One of (my) greatest projects EVER, and an example of failed startup: ……If someone picks it up, would love to collaborate

Back to my Innotribe times, in one of a kind sleepless night, I came up with something that every large corporation, including banks, needs,badly: a smart, efficient, flexible tool to manage employees skills.

I went to SWIFT CEO with a 4 slides deck and got his endorsement, took a couple of very skilled developers and the idea was on rails: it was called MINDTAGGER.

The idea came out of a very simple consideration: in 13 years at SWIFT I did change 4 positions, and unless you know me personally you actually can’t possibly guess what else I can contribute to, within the company, on the top of the skills required for my current job.
The trend is to make every corporation more collaborative, flexible, silosless (neologism) and make easier to build cross-divisional team (particularly facing some innovation challenge for instance).

What is (was) MINDTAGGER?
Imagine if every employee of a company could add a TAG CLOUD of his own skills and competences each with a rating at the beginning self-assessed then endorsed (or not) by the other employees, including the option to propose skills to others and get them accepted or not.

Something including hard and soft skills, say with a 1-5 stars rating:

In my case, something like

Innovation management *****
French *****
Market Infrastructures ***
Presentation skills *****
Venture Capital ****
. ….. And so on.

We decided that the best way to publish this skill set was in the intranet page, built on Sharepoint, so the first version of Mindtagger was a Sharepoint plug-in.

Yes, you would say, this is cool, but so what?
Well, this is the REAL idea then: an intuitive browser able to search the employees marching the requested skill set in the weighted fashion you (the searcher) wanted.

Applications of Mindtagger were obvious:
– internal recruiting for a new position
– cross divisional project team for a new challenge
– expertise required on a topic that the company has no skin in the game yet
– mapping existing or required competences inside a given team (for example, make sure there are at least two people with a certain skill to back up each other)

Needless to say, every search could be drilled down by division, geography, number of years in the company, department, and so on.

Let me show you how the browser looks like:


This is actually the “LinkedIn” version of the tool, using a parsing of the profile (as LinkedIn DID NoT have the “skills” yet back then) and the reason why you see “Profeshion” on the top is because in the meantime we rebranded the whole tool with a new name.
The difference between the LinkedIn version and the SWIFT version is the fact that in the case of SWIFT the bubbles have different colours, to reflect the wight associated to each skill. The darker the bubble, the bigger the degree of expertise.

Obviously, search is dynamic.
Meaning if you have too many result (or too little) you simply move the cursor of the expertise up or down and the graph changes dynamically.

If anyone wanted to search on more than four tags, there is the option to “pin” a tag. Think of it as a pre-requisite, on the top of which you can run the visual search.
Say for instance I wanted Chinese AND English as a pre-requisite, I could then run a

Payments ***
Mobile Payments *****
Presentation skills ****
GUI design **

The result of that query would be a 6 skills combination output.

SWIFT has Mindtagger (now Profeshion) live and running now.

LinkedIn in the meantime came up with skills and endorsements, but to my knowledge not a visual tool to search amongst them.
I also would like to thank everyone who made this project possible, if they read this they would know who they are.

Maybe I should/should have put it on kick starter?

Stay tuned


One thought on “One of (my) greatest projects EVER, and an example of failed startup: ……If someone picks it up, would love to collaborate

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *