Knozen is a new iPhone app that lets coworkers rate each other's personalities anonymously. It's like Lulu is for men, or Yelp is for restaurants.
Founded by former Ladders CEO Marc Cenedella, Knozen pits two coworkers against each other and asks the user a series of questions such as, "Which person is friendlier?" or, "Who is more likely to buy cookies from a girl scout?"
The user then selects which coworker best fits the description and is told how many other colleagues voted the same way. At least seven people from an organization need to sign up for Knozen before they're allowed to start rating each other to protect everyone's identity.
Knozen might sound like a recipe for disaster, but Cenedella argues that it's merely a way to "bring personality to the internet" and that the content is always "positive and upbeat." You won't find questions about a co-worker's appearance, for example.
Eventually, Cenedella wants his app to become a "personality API" that businesses can tap into during the recruitment process. He feels that candidates should be initially screened based on how well they'll fit into a company's culture, not just on their paper credentials. Investors such as FirstMark Capital, Lerer Ventures, Greycroft Partners, Box Group, and Whisper co-founder, Brad Brooks have given Cenedella $2.25 million for Knozen. Knozen went live in the App Store on Friday and it's presenting at New York Tech Meetup on Tuesday. Cenedella has been building Knozen for a year with a handful of engineers.
Knozen is similar to a desktop product that was popular in 2011, Cube Duel. Cube Duel let people pick their favorite of two coworkers. It went semi-viral before LinkedIn shut off the app's access to its data and more or less killed it.
Cenedella feels Knozen is an extension of the work he was doing at The Ladders, a career site that matched executives with job opportunities that paid six-figures.
"The Ladders was about showing the intangible qualities of yourself to employers, and I got more interested in how people present themselves when they're already in a job, not hunting for it," Cenedella says. "This is a crowdsourced personality profile."