Guest Rant by @MarcDrees: Hey Blodget, you better shut your pie hole

I’m going to introduce this rant by reminding the readers that this is a GUEST post. I have a very simple policy for guest posts, you write it, if it’s not racist or sexist, or filled with obscenity, then I will post it. Simple!
I was pleased, and a little surprised to get the request to host a new blog from Drees. if you read Dutch, you will know Marc well. If you don’t, then you may not. Drees is the angry man of recruiting, who makes the infamous “Recruiting Animal” look tame. After a tweet I posted at a conference, I was advised to be careful or I might turn in to the English Marc Drees. I took that as a compliment. Most recently, Drees has referred to me as a hired gun as far as BranchOut is concerned. I applauded their meteoric growth in monthly users this year. I’m not paid by BranchOut (as was suggested), but i felt the growth numbers were too big to ignore, by the same token, Marc has been quick to point out that the decline is at a similar rate, and I should be commenting in the same vein. I’m glad to host Marc to make this point, and perhaps introduce him to a few new non-Dutch speakers who are not familiar with his rants. I will also be inviting Rick Marini to respond if BranchOut want to comment. For the record, according to AppData.Com, BranchOut have 8,400,000 average monthly users.This is by far the biggest recruiting application in terms of users (10 x more than BeKnown), BUT this is down from a high around the 14Mn mark, with a loss of 1,700,000 in the last 7 days. I know the guys at BranchOut are quite resourceful, so I’m watching to see what they might do next. I also think the Beknown number is slightly misleading because the platform is now integrated in to Monster.Com, allowing anyone looking at a job to see how they are connected inside the advertising company by Facebook connections. Because this activity takes place away off Facebook, the numbers for people accessing the platform via this feature (perhaps by messaging contacts) are not included.
This is what Marc has to say:

Hey Blodget, you better shut your pie hole before LinkedIn does it for you!
Henry Blodget, infamous sell side analyst during the dot.com boom-bust cycle now turned blogger at BusinessInsider, penned an incredibly stupid article on April 19th where he salivated all over professional networking app BranchOut:
BranchOut was started two years ago and already has 25 million users, which puts it on a similar growth ramp to Instagram–the photo-sharing app that Facebook bought last week for $1 billion.
Is Blodget suggesting a $1 billion valuation for BranchOut? Putting it at par with Monster? And at approx. 10% of LinkedIn’s value? Apparently so… Which begs the question: Is he back to his old sell-side tricks? From which he was banned for life? Apparently so…
Whatever the reason for Blodget to pimp BranchOut, let’s hope that the stupid money doesn’t listen to him anymore. Because BranchOut is on a crash-and-burn course back to earth. Based on an extrapolation of the user losses the app suffered during the month of May, BranchOut will hit rock-bottom somewhere during the second half of July:

BranchOut: Monthly average users (red line, May, 1 – May, 31) en linear trend line (grey). Sources: Facebook, AppData
BranchOut lost 5,5 million monthly average users (MAU) during the month of May, or 41% of the MAU number at the start of the month (13,4 million). That is a shitload of MAU’s…
Blodget should know better than to try to sell a Ponzi just before it peaked (on April 27 – 29, at 13,9 million MAU). It makes him look very, very suspicious indeed. Second time around…

This is Marc’s view. He is clearly not a fan of Blodget or of BranchOut. I’m less pessimistic about the future of BranchOut, and clearly they need to do something to address the slide in user numbers as it is an avalanche, as a business though, BranchOut have proved resourceful in the past at bouncing back from setbacks, like when LinkedIn withdrew access from their API for a breach of terms, and previous negative press around spam at launch. Lets see what happens. Should Facebook go ahead with the much talked about Facebook phone (and the new Facebook cam app would indicate a step in this direction), then I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see BranchOut as the chosen application provided they reverse this trend, what can’t be denied however is that the decline is as dramatic as the growth. As for the speculation on the value of BranchOut that triggered Marcs rant, it is just that, speculation.

For more of the same you should follow Marcs blog, though you may well need to add Google translate.Its entertaining and well researched.


Marc Drees

Marc Drees Blog