I spend a lot of time looking at what is going on in the world of HR software, partly because we are in the space, partly because it is interesting, and partly because there is a MASSIVE amount of opportunity out there.
One of the trends that is happening in the marketplace is that work is becoming more distributed, people are working for companies for shorter periods of time and more people are becoming contractors rather than individual employees. Hand in hand with that evolution is the concept that individuals are taking more ownership of their career development. Vancouver based Jiibe has started to push the envelope in terms of connecting people and companies that fit them from a cultural perspective.
My favorite, and not just because Peter Thiel has invested, or because it was started by a couple of friends, is a company called Rypple. The premise is dead simple, but the results are outstanding. Within just a few minutes, you can ask questions of people you trust, get feedback them, and use that feedback to improve your own personal performance. The neat thing about the model is that it takes performance management away from an employer led annual hand wringing exercise, and puts it into the hands of individuals into a continuous feedback loop. They have had great coverage in The Economist and Business Week.
Being compared to Facebook and Twitter? Not bad. Rypple is one to watch, or work for.