your signature is completely unacceptable in the context of Professional Networking and LinkedIn.
“XOXO” Hugs and kisses? Are you insane? This isn’t or Leave the Hugs and kisses for your kids or BFF!

I hope this was helpful and slightly enlightening.
When it comes to personal branding and networking, just you the old Golden Rule… “Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you.” Most of the time, you’ll be alright.

And please comment and share this with your network. We all can use a little laugh.