Steve Jobs once called Andy Grignon a fuckchop. Grignon, instead of hanging his head in shame, printed business cards with the term and presented them as a badge of honor. A decade later he turned to Geeklist, a social network for developers, to share his story.
That was two months ago, when Geeklist was still in a private beta. Today the company has over 50,000 members and is getting ready to release new recruitment-specific features to build a social network and job board for developers. Geeklist is also raising $1 million in a follow-up to a recent funding round that brought the company’s total funding to $930,000 and saw Grignon join as an investor and advisor.
Geeklist, at its core, is equal parts Facebook, LinkedIn, and Reddit. Over the weekend the company unveiled a new section of the site where users can upvote, downvote, and share links to articles that they find interesting. The company doesn’t want to “just” build a social network or job board for developers; Katz sees Geeklist as becoming the main hub for what he calls the “Geekosphere”, a place where developers can communicate with each other and companies in a meaningful, lasting way.
“We got a lot more attention from [Andy Grignon's] story that was a little more mainstream, and we saw a bit of an uptick – that was by far the biggest day we’ve had on Geeklist as far as traffic and new users,” co-founder and CEO Reuben Katz told me. Geeklist is currently seeing “thousands” of new users sign up every day, and the site rolls out new features “almost every day.”
One of the new features, which will be released in the coming weeks, is a set of recruitment tools to help companies connect with and hire developers. Katz says that companies have been “begging” Geeklist to add some form of recruitment functionality for the past six months, itching to get in contact with the network’s constantly-expanding developer pool. These companies will be able to pick through Geeklist’s talent pool through job postings and communication tools that put each company in direct contact with a desired developer.
The recruitment aspect of Geeklist is similar to LinkedIn – which, incidentally, is one of the only recent tech IPOs performing well on the market – but Katz is banking on Geeklist’s focus on developers to serve as a differentiating factor between Geeklist and LinkedIn. “I feel that LinkedIn is the professional network for men and women that work in cubicles that want to climb the corporate ladder,” he says.
“I think that what we’re finding is that developers are going back to IRC to communicate. Real-time conversations and the ability to comment on things has always been at the core of the Internet; It started with bulletin boards, evolved into forums, and then evolved into social media,” Katz says.
“But social media got so big and so monstrous that people needed to whittle it down to something more relevant.”
Geeklist is capitalizing on this trend towards smaller, specialized social networks – such as Nextdoor for neighbors and QUOTE.fm for readers – as well as the recent sex appeal surrounding development. Developer-focused GitHub, for example, recently raised $100 million from Andreessen Horowitz, which also invested (along with Matrix Partners) $11.2 million in Meteor, another popular developer tool. Ultimately, Geeklist wants to create the place developers visit when they aren’t coding.
“We’re taking the useful pieces of many different networks and combining them into something that developers can use to make their developers on a daily basis,” Katz says. “That’s something we can do and make developer’s lives better every day.”