Raise you hand if you love writing resumes! Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
Writing resumes may be relegated to the land of dinosaurs with Whodini, a Los Altos-based startup that helps people automatically generate a detailed professional profile. Whodini profiles include expertise, current and previous projects, collaborators and responsiveness. And you don’t have to do much to make it happen.
LinkedIn, a social network for professionals, has a notoriously lengthy profile building process. It’s also wildly popular. Whodini wants to reach that same level of success by letting professionals get big results with very little profile building.
“We are not really a Linkedin alternative,” says Whodini co-founder, president and COO Ani Chaudhuri. “We find the right person at the right time in large companies. We just happen to create profiles automatically. Though, to be fair – I can see the automatic Linkedin for inside the company analogy.”
Whodini automatically builds detailed user profiles based on experience, knowledge network and helpfulness. Introductions are made beyond existing social networks, business functions or geographies. Whodini plugs directly into email clients and reduces important emails to their core topics — representing your expertise.
You get to approve what gets uploaded to the cloud. Your embarrassing holiday party conversation or top secret client will not be revealed, Chaudhuri says.
Once the topics are sent to the cloud, they go through another series of algorithms that compare them to the employee’s entire company to create the user’s expertise profile.
Chaudhuri says Whodini was founded not only to help generate resumes and professional profiles, but also to help employees find the right person to get a project done in a large company, even among people who don’t self-promote.
“Whodini is the voice of the quiet achiever in your company,” says Whodini’s business development director, Bjorn Stromsness. “There are people in companies who just do their work. Those people are not squeaky wheels or self-promoters, but they are often the ones who really get things done. Whodini doesn’t have the noise that something like a Social Business Network does. You can’t hog a discussion thread or reply to every question, because that’s not what our software looks at. We look at what you are actually doing, the knowledge that you actually have. The quiet achiever gets recognized for what they know.”
When I speak with Stromsness and Chaudhuri, it’s Sunday, and the entire crew of 14 Whodini employees is working at their Los Altos, Calif. headquarters. It takes a lot of work to keep users from doing a lot of work. A whole lot of math and linguistics technology goes into this product.
Chaudhuri is extremely hesitant to name any competitors (LinkedIn, Yammer). Perhaps it’s not the right time for the company to go after any big dogs, yet. It’s smart to focus on what makes a company different and be really good at that difference, before springing an attack.
Founded in 2010, Whodini has raised $2 million in angel funding. There is no relation to the rap group Whodini founded in 1981, unfortunately.
Whodini is one of 80 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Fall 2011 event taking place this week in Silicon Valley. After our selection, the companies pay a fee to present. Our coverage of them remains objective.
Top Photo: Whodini COO Ani Choudhuri onstage at Demo Fall 2011. Photo courtesy Demo Conference/Flickr.
VB's research team is studying web-personalization... Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.