Last Friday, the 4th of December, WebSpy’s CEO, Jack Andrys, made a guest appearance on popular podcast This Week in Startups (TWiST).
TWiST features entrepreneur Jason Calacanis and a rotating group of guest experts who bring you a weekly take on the best, worst, most outrageous and interesting from the world of Web companies.
The entire episode is well worth watching. Jason chats to Jack about his background, WebSpy, internet monitoring, and gives his inventive start-up insights and opinions during the “Ask Jason”, “Shark Tank”, “Dead Pool” and “News with Lon” segments. Due the length of the episode (2h 40min) I’d thought I’ll provide you with a short summary and selected clips of WebSpy’s and Jack’s golden TWiST nuggets.
Selected Clips & Short Summary
Talking about Monitoring
Jason starts of chatting about his own experiences when it comes to Internet monitoring, or should I say the lack thereof. Jason’s acquaintance was running a start-up and one of the employees was downloading copyrighted materials to his work computer. Lo and behold, one day a letter from a large entertainment conglomerate arrives holding the start-up company responsible of stealing.
Jack also recollects an incident where a large number of government employees were let go because they had been doing inappropriate things on the internet during a six month period. Jack clearly states his, and WebSpy’s, view: No employee should be fired for misusing the internet. It is tragic when this happens, and it is not the reason to get rid of people, hiring and firing should be based on if you have a good or bad employee. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure Acceptable Internet Usage Policies are put in place and adhered to. If clear rules are communicated and monitored no one should have to be sued or fired.
Jason enquires about the best way for an employer to implement a monitoring solution without seeming like a draconian maniac boss. Jack highlights that all the information (logs) of what internet and email are being used for are already there. WebSpy simply make sense out of the vast amount of raw data and turn it into clear, searchable, categorized reports. Jack says that using monitoring solutions makes you less of a draconian boss. You are opening up what is already there while taking control of the valuable information.
Although blocking is a way some companies are trying to control their employee’s internet usage both Jason and Jack agrees that blocking is ineffective, gets in the way, and it is not what the internet is about. The internet is there to be used and by monitoring employers help employees to use it productively.
Jack officially announces the upcoming launch of WebSpy Soho – WebSpy’s brand new home and small office dashboard application. Soho is designed for small offices, home offices, families, shared student households and even a single computer home user. It will display download and upload activity and history for all computers on your network and alert you when the network load is high, and which computer is causing the overload. Soho will also alert you when an unknown machine is using your network, which is great if you use an open wireless connection.
I will blog MUCH more about Soho over the next few weeks. For now, though, please register your interest in the product at www.webspy.com/soho for the chance to get a free copy of the full version AND vote for you favorite Soho logo (before the 11th of December).
If you get a chance I do recommend you watch the full episode (below). You can also download the video and/or audio version free from iTunes.