April 17, 2019
This week, Underdog.io is celebrating its fifth year in business. For Josh and me, the curated marketplace for talent that we first envisioned as a side project has gone on to become a significant part of our lives. I’ve worked on Underdog.io longer and more intently than I’ve done anything else in my professional life. Underdog.io has become part of my identity, often the first thing that family and friends ask about when I see them and the lens through which I perceive the rest of the working world.
In many ways, much has changed since the early days of the company, when Josh and I designed and released our website in three days using Google Sheets for a database, ran Google Apps Scripts to create batches in JSON, CSV, and XLS format, and shared candidates manually by email every week. Since that time, we’ve signed up tens of thousands of job seekers and thousands of tech companies, hired a small team of immensely talented people from our own user base, transitioned the core functionality of our online marketplace from email into modern web products, and built a profitable, growing business out of our office in SoHo.
In other ways, much is still the same. We’re still 100% revenue-funded with no outside investors. We still prioritize quality over quantity by turning away candidates and companies that don’t meet the exacting standards that we’ve established for our platform. We’re still perpetual underdogs, competing against larger hiring platforms that have hired hundreds of salespeople and raised tens of millions of dollars in venture capital.
More fundamentally, we’re still committed to supporting job seekers and companies by providing tools and information that help them make informed decisions about where to work and whom to hire. We stay focused on this goal by putting into practice a few core tenets:
While we’ve always found it easier to fixate on our failures than to celebrate our successes, even we can admit that 2018 was a banner year for Underdog.io. Some of the highlights:
We want to thank all of the companies and candidates that have signed up for Underdog.io over the years. While we don’t have explicit evidence of this, I suspect that many people use us not just because of the products that we’ve built, but also because of the path that we’ve chosen as a company. I won’t sugarcoat it: the last five years have been a slog, but a fun one at that. Given how things are trending, we think that the next five will be even better.