Ryze CEO in Book
Ryze CEO Adrian Scott is featured in Chris Taylor's new book: Passing It On: Life Lessons of 130 Great American Leaders
Since most of Keshia L. Richmond's work is done virtually, she was glad to have a place beyond her Web site where "people can see and know me." The founder and president of Richmond Technology Solutions in Deer Park says that through Ryze, she's been able to connect to people she's read about in the local press but has had little opportunity to meet in person. Since November, Richmond, 30, has gotten three new clients, but that's not from asking for business. It's from helping out those on her friends' list when they've needed tech advice. That way, she says, you become known as the "go-to person" when business opportunities do arise.
-- Patricia Kitchen, writing in Newsday
The ease of use aided Doug Stone and Jane Roy late last year. Stone, chief executive of Abstract Edge, a Manhattan-based Web consulting and marketing firm, had just joined Ryze two weeks before his vice president of marketing resigned. "That put me in a panic mode," he says, as that person had been managing key accounts.
Yet, as his is a small firm, he was reluctant to call headhunters because "every nickel counts." So he headed to Ryze, "spinning the data" to seek candidates with the right expertise. He found six possibilities. One was Roy, who wasn't even job hunting.
-- Patricia Kitchen, writing in Newsday
Small Business Computing
Take for instance Ryze, a hotbed of online networking. Members can post their profiles, bios and photos. The site is divided into special-interest "tribes" that cover "almost every possible subject in the universe," said Eileen Parzek, owner of SoHo IT Goes! marketing design and an expert in online networking.
"You can create this long list of interests, and if somebody else has that same interest they can send you a message on your guest book," she explained. From there people get to talking and, in many instances, new business relationships arise.
-- Adam Stone, writing in Small Business Computing,
Adrian Scott, founder and chief executive of business networking site Ryze, said his 3-year-old company started turning a profit last year -- without venture backing.
Ryze charges $9.95 a month for a gold membership that gives users advanced search capabilities and allows them to set up groups that are focused on industries or geographic areas.
"We have proven that it is possible to build a profitable company in this space. Most other companies haven't even tried or focused on revenue," Scott said.
-- Lisa Baertlin, writing in Forbes,
New York Times
The prospects of social networking sites that focus on business-oriented users look more promising, analysts say. When these companies start charging fees later this year, they expect business users to spend more freely, partly because they may be able to expense the cost or write it off on taxes. That is one reason at least one business-oriented networking site, Ryze.com, has already reached profitability, according to Adrian Scott, its chief executive.
"We've proven there's a business model that's profitable," Mr. Scott said. He contended that Ryze, which has operated for less than three years and is privately held, is "quite solidly cash flow positive."
Ryze's chief mission is to connect its 120,000 registered users for business reasons.
-- Bob Tedeschi, writing in The New York Times,
Before creating their companies, they all spent time at Ryze.com, a San Francisco networking site that provided inspiration for their later endeavors.
Ryze users organize themselves by interests, location and current and past employers. Most pay nothing, though premium subscribers can search for other users more easily. Largely funded by Ryze founder and private investor Adrian Scott, the site has grown to 80,000 users and — unlike its successors — turns a profit.
-- Joseph Menn, writing in The Seattle Times,
''If there's someone with whom I have common business interests, I add them to my list of friends, and then a link to their page appears on my page,'' explains Kaup's friend Anne Fitzpatrick, executive director of the Boston-based Rock & Roll Library and a Ryze user. ''If I meet someone in the music business, I can go through their friend list, and there's a likelihood that some of those people will have the same business interests as I do.''
-- Etelka Lehoczky, writing in The Boston Globe,
Denver Business Journal
The largest and most active site is Ryze.com, founded in 2001 and operating with 80,000 members. The site, which initially focused on the high-tech community, now appeals to CEOs, entrepreneurs and home-based businesses.
For the average small business lacking access to an established base of leads and prospects or the financial wherewithal to establish one, online networking provides access to a cornucopia of opportunity. Notes Barry Brager, President of Perception Partners, an intellectual property licensing and marketing firm, and member of the Ryze network, "It makes it easy to meet friends and friends of friends from all over the world. There's an excellent profile feature that lets me search for contacts by location or expertise, or even those who had the same former employer. It's an efficient and effective way to use the Web to expand my global network and discover the interests of others."
-- Alf Nucifora, writing in the Denver Business Journal,
Ryze membership has helped Kamisugi professionally in generating leads for potential clients.
"I will see a CEO or a VP of a company that has an interesting product or service and I'll leave them a private message just to say, 'Hey I think it's great. Just to let you know, I do public relations.' Then, what happens is that person, before getting back to me, can go to my page to get a feel for who I am and if they like that and are interested in whatever I'm offering, they reply back to me," Kamisugi said.
He finds it is also a valuable tool for staying in touch with friends.
-- Erika Engle, writing for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin,
Ryze was launched in 2001 by Adrian Scott, an early investor in file-sharing site Napster. Ryze users create individual personality profiles for free on the company's site. It makes money by charging $9.95 a month for advanced searches.
Scott Stratten, a marketing consultant in Toronto, joined Ryze in June. He built a network of 470 others interested in marketing. Surfing through that network, he started e-mailing others with similar interests. Over five months, he landed 10 clients, doubling his customer list.
-- Jim Hopkins, writing for USA Today,
The model for these new offerings appears to be Ryze, the "business networking" site that seems to be about more than just business networking. Ryze members build a page about themselves, at the top of which they list what they "have" and what they "want."
-- Jimmy Guterman, writing for Business 2.0,
It's all about the bulletin boards. Join discussions by geography (1,146 members in New York when we visited) or professional identity, like venture capital and private equity, entrepreneurs and businesswomen. Or bond over subjects like Bay Area hiking, the lindy hop and gastronome. Some outside organizations, like the Korean American Society of Entrepreneurs, also host Ryze groups.
The availability of low-cost, high bandwidth tools like blogs or systems like Ryze, when coupled with the critical mass of millions of self-motivated, gregarious and eager users of the Internet, means social software is certain to make it onto "the next big thing" list. Investment groups are eager to find a successful business model in social software, and I am certain that there are many to be discovered in each of the three key areas that define social software.
-- Stowe Boyd, writing for Darwin Magazine,
Independent workhorses have a hard time getting business. Sure, you can network with people you know and make connections with former co-workers, but today I'll show you a new way to get the networking ball rolling.
Ryze is a virtual business community where you can talk about your ideas and build relationships.
-- Cat Schwartz, reporting for TechTV,
New York Times Magazine
One night recently, Lou attended a monthly mixer sponsored by an online networking group called Ryze.com. Pronounced ''rise,'' the group describes its mission as ''helping each other 'rise up.'''
-- Jonathan Mahler, writing for The New York Times,
Seine Lektion bei Napster hat schließlich auch Adrian Scott gelernt. Scott war einer von Napsters ersten Investoren. Heute ist er Chef der Business-Plattform Ryze.com, die es Geschäftsleuten weltweit ermöglicht, unkompliziert Kontakte im Netz zu knüpfen.
-- Janko Rottgers, writing for the Frankfurter Rundschau,
New York Times
At Ryze.com, a networking group, members get a free profile page where they list their vitals, favorite quotations, hobbies, previous jobs and future career interests.
Then they can contact one another by sending private messages or by leaving notes in a guest book area on each page.
-- Abby Ellin, writing for The New York Times,
Vincent Lai carries things a step further than just showing up ahead of the crowd. This former business analyst, who has studied computer programming and is now considering a writing career,
attends Pink Slip Parties as well as events sponsored by Ryze.com, a business networking community. But the latter publishes the guest list on its Web site ahead of time, and Lai has been
known to start an online conversation with somebody on the list - and suggest they continue face-to-face at the event.
-- Patricia Kitchen, writing for NY Newsday,
SA: So you see both the face-to-face and the online networking as critical to an entrepreneur's success?
GC: I'd say that they're different means to the same end. Face-to-face gives you the in-depth personal experience of networking. It's about making a connection with people, which is best done in person. On-line gives you breadth and searchability. For example, I can find people on Ryze that have an interest in ASP (the searchability), from a pool of thousands of people (the depth). Try doing that in a crowded room of people at a networking party! On-line also allows you to cross the time/distance barrier we alluded to earlier. I can now network with people in Australia just as easily as with someone in Astoria (which is just a few miles away from Manhattan). Ultimately, you're trying to find peole with whom you can together provide more value than you might individually. That's one of the future goals of KASE is to expand our network and allow our members to achieve this kind of "flow" and connectedness.
SA: I've really been impressed by Ryze.
GC: Yes, me, too. It provides an amazing environment for creating those "weak ties" - loose connections that are not as strong as face-to-face relationships, but that could definitely lead to such.
SA: I suppose all online communities do that, but with Ryze expressly focused on business networking, you obviously get a whole different quality of members. Actually, those loose ties are more often where business leads and job opportunities come from than the close connections are, oddly enough.
GC: Because (1) they're new connections, and (2) they're broader than the close connections you currently have. I think it's in the periphery/edge that a lot of interesting stuff happens. The people who use Ryze tend to be a pre-selected group of people who are motivated to network and work through the kinks and difficulties of the medium.
-- Scott Allen, entrepreneurs.about.com,
One master networker is Hawai'i expatriate Keith Kamisugi, who is a two-peat in this
column. Kamisugi recently turned me on to an online networking tool called Ryze at
Creation of an account is simple. Once there, you are connected to people in related
lines of business and the start of an online network that you can nurture and
develop. Ryze is a free service but also has an advanced service to which you can
It's amazing what you can learn when you broaden your circle of influence.
-- Burt Lum, writing for The Honolulu Advertiser,
Web Digest for Marketers
Are you a master networker? This site is devoted to extending your
business network. Think of it as a business-only version of former
networking fave Six Degrees, complete with an events calendar, a message
board, private messaging facilities, home pages, profiles and a contact
manager. It's free to set up, and once you do you will be able to search
for lost colleagues, make new connections and find private networks of
people who share your business interests. Each week you'll receive a
summary of your activities and your home page traffic stats, so you can see
for yourself just how good of a networker you really are.
-- Larry Chase, writing for the Web Digest for Marketers,
"Ryzers, as they call themselves, are perhaps the most sophisticated of the bunch.
Ryze is already up and running and gives a very cosy feeling to the newcomer. As I write this, I have been a member for just over a day, and already have had five messages left for me.
Signing up is simple. You answer a few questions - where you are, where you are from, what you like, and so on, and you can then optionally upload a photo. Because every keyword you enter (things like home town, or interests) is linked to others with the same thing in their profile, you'll immediately have people linked to you with connections."
-- Ben Hammersley, writing for The Guardian,
"I couldn't find the appropriate person at Wal-Mart by cold calling," she said. "So I thought maybe I should look on Ryze," Lind said. She had heard about the online networking site and had already signed on.
Logging on, she found at once a link to the woman quoted in the article after spending six hours trying to unearth the name by other means.
"And there she was on Ryze," Lind said.
-- Francine Brevetti, writing for the Oakland Tribune,
Online Community Report
"Ryze catches users' interests by offering many useful search and networking tools not seen elsewhere."
-- Jim Cashel writing in the Online Community Report,