JIgsaw – making money with contacts

Jigsaw announced yesterday that three months after the official launch of Jigsaw, people participating in the first open marketplace for buying and selling business contact information are starting to make money. Jigsaw Data Corporation announced that it is making its first round of payments to members who earned and then sold Jigsaw Points. Among those making money in this first payout, the top 10 point-earners each will receive more than $750.
To get a better sense of what Jigsaw was about I asked a couple of questions to Jigsaw.
How does Jigsaw compare to LinkedIn.com and other services?
Jigsaw has nothing to do with degrees of separation and is not about relationships. It’s about getting direct, up-to-date contacts you need, quickly at a reasonable price. Jigsaw’s mission is to map every business organization on the planet, contact by contact, and keep the data current through the collaborative effort of the Jigsaw membership. The resulting database will help business people perform their jobs more efficiently and strategically. In summary, Jigsaw provides an online marketplace (a la eBay) where members buy, sell and trade business contacts.
Now for the first time, members can sell their Jigsaw Points, which were earned by adding new contacts, updating existing contacts or referring new members, for $1 per contact. Jigsaw is proving its business model, which social networking companies are still struggling to figure out.

What about traditional networking – where does that fit into the mix of a
sales person or someone else considering Jigsaw?

Traditional networking will still be a way for salespeople to make contacts. Jigsaw is yet another resource that aids salespeople and other professionals to get past the gatekeeper and directly to the appropriate person. Data so often goes stale with people constantly changing positions and companies that Jigsaw is necessary means to locate current, direct contacts. A personal Rolodex will go stale over time, so by using Jigsaw where members are constantly updating old contacts, one can stay on top of changing contacts and maintain relationships with business prospects.
Since launching in early December, Jigsaw members have been adding approximately 3,000 new contacts per day to the database. Personal email addresses and cell phone numbers are not allowed. Currently, there are approximately 400,000 contacts at 38,000 companies in Jigsaw, up from 20,000 contacts at the start of the marketplace’s beta program in August 2004.
“To see people actually make money with the Jigsaw system so soon after launching is incredibly rewarding. The business model works,” said Jim Fowler, co-founder and CEO of Jigsaw. “The marketplace is doing what it’s supposed to do, provide incentive to members to add their excess business cards and keep the data fresh for other members. We expect this to make Jigsaw the go-to place for accurate business contact information.”