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April 12, 2006


Dan Marques

I completely agree!

Jigsaw was extremely valuable to profileAds. It is a great service and most of the information on there could be found on the internet if you searched long enough. Jigsaw saves time and money.

Dossy Shiobara

Pete, I can't believe you're saying this.

Jigsaw is absolutely evil. It's an opt-out spam company. People are encouraged to submit not THEIR information, but information they have about OTHERS, without their consent.

And, the contacts are added "anonymously" so you can't even berate the asshole who sold out your information. That is absolutely ridiculous.

While I understand Jigsaw is only supposed to be collecting business contact information, again: If, say, the CEO of a company doesn't want his contact information widely published, and only gives it out to select people, if one of those people decide to "cash in" on their knowledge and submit it to Jigsaw -- what right did that person have to do that?

Seriously, I hope folks start gaming the Jigsaw system and ruin it. I cannot believe the community at large is allowing such a business to even launch -- and I'm mortified that someone's investing in such a venture. It's downright embarrassing.

Stephen Labuda

Pete..just a reminder about your post on August 9th, 2005 (http://worcester.typepad.com/pc4media/2005/08/jigsaw_vs_ziggs.html).

I know you said that your had not had the chance to evaluate the service then, so I am wondering if you have evaluated the service and decided that it is worthwhile? good? etc?

I have to admit that I am totally shocked that you think that Jigsaw is a good thing. I don't get it.

Andrew Teman

I think you are missing the point here. And being from the Root Camp, I am very surprised that you aren't more put off by this. Jigsaw, unlike Root, is taking ownership of personal information, and the control of that information, OUT of the hands of those that should have it, rather than allowing me, as the person who's data it is, to control who has access to it. What is even more disheartening, is that Jigsaw even rewards third parties for sharing the personal business data of others without permission.

If I work for company A, and decide to leave to go to company B, just to be a dick, I can upload company A's entire contact book to Jigsaw on the way out, AND make some cash from it. That ain't right.

Is there value in it being a sales tool as you mention? Maybe...but as a salesperson who is looking to contact and be contacted, I still like to have some control over where my contact info appears. This way I can ensure it's accuracy and also protect my time, so that I don't have to deal with the deluge of calls from magazine salespeople and other non-essential people who eat up time that could be used selling what I actually sell. I want people to be able to contact me, but I don't want to be bothered by every Willy Loman with a phone and a Jigsaw account.

If I went out and made money by collecting all of my friends personal information, without their permission, and then sold it to marketers for a profit, I would be a scumbag with Elliot Spitzer up my ass...but if I do it with data of co-workers and customers, I am providing a service?

Don't think so...

Peter Caputa

I think you guys are all keying in on the potential negative side of this, without seeing the value that this service could provide to a salesperson.

I have not checked out the service, Stephen. And I do trust your judgement. And yes I am in the ROOT camp, Andrew.

I hope that at the end of the day, people buy what they want when they want it. The information they need to make a buying decision is delivered when they need it, whether it is delivered by a person or a machine. That would be an ideal world. Maybe.

But, until then, data must be organized, sold and brokered so that salepeople can more intelligently do their job. Jigsaw could be a good tool for that. Just like buying a list from Hoovers or Experian.

I would not sell my customer list for a buck. They are worth much more than that to me. But, I'd consider buying a list of decision makers of prospective customers from Jigsaw.

Pete Cashmore

Totally disagree. Selling contact information without consent is unacceptable. Facilitating that sale is even worse. Mike was right: it's evil.


I read privacy policies and want the services that I sign up for to protect my info. I also appreciate having inside info on the prospect that I'm calling, however, I think there's a significant difference between #1.) you telling me what your dad is up to, how you think that I can help him, and go out of your way to make sure that we know what you think is good about the other and #2.) posting all that same info on Jigsaw. If someone sends my info to a specific salesperson because they know and trust that salesperson to treat me right, that's acceptable (although some may even be uncomfortable with that much disclosure). If someone posts my info where con artists, crooks, terrorists, or (God forbid!) Democrats could see it, that's not acceptable. Sorry, Pete. I vote, evil. Not for intent, but for the result.

Peter Caputa

Alright. I am convinced. The act of sharing contact information about colleauges is evil.

So, does that mean that Hoovers and Experian are evil too? Have you ever bought a prospect list from these services, Rick?

I wonder how they could build trust and permission into the system? So that trusted colleauges can share info about prospects.

Doug Foster

Hmm, then is it evil for me to give the name and phone number of a prospect to a colleague I trust without that prospect's permission?

What if I just give them the name and enough info so they can find the person's contact info in on a public site?

I *do* think that Jigsaw is pretty far over on the evil side, but it is awfully tempting. I've got no problem using Hoovers to get names of executives at target companies. Same with any other type of Internet search. If I didn't know how the names and numbers were getting into the database, then it wouldn't seem as evil. It would be no different then a phone book.

At a networking meeting yesterday, two different people gave me two copies of their cards. "One for you, and one to pass on." They gave me permission to give their card out. I still wouldn't load their info up into Jigsaw, but I have permission to pass their contact info as I see fit. Now I must just use this new power for good, not evil ;-)


"Now I must just use this new power for good, not evil"

Doug is on to something here.

Peter Caputa

Good point Doug and Sooz. It really is up to how people use the data.


Just to clarify: I don't think Jigsaw is good. Didn't want my endorsement of Doug to suggest that.

It seems strange you'd want to buy data other people provided in a manner that you would not.


Again, if this were done on the consumer side, ie...if I submitted your information, without your permission, to a database where companies could contact you to sell their services, is THAT ok? It seems like your justification for this service, would have to be similar there too. As in, the existence of this (consumer) data would providing a service to a salesperson by virtue of it's mere existence. Now this data on the consumer side is not pre-qualified, but then neither is the data on the business side, so what is the real difference between personal and business data protection? Existence of contact data, no matter what the perceived value to the salesperson, does not make that a good sales tool, but it *can* make it a violation of privacy, or at least a perceived one.

I think the main problem that I have with this, which needs to be underscored (and you seem to agree with this as well Pete), is that third parties are incented monetarily to turn over information on other people without the permission of those people.

Dossy Shiobara

"So, does that mean that Hoovers and Experian are evil too?"

Do they offer a bounty for submitted information the way Jigsaw is?

In other words: do they incentivize people to sell otherwise guarded information?

That, in a nutshell, is what's evil about Jigsaw. Otherwise scrupulous people often lose any sense of responsibility when money is added to the equation.

I guess the problem really starts with "me" -- don't give out contact information except to those people you really trust, even if it means passing up on a potential contact or relationship. Eventually, it won't be worth the hassle of finding your information leaked.

Peter Caputa

I agree that it isn't cool to sell your contact's information. I don't and won't do it. But, it is cool to be able to identify prospects and decision makers. I have used services that provide lists. Although, I primarily rely on networking activitities to generate lists of referrals, I'd still consider using jigsaw to generate a list of target accts. I might ask my network for introductions before cold calling them. But, getting a list is tough to do from scratch.

As far as giving out my contact information, I am very liberal about it. If someone wants to talk to me, they get atleast a minute. If they start off trying to sell me something I don't need, they get told to go away. And if I have to hang up, I do. But, most of the time, I am pretty open to talking to anyone.


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