Monday, March 07, 2005

hello plaxo!

today is my first day of work at plaxo.

as many people have guessed, i've been interviewing for the past month. when i accepted the job at google, i thought i'd be able to escape the hectic interviewing process for a while - at least 2 or 3 years. but as life would have it, i only escaped for 2 weeks :O

after i was let go, i went around networking with a lot of people. along the way, i met jeremy zawodny, robert scoble, david sifry, joyce park, russell beattieand many others. they were all extremely supportive of helping me find a new job - thanks for all your support. they've also been responsible for helping me find and explore a bunch of awesome opportunities.

additionally, as the news broke of what had happened to me, recruiters started contacting me. this was a very unique experience; while most job seekers have to go to great lengths to get a foot in the door, i was being aggressively pursued. in this regard, i would have to say that i was extremely - and unexpectedly - blessed. God really does provide in difficult times.

then came the interviews! while interviewing these past few weeks, i've learned a lot about different corporate cultures. i used to evaluate the job environment just by gut feel; now i know to ask very specific questions regarding how open the company is, how it likes to communicate and what the corporate dynamics are like. i've always thought of interviewing as a two way street, both the employer and potential employee checking for the optimal fit. now, i realize that interviewing can serve as a deep thin-slice of a company. in other words, checking a company's website gives you a broad overview while going through an interview loop with a company gives you an opportunity to get in-depth knowledge.

anyways, enough commentary and on to the results! as most people expected, i interviewed with the big tech companies: microsoft, yahoo and amazon. i also interviewed or chatted with a ton of start-ups (including places like technorati, filangy, etc.). in the end, i was looking for a very specific mix of attributes that would constitute the perfect job for me. the company had to have:
  • commitment and transparency to customers
  • a passion for revolutionizing the end-user experience
  • an open environment where people are free to be different and fosters creative expression
  • the ability to be nimble, ship solutions quickly, and adjust to market changes
  • extremely talented people and cohesive, productive teams
  • awesome mentorship opportunities
after getting quite a few offers, i sat down to consider my options. in the end, plaxo had everything i was looking for and more. as a bonus, they fully support my blogging activities as well - they recognize the power of keeping the door open to the community through blogs.

i'm super excited to be at plaxo. for those who are wondering, the HR orientation presentation was approximately 5 minutes. now that's efficiency :D

38 Comments:

Blogger Angie said...

Congrats!! :)

3/07/2005 07:25:00 PM  
Blogger Narkoleptik said...

Congrats! You've been incredibly lucky.

One question though...why do you still host your blog via google?

3/07/2005 07:54:00 PM  
Blogger markjen said...

i don't think i'll be on blogger for much longer. i'm in the process of buying a domain and some hosting, i just haven't gotten around to it yet :)

3/07/2005 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger Rajesh Sanghvi said...

Congratulations Man....

Hope you enjoy your work. Will lookout for your website......

Rajesh

3/07/2005 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger Ravneet said...

Congrats Mark ! Hope to see your website soon.

Good luck!

3/07/2005 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger geckorules said...

Congrats!!, how many hits do you think Plaxo.com has gotten since you announced you will be working for them.

3/07/2005 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger David said...

Congratulations, Mark! Stay in touch.

Dave

3/07/2005 10:18:00 PM  
Blogger Russell said...

Hey Mark!

Congrats! I'm not sure how much I did for you, but thanks for mentioning me. :-) Good luck!

-Russ

3/08/2005 12:00:00 AM  
Blogger Rob said...

Cool dude,
arg, the plexo website seems to be down right now;

3/08/2005 12:35:00 AM  
Blogger luke said...

I hope you can stay in Plaxo for more than 2 weeks ;-)

3/08/2005 01:07:00 AM  
Blogger gavri said...

It's going to be interesting when Google acquires Plaxo

3/08/2005 02:39:00 AM  
Blogger Arjun Prabhu said...

Congrats Mark!
Wishing you the very best.

3/08/2005 03:38:00 AM  
Blogger cyber-red said...

congrats on the new job =) becareful now will ya!

3/08/2005 04:40:00 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

congrats to you!!

3/08/2005 07:52:00 AM  
Blogger Sr_Pensar said...

Excellent Mark, I agree you've been blessed. I was let go by support.com (now supportsoft.com) a few years ago and I do know how it feels. Wish you the best. Mucha suerte en Plaxo!

3/08/2005 08:24:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

Congrats Mark. Glad you landed quickly and in a place you seem passionate about. Don't know what your job entails, but PLEASE get support for Lotus Notes in Plaxo ASAP. 118 Million users would thank you.

-Grey

3/08/2005 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger Jarkko said...

Congratulations!

Howcome it seems impossible for companies come up with new accessibility services that don't include toolbar.

This company appears to be a good choice. Lot of functionalism for end user. My hat (wearing a baseball cap) goes off to show my appreciation. I can put away my suspicions on you not having common sense (that Google episode), obviously not your fault.

Just an idea here, turn it (Plaxo) into a p2p service where contact information is shared among trusted friends (ok, that would bring some level of trust buttons to the picture, could be messy). Also plug in mobility as fast as possible. Sometimes it seems that my mobile phone is the only one, who actually knows my number (and cousin Marv, who lives down there on the farm). Make my cellular communicate with Plaxo.

3/08/2005 09:43:00 AM  
Blogger Drew said...

I too wish you luck and congratulations.

-Drew

3/08/2005 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger charlie don't surf said...

Congratulations, you now work for a spamhouse.

3/08/2005 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger markjen said...

Charlie - To my knowledge, Plaxo doesn't send any spam. When you recieve an e-mail about updating your information from Plaxo, that means someone you know has specifically sent you the message to ask you for updated information. Additionally, if you never want to hear from Plaxo again, you can always opt-out at https://www.plaxo.com/opt-out.

3/08/2005 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger Elliot said...

Cool! What do you think of Google now?

How did you come up with the name 99zeros? You need to come up with an equally clever name that relates to plaxo :)

3/08/2005 01:44:00 PM  
Blogger Rose said...

I agree plaxo def = spam. I have to make sure I opt out since I now know a plaxo employee.

I put my m$ $$ that outlook > plaxo. go roomie!

3/08/2005 01:53:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin C. Tofel said...

Way to go Mark! I knew you would land on your feet, or even be BETTER off! Best wishes at Plaxo!

kct

3/08/2005 04:13:00 PM  
Blogger russ dsa said...

Why did you call it 99zeros anyway? Considering a 'googol' is 1 followed by 100 zeros...

3/08/2005 04:14:00 PM  
Blogger charlie don't surf said...

I assure you that Plaxo is a spamhouse. Spam is unsolicited commercial email, and I got plenty of spam from Plaxo before I started filtering them from my mailserver. None of the spams came from anyone I know, so they were not legit "invitations." Everyone knows that opting out of spam lists is a bad idea, spamhouses just collect these verified active addresses and sell them to other spammers.

Giving you the benefit of the doubt, perhaps some rogue Plaxo user decided to spam, which would only be because Plaxo gave the users a financial incentive, paying Plaxo affiliates to get more Plaxo users. That is almost as bad as spamming, it's building spam into the incentives to use the service.

3/08/2005 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger markjen said...

charlie - I urge you to take a look at all those mails that Plaxo sent you. You'll notice that they were actually requests from legitimate people who had your e-mail address. Plaxo itself does not send any unsolicited e-mails. Additionally, we are not in the spamming business. If you read our webpage, we actually have a legitimate service.

Plaxo does not have an affiliate service. Users are requesting updated information from you becuase they'd like to keep in touch with you. The only incentive users have is that they get to make sure they have your latest info.

3/08/2005 05:32:00 PM  
Blogger Mizz Shutterbug said...

Hi there! I've been reading your posts for a while now. De-lurking just to say Congrats! I know some people using Plaxo's signature feature thus the familiarity with your new company.

I'm a product executive too, by the way. Again, congratulations and good luck. Hope you post your website link before you switch and leave Blogger. :)

-Chris

3/08/2005 06:34:00 PM  
Blogger Randy Charles Morin said...

Congrats! Hope you don't get fired for this post ;)

3/08/2005 06:47:00 PM  
Blogger Tim Yang said...

Mark

You got another fight on your hands. Some jerk in California retained your .com domain (99zeros.com) two months ago when you got famous (or is it infamous?).

Sorry, dude.

3/08/2005 08:04:00 PM  
Blogger markjen said...

Hi Tim - yeah I noticed that. I'll probably just choose a new domain. Hmm... anyone have any ideas? (e-mail me so the squatters don't take it)

3/08/2005 08:15:00 PM  
Blogger Ronald Allan said...

Congratulations man! But I guess there wasn't ever any doubt. :-) What transpired actually was a blessing disguise...:-)

3/08/2005 11:30:00 PM  
Blogger decheung said...

Congrats!

3/09/2005 10:05:00 PM  
Blogger D0ctorVax said...

Plaxo - contributing more and more to my email SPAM.

3/12/2005 01:30:00 PM  
Blogger Brett said...

Congrats Mark...glad to see you weren't down for long. The Plaxo popularity wave drives me nuts. In 2000, I joined Infotriever.com, founded by 2 friends of mine. They were doing exactly what plaxo has recently started...and a lot more. Plaxo does Outlook. Infotriever does Outlook, Lotus Notes, Act, Palm Desktop. Plaxo does contacts. Infotriever does contacts, events, memos. Infotriever does the same contact subscription to keep you constantly up to date as well with both contacts and events. Book your trip on travelocity and it's saved as an event in your calendar. If your flight gets updated, it is automatically updated in your calendar. Give it a shot, even as research.

3/16/2005 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Hey Mark,
You can resolve the SPAM question in my mind by telling how Plaxo makes its money?
The problem is… Companies do not exist for free unless there a ministry, and the only marketable product Plaxo has is contact information… and we all know the best market for email addresses.

4/09/2005 07:55:00 AM  
Blogger markjen said...

cliff - You are right, Plaxo does need to monetize somehow. However, "SPAM" is not how we plan to make money.

If you take a look at our site, you'll see that we've just recently launched a few premium services that cater to power users that we charge a very low annual fee for. Over the next few months, we will continue to add additional features; some will remain free, others will be premium features.

Our costs are extremely low and so we only need to monetize a small portion of our user base in order to become profitable.

If you read our privacy policy, you'll notice that there is no way we could possibly be in the spam business. The policy is extremely strict and we cannot change it without your express permission.

If you have any more questions, please drop me an e-mail!

4/09/2005 10:10:00 AM  
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Blogger anna said...

I enjoyed your information on email marketing. I have a email marketing blog if you want to check it out.

9/05/2005 04:42:00 AM  

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