Interview with Rick Marini (founder of BranchOut.com)

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Rick Marini, founder of BranchOut.com has been working in the internet space for over ten years. Some may remember the amazing success of Tickle before it was acquired by Monster Worldwide for over $100 million. Rick Marini was the man behind its success. The success that was SuperFan, a developer of social games and Facebook apps was also a brainchild of Rick Marini.

Read the interview below to learn more about BranchOut.com, the latest company to be indelibly marked with the Rick Marini stamp of success. If you’re looking for a job, and haven’t yet joined BranchOut.com, what are you waiting for?

Rick Marini, founder of BranchOut.com

Your current success is BranchOut, a professional networking service on Facebook. I read about the outstanding growth of BranchOut during the 1Q. What has spurred this amazing growth?

Yes, BranchOut did have explosive growth in the first quarter of 2011 and we are experiencing exceptionally high growth again in Q2. One of the reasons why BranchOut grew so quickly is because we have superconnectors with very big networks. For example, Michael Arrington, the founder and Editor of TechCrunch, is connected to over over 800,000 people at 2.4 million companies on BranchOut. When these superconnectors joined BranchOut, a lot of people followed. We grew quickly in the U.S. and Europe and also have a presence in Asia and Latin America.

What caused you to choose a professional networking service as your latest project?

There is a huge potential to make a difference by empowering people to find jobs they love and get professional opportunities that lead to greater success. Work is important in all cultures and relationships are at the heart of all professional success. Since Facebook is the largest network of people and where everyone connects with their real support network – friends and family – we new there was a lot of potential in bringing professional networking to Facebook through BranchOut.

You recently spoke in Paris, France at the eG8 Forum. How was that experience and did you also have a chance to promote BranchOut to the French press?

It was great to share insights with world leaders on how the internet can increase economic growth. We have been fortunate to have BranchOut covered in press throughout the world, including France.


How does BranchOut help recruiters and employers sift through the 500 million people on Facebook and the 500,000 on BranchOut? Do you have a special algorithm to help prune the lists in advance of delivery to recruiters?

This summer BranchOut is revealing a very powerful product called RecruiterConnect. It has special advanced search features that not only reveal quality candidates, but also shows connections that can turn those candidates into referrals.

I like your quote of being the Pepsi in the online job search market and LinkedIn being Coke. You say both of your companies can co-exist. When copycat companies come along who want to be the RC, the Shasta or the Dr. Pepper of online job search, how will BranchOut keep and improve its market share?

We know the best way to maintain our leadership position is to continue to provide the best experience for our users. We are constantly focused on refining our current features and building new products.

Does BranchOut have any plans to help out cause-based social entrepreneurs as they seek talent, maybe Pro Bono premium listings for organizations like Kiva or Habitat for Humanity?

We have been very happy to help great nonprofit organizations like Kiva, charity: water, Fair Trade USA, and Invisible Children by offering our services for free. We believe in the good work they are doing and have been proud to work with them. You can see an example of how we posted Kiva’s jobs for free on their Facebook fan page: www.facebook.com/kiva (click on “job openings”).

Finally, I ask everyone I interview to share with me one thing no one else may know about them. Do you have anything you can share? Of course, this doesn’t have to be social media related.

I’m a huge fan of 80s rock. I just flew out to Denver to see U2 and meet Bono. That wasn’t enough so I saw U2’s concert in the Bay Area the following week. Music is really important to me.

Thanks Rick for your time and I wish you even more success with BranchOut.com.

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