"We're trying to solve a problem that a very mature industry has been working on for a very long time," CEO and co-founder Jim Fowler says. "The big difference is that instead of our employees trying to build and maintain this database, our members do all the real work."
Launched 18 months ago, Jigsaw has grown in the past year from 4,500 members to more than 55,000 and has seen its contact database grow from 420,000 to more than 2.5 million.
It offers a Web-based subscription service on a "pay or play" model. Members can pay $25 per month for the service, or they can provide 25 new contacts a month to maintain their subscription. They earn points by entering new contacts, updating existing contact information, and referring new members to Jigsaw. Members can use points to buy contact information, or they can sell them to other members.
LinkedIn is also in the Web-based networked contacts arena. It provides free and paid premium service. Its online network includes more than 5 million people. The database was built by members who create profiles that can be accessed by other members. They also are encouraged to invite their contacts to join the network.
Jigsaw's goal is to "map the whole world," starting with all English-speaking contacts. There are 13.2 million salespeople in the United States alone, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, and Jigsaw intends to reach all industrialized countries.