Spokeo Blog

Grading Spokeo – 50%

Written by August 15, 2007

Ten rules is a wonderful post for startups written by a great web entrepreneur. I’ve read it many times and even taped it to my wall, but I am still not happy with our performance on several rules. I only present the rules here. Please refer back to the original post for descriptions of each rule.


1: Be Narrow

Our main message is ‘Track Your Friends’ (which will be more apparent in future releases). At first, it seemed narrow enough, but now some questions need answers. Track all your friends and grant continued account access to Spokeo? Track only your public friends?

As a startup, we also can’t support every service under the sun. Track friends across the major social networks? Track friends across every [blog or photo or video or music] network in [some category]?

2: Be Different

Oh, yes. Very different. Makes life difficult at first.

3: Be Casual

4: Be Picky

We have increased our pickiness across the board.

Pickiness is a lesson that cannot be learned in a general sense. Trained as engineers, we knew from the beginning how to be picky in engineering and technical recruiting. However, engineers are probably least picky when it comes to features and abiding by rule 1. Engineers tend to want to build a lot of stuff.

5: Be User-Centric

We completely obsess over UI. In fact, our skin is getting optimized even further as I type.

6: Be Self-Centered

We are finally all users of our own software. I, myself, didn’t find Spokeo attractive enough until a month ago. That was a big confidence booster for me.

7: Be Greedy
Not sure I agree with this rule.

8: Be Tiny

Rule 4 enforces this rule.

9: Be Agile

10: Be Balanced

Some of us are more balanced than others. I tend to have spurts where I live work, eat work, pester co-workers about work after work, and even dream work! They tend to happen when Spokeo enters a critical phase.

Overall Grade
We passed 7 rules, failed 2 rules, and punted on 1 rule. Normally that would be a 70%, but since rule 1 is so important, I give Spokeo a 50%.

Posted in The Spokeo Perspective

Director of Public Relations & Community Initiatives

Vanessa joined Spokeo in 2012 and oversees all social media, media relations and community relations efforts for Spokeo. She is especially passionate about Spokeo programs focused on search and reunion and promoting STEM careers for women and children. During her free time, she enjoys writing, DIY home decor and crafts, and eating dessert!

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