Diggin' technology every day

October 26, 2010

Rust in peace

Filed under: News — Nate @ 8:53 am

So one of of the former TechOpsGuys Tycen emailed our little team of people yesterday mentioning that the company where we all met (Dave, Jason, Nate & Tycen) is now dead and buried according to an article on TechFlash. We were all on the same operations team in case it wasn’t obvious., the Seattle online recruiting startup formerly known as Jobster, has quietly been sold in a deal of unknown size to Phoenix, Arizona-based Jobing, TechFlash has learned. The acquisition, which closed in July, marks the final chapter for one of Seattle’s most heavily funded Internet companies of the past decade. Founded in 2004 by Internet entrepreneur Jason Goldberg, raised $55 million from a slate of investors that included Ignition Partners, Reed Elsevier Ventures, Trinity Ventures, Mayfield Fund and others.

Where did the money go? I don’t know, we were really efficient in IT, and I think development was pretty good, so I can only think that it was the less technical areas of the company that spent most of the cash. $55 million doesn’t seem like enough to say “one of the most heavily funded”. Doesn’t seem like much at all. I know it was a different era but I remember at (headquartered in Federal Way, near Seattle) they were spending $7 million/month on bandwidth they weren’t even using (they didn’t know they had it). That is just one of the little factoids.

The strategies the company had while I was there were typical? Nothing short of their original strategy made any sense to me and unfortunately for them they kept pulling resources out of that original strategy (the one generating the majority of the revenue but it wasn’t shiny). We knew we were in trouble when we were denied the right to remove email addresses from our databases that were bouncing back causing us to get blacklisted on mail servers due to excessive bouncing. It would hurt our user count. Well those users don’t exist anymore!!

Jobster certainly provided me with several opportunities to round out some of my skills and experience. I had learned a lot prior to that but often worked with dedicated people whether it was networking people, storage people etc. So while I knew what I was doing it was nice to be able to build things up from scratch. Did a data center move while I was there, moving out of a facility that was plagued with power outages in cabinets spread out all over the place to a better facility in a consolidated cage. Got a lot more hands on with our Oracle Databases as well, at previous companies we had dedicated Oracle folks and they pretty much ran everything. Speaking of Oracle even transitioned the company from Enterprise Edition to Standard Edition which of course saved a ton of greenbacks.

I went looking for my stock certificates I bought a few shares after I left, the price was cheap (~$0.15) just in case. For some reason I could not find them, maybe they didn’t send them to me I don’t remember it was a while ago. Not that I think the stock has any value but wanted to post a picture of what they looked like for some color 🙂

It was an interesting place to work for at the time, I joined shortly after they launched their main product and it was pretty fast downhill from there. What can we say, we built the system to scale to the growth expectations that they had and that growth never materialized.

At the peak we had almost three racks of production equipment (15kW active 15kW backup power), in my mac daddy 47U 28″ wide 49″ deep Rittal TS-8 racks. Those racks are bad ass I gotta say. I could only fit three of them in a five rack cage (but due to power we had more than enough space in three). The cable management ROCKED (each server had at least 5 cables, which adds up fast).  The extra 4″ of width made all the difference. The Servertech PDUs were great too, loved the integrated environmental sensors, rear door fans to exhaust the hot air away from the equipment. I love big racks! (couldn’t resist)

The different facility was really nice as well the only downside is it doesn’t support high density stuff.  I was hosted at the same place at the company before that and due to power constraints we had to have 8 feet of space in between our rows of racks. Not that I minded too much 8 feet was a lot of area to stretch out, put tables and shelves in for storage etc. With ~30 foot ceilings it’s one of the few data centers I’ve been to that didn’t make me feel claustrophobic.

My strategy for the company at the time was to make their main product as good as possible and then partner with someone like linkedin to leverage their network with Jobster’s technology. Jobster’s main product was never visible to the public it was a subscription only product, so most probably never saw the technology that the company was built on (initially at least). Their strategy was OOH, SHINY! rinse and repeat (at least 3 times while I was there).

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