SAN FRANCISCO, October 11, 2012 — Kathryn Minshew, co-founder and “number one swashbuckler” of The Daily Muse is sharp - both with her wit and business sense. The Daily Muse is a no-holds-barred community for women (and dudes now) that provides job search, networking, career advice and professional development.
Unique and especially impressive are their Company Profiles. They are the single greatest and easiest resource available to connect with a company and understand it’s culture. It allows you to connect with existing employees and learn about the company from their leadership. It’s like knowing three people on the inside in every company.
The Daily Muse is on to something. It provides something so simple and intuitive that you will wonder why we ever went so long without it. It’s more intuitive than LinkedIn even.
I spoke with Minshew about surpassing one million users, opening the platform up to males and what companies she admires.
Jeff Barrett: What is the goal of The Daily Muse & Company Muse?
Kathryn Minshew: We want to take the agony out of career decision-making, and at the same time provide a strong community for smart, successful women (and soon dudes) worldwide.
JB: Women and Dudes?
Minshew: Definitely! We started The Daily Muse to totally focus on women, to be a place where engaging job search, career discovery and professional growth could meet. What we’ve found is that a lot of men are attracted to our platform as well – over 100,000 / month right now by my best estimates. We want to make sure these guys feel welcome without diluting the original promise to our strong female community. You’ll see more from us on this in the next 4-6 months.
JB: How can Company Muse help people connect better than other services? / How is Company Muse different or better than other services in the same space?
Minshew: We’re solving a very different problem. We’ve got a generation that grew up on the mantra, “Find work you’re passionate about.” That’s great, but hard to do. How do you know what you’re passionate about? And once you do identify the goal, how do you get there?
If I’m searching for a very specific type of position, I can go on existing job search sites, type in the keywords, and get a list of 4400 results. But if I don’t know which of those results to choose – or honestly, if I’m not exactly sure what keywords or job search terms I’d type in in the first place – then you’d come to The Muse.
JB: You’ve been named to Forbes’ 30-under-30 list of Women to Watch in Media. Explain what it took for you to reach this level of accolade.
Minshew: I’ve been totally floored by the recognition my cofounders and I have received, and I’m still grateful every time The Daily Muse is recognized in the media. I think we’ve tapped into a deep vein of frustration people have about the economy and their jobs and careers within it, and when people feel like they’ve helped them in that area – they get unbelievable excited. A lot of our public recognition has come from people who have personally experienced our product and fallen in love.
JB: You just passed 1M users. What’s on the horizon?
Minshew: World domination. Just kidding – we have a lot of big plans to keep expanding and growing The Muse. We’re rolling out a new user interface this fall to make navigating and discovering companies and content much easier, followed by a login so we can start to track and support user preferences. And then of course, 1M monthly active users is the next big milestone. We’re closing in on it pretty quickly.
JB: How are most of these users finding you?
Minshew: Right now we’re benefiting from a huge amount of word of mouth. “I was frustrated with my job, and a friend told me about The Daily Muse,” is how most of our fan mail starts. A huge percentage of our userbase has told someone else about us. We also have great content partnerships with leading media sites like Forbes, Yahoo!, the Huffington Post and Business Insider. People read our tips on “Non-Awkward Ways to Start & End Networking Conversations” or “Business Buzzwords to Banish from a Resume,” and they like the piece so they click through to see more. And then they get hooked on us J
JB: What companies do you admire?
Minshew: I really admire what Amanda Steinberg has built with DailyWorth; I’ve learned so much from her and from how she thinks about business. She’s one laser-sharp woman. Another founder I really admire is Rachel Sklar: she founded Change the Ratio and now The Li.st, both of which pretty much define “engaged community” for me. She’s created an ecosystem where community members are constantly sharing information and proactively helping one other accomplish goals and build bigger businesses. Creating a forum where that kind of value is created isn’t easy.
One last company I want to mention is Uber. I’m a massive, massive fan. I think people underestimate how hard it is to translate between the offline and the online, and Uber’s a company that has taken a thorny operational issue head-on and tackled it with class and efficiency – not to mention great technology. There are a lot of companies I admire and learn from, and I wish I could list 30 more!
Jeff Barrett is a recognized leader in public relations, experiential marketing and social media. Co-Founder of Status Creative, 2011 PRNewswire Award Winner for “Best Use of Video In Social Media” and record holder for Most Strikeouts in Tee-Ball.
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