The mobile wave has been cresting for several years now, so when a decade-old web company is only now debuting its first ever native mobile app, it’s a little late to the game. The folks at TheLadders, which is launching its first iOS app this morning, understand that — but they are angling to make their “mobile last” strategy work in their favor in the long run.
It is indeed a beautiful app, and you can see it demonstrated by TheLadders’ co-founder and CEO Alex Douzet in the video embedded above.
First, though, a little bit of a background on TheLadders. The company was founded in New York City ten years ago in the summer of 2003 with the initial aim of being a job search site for professionals earning $100,000 and above. The company enjoyed solid growth in those early years, at one time having more than 300 employees serving an international market.
But TheLadders hit a few stumbling blocks amid a more competitive job search landscape, and has since expanded its purview beyond the six-figure salary market while cutting staff and axing its international businesses. And in the past 18 months, TheLadders, which had thus far been focused completely on the traditional web, has decided to shift much of its energy into rebuilding itself as a force on mobile devices.
The journey of TheLadders has been a varied one, and if anything it’s a testament to the benefits of how keeping some power and autonomy as a business allows you to be more flexible to change course. TheLadders is currently profitable, and has taken on only one round of venture capital funding, a $7.25 million series A back in 2004. If the company had taken on more investors or not focused on profitability, things might have come to a different end by now — it’s refreshing in a way to see a company that’s taken some hits to be still standing independent and adapting to changes on its own terms.
That leads us to today. The new app really re-thinks the way that people search for jobs in several interesting ways: There is no option for entering text, for example, and the “scout” feature that allows you to see details about who else has applied for the same position really plays nicely on the smaller screen. Once again, you can see a full demo in the video embedded above, as well as in a video produced by the company here.
TheLadders is certainly late to the mobile game, but Douzet says that has allowed it to really observe the landscape and create an offering that’s truly different. That argument makes sense, once you see the app. There is something to be said for getting something right the first time, rather than coming out of the gate with a mobile app early and then making users wait through several initial iterations. It’ll be interesting to see how this strategy ultimately plays out, and what kind of traction TheLadders is able to pick up in the crowded mobile space.