What is SparkToro?

A new company started by Moz co-founder Rand Fishkin that is geared towards software development for mining audience and influencer information. The company aims to provide lists of influencers you can monitor, track for competitive mentions and get metrics that accurately measure reach and engagement levels, moving marketers closer to the real impact of their social media efforts. They have assembled some unique ways to gather information and we are excited for the future releases that SparkToro and team will provide.

Rand Fishkin

Is the founder and creative force behind SparkToro. Historically he has taken new approaches to SEO (see Moz), providing fresh content on a weekly basis from his Whiteboard Friday series. Rand has an interest in helping marketers, public relations professionals and entrepreneurial teams learn more about the audiences they want to reach. Ultimately improving the marketing success of influencer campaigns by incorporating insights from SparkToro.

On a scale of 0-10, where 0 is “fired and escorted out of the building by security” and 10 is “left entirely of his own accord on wonderful terms,” my departure is around a 4. That makes today a hard one, cognitively and emotionally. I have a lot of sadness, a heap of regrets, and a smattering of resentment too. But I am, deeply, deeply thankful to all the people who supported me and Moz over the last two decades. The experience of building a company like this, of helping to change and mature an industry, of learning so much about entrepreneurship, marketing, and myself has been an honor and a privilege. – Rand

What about the future of Moz?

Rand has stated that he is still involved with Moz, promising a few more episodes of Whiteboard Friday and a big product release that didn’t get finished before he left the company. He is still on the board of directors as chairperson and also the single largest shareholder in the company. He is committed to the future of Moz even if he is not the one leading the charge.

So in short, no Rand is not completely removed from Moz, but he is no longer with the company.

The future of Rand?

Rand recently released a new book called Lost and Founder: A painfully honest field guide to the startup world. It’s told through the perspective of Moz’s growth years, the struggles it faced and advice for surviving the aggressive investors of Silicon Valley. As Rand says in his departure post, “If you’re a contrarian, or a skeptic of valley startup culture, you’ll probably love it.”

A non-profit Project

Rand is also working on a project to make conferences and events safer after getting fed up with what women have to deal with in the marketing and tech worlds. He’s working with a pro-bono legal team to give codes of conduct more teeth and bad behaviour more consequence. We are looking forward to more information on this project in the coming months!

Words of Advice from Rand

  1. Be empathetic. The best skill for getting through problems, understanding workflows and speed bumps. Spending time with people and learning about them, asking questions, listening and watching is huge
  2. Grow your career opportunities and SPECIALIZE. Expanding from a specialization is easier than becoming known for a broad practice.
  3. Video helps. The branding and stickiness of video makes it worth 10x more than a reader view.
  4. Listen to customers. Always. When building a company, potential customers and current customers come first.
  5. Growth hacking and acceleration only work when the whole becomes better than the sum of its parts. What does this mean? Crafting holistic, consistent, high quality experiences for users.

You can read his full post on SparkToro here.

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