start a recruiting business

How to Start an Executive Recruiting Firm

So you want to start your own executive search firm or recruiting company, or are curious about the steps involved.

Unlike other recruiting service companies, executive search firms focus exclusively on filling high-profile leadership jobs with highly-experienced candidates. While there are generally fewer of these high-profile positions to fill, the salaries drawn by executives and other leaders can mean a big payday for successfully facilitated hires.

That being said, the demands that clients will have for their next executive will be extensive, so prepare to work hard for those successful executive hires. Here are the requirements for starting an executive search firm.

You Need to Define your Recruiting Business

The first step to creating an executive search firm is taking care of the formalities involved with starting a business entity, securing enough funding to survive your first 6-12 months and defining the scale of your business entity.

If you intend to start a larger firm as a Corporation, LLC or Limited Liability Partnership , then you need to apply with your secretary of state’s office. If your search firm is going to be a proprietorship or partnership, you can get a business name from your local county clerk’s office. If you plan to open an office, even if this is a home office in some cases, you will need to apply for a business license with your city’s local government.

You also need a name for your executive search firm and a functional website for potential clients to evaluate. While you are welcome to go with something “safe,” like “LASTNAME and Associates,” it’s worth it to come up with a name that will be more memorable, while still maintaining the professionalism that is paramount in executive recruiting.

You Need Recruiters for Your Recruiting Business

The success of any executive search company will be determined by the recruiters working for that company. Even if you will be shouldering much of the recruiting, sourcing and networking work, you will still need skilled executive recruiters to meet the needs of new clients.

No matter the size of your executive search firm, you need executive recruiters for their expertise, connections and sourcing abilities. The executive recruiters your firm employs can be incredibly valuable for finding potential clients and poaching clients from other search firms.

It’s also good to remember that these recruiters are a direct reflection on your fledgling company. Always select recruiters who are focused on building and maintaining positive relationships with executives and client companies. Early miss-steps can spell doom for a new company, so be sure that the first few executive recruiters you employ are highly experienced, highly skilled and highly committed to doing right by your company.

You Need Clients

Every company needs clients, but how are you going to start bringing them in?

Hopefully, you’re starting this executive search firm with clients, prospective clients, connections and/or connections through your executive recruiters. No matter how many connections you have, you should begin your client search efforts by reaching out to any and all contacts that you and your recruiters have. These contacts can be former colleagues, former executive search clients and executive candidates who were successfully placed in leadership positions.

When you reach out to these contacts, be sure to communicate a few things:

You’re starting an executive search firm and are looking for clients.
You want to know how the contact is doing and where their career has taken them.
You want your contact to think of your company whenever they or a contact needs executive search services.

In addition to reaching out to contacts, you should also be building your brand with online content and paid advertising. This way, contacts, prospects and people searching for executive search services will have material to look through on your company.

It’s also a good idea to subscribe to job boards and professional groups where potential clients are advertising executive job openings. It also never hurts to research local industry events that present you with networking opportunities and the chance to spread the word about your new company.

In the early days of your executive search firm, finding clients will be of the essence. Reach out to your network, target companies hiring for executives and start spreading the word about your new company.

You Need Candidates and Recruiting Tools

Your executive search firm needs clients, but you also need connections with executives.

Just like when you began searching for clients, the first step in building your search firm’s executive contacts lists, is reaching out to your own executive contacts and the contacts of your recruiters.

When you reach out to your executive contacts, the executive contacts of your recruiters or even executives who have never met you, it’s important to communicate a few things:

You want to find the perfect leadership position for the next step in their career.
Finding the perfect fit may take some time, and you want to keep them updated on positions that could be of interest in the future.
You want to add them as a candidate contact and you want to know a “highly attractive executive role” looks like for them.

Besides investing time into nurturing relationships with executive contacts, it is also wise to invest in executive search tools, applicant tracking tools and/or CRM tools. Most all of the search firms that you compete with will have these tools, so securing your own will be important for securing your position in the market.

As your executive search firm works through its first months, remember that your company’s reputation will be based on the results of your first few client engagements. You and your executive recruiters may have a wealth of experience, but, as a new business entity, you will still need to prove yourself and the quality of your services.

cost to start a recruiting company

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Recruiting Company

So, you’ve been burning the midnight oil at a large executive recruiting firm, and you finally had that thought — “Maybe I should start my own firm.”

Next thing you know, you start working out all of the details in your head, like:
How will you get clients? How will you market your business? What will you even name your business? And then, of course, the costs. How much does it cost to start a staffing or executive recruiting firm?

Here’s the cost breakdown for starting your own recruiting firm.

Basic operational costs:

Trademark and LLC Filing Fee
Using LegalZoom, pricing starts at $149 for LLC filing fees. If you want to trademark, then you’re looking at a $69 application fee, and an additional $225 application fee for the USPTO depending on the class.

Website Registration and Hosting
So, you’ve come up with the name for your firm. Now you have to register your website domain name. On GoDaddy, you can pay for a domain name for $11.99, but that depends on the popularity of the terms you’re using. Keep in mind, this will only cover your registration for a single year, and you’ll need to pay for hosting. Hosting will cost you $59.98 for one year of economy hosting.

Website Design and Launch
For your website, you have two options: buy a template (we recommend WordPress) or hire a designer. If you’re buying a template, is will cost roughly $59 for a WordPress template, but keep in mind you’ll have to spend hours designing and setting it up yourself. However, a WordPress developer and designer will run you roughly $4k to setup and launch your site.

Custom Email Platform
Most people use Google Apps. Costs run around $5-10 depending on the number of users you have, but it’s well worth it. Custom domain name and the shareable google docs, spreadsheets, and slide decks are well worth the price.

Logo Design
If you don’t have any design chops or any friends with any, then 99 Designs is the way to go. $299 for a competition to design the logo for your new firm.

Business Card Printing
Every executive recruiter will need some great looking business cards. Check out Moo cards for 50 business cards starting at $19.99.


Invoicing software
Some business owners choose to create manual invoices, but that’s ridiculous. WaveApps is a free option that lets you easily invoice your clients. You can automate and track the process, saving you hours in the long run.

eSignature Software
Using eSingature software for contracts is a no brainer. We recommend HelloSign. There’s a free version that’s perfect for your search firm as you start, and will easily scale with your needs as your requirements grow.

Sales and Marketing

CRM and Executive Recruiting Software
For the best bang for your buck, we recommend using Pipedrive. It has all of the features you need for CRM and project management. You’ll need a tool like this to build your sales pipeline.

Marketing Automation
As you’re starting your new recruiting firm, you’ll have a lot of tools thrown your way. Don’t listen to all the noise. Autopilot and MailChimp are the only options you should consider. Autopilot is an incredibly powerful tool starting at $20/month and MailChimp is a serviceable backup for creating email campaigns at $15/month.

Web Conferencing
As a startup, you shouldn’t have to spend a dime here. has a free version which should cover your needs, or try Uberconference.

Lead Lists
Unless you have a list of clients ready to jump when you leave your executive recruiting firm, then you’ll most likely look for a lead list to help you build your business from scratch. These lists can be purchased from a number of providers starting at $500 and going up into the thousands.

Recruiting Tools
LinkedIn Recruiter
Last time I checked, Recruiter Lite ran at around $119/month. If you’re doing your own candidate search, then you’ll probably need a seat for this tool.

Contract Sourcers
If you want to keep your costs really scaled down, then you can do without your own contract sourcers. Depending on the number of projects and scope of work, these can cost over $1,000/project.

Misc. Costs
Coffee (for the sleepless nights)
Run of the mill stuff or small batch beans? I prefer small batches myself. This will cost $12.99/bag.

Amazon Prime
This may seem silly, but after you launch your business you’ll find yourself needing to order miscellaneous supplies. The free net day shipping alone is worth it. $99 for the year, but I guarantee you’ll get your money’s worth within a couple of months.

Dedicated Office
I think office costs are unnecessary especially for a startup executive search firm. If you are looking for a dedicated workspace, then WeWork’s start at around $220/month for a Hot Desk. Choosing a WeWork will benefit you because you’ll be able to connect with other startup companies which can be great opportunities to build a business.

Total Costs:

One Time Fees: Minimum of $600 (some fees reoccur on a yearly basis)

Monthly Recurring: Approx. a minimum of $362/month or $4,344 per year (at least). But costs can go up exponentially if you require a dedicated office, contract employees, or lead lists.

Stem mentorship for college students

Former Mentee, Current Mentor

Wise’s company FuzeU connects STEM students with invaluable mentors in their fields.

While studying at the University of Arkansas, Shambrekia Wise was a Gates Millennium Scholar, a Fulbright Scholarship recipient, and an Inaugural Silas Hunt Scholar. Committed to becoming a pediatric pulmonologist, Wise still found herself feeling like a small fish in a big pond.

shambrekia wise

“It was a really huge change going from growing up in a town with 800 people to relocating to a city of 20,000 people then attending college with 20,000 people. It was definitely an adjustment, but my mentors Andy Mauk, Gigi Secuban, Cedric Kenner, Charles Robinson, Mary Williams, Christina Wong-Poy & Dr. Johnetta Cross-Brazzell were all absolutely amazing in my transition and supported me along the way in obtaining my degree. Not only did I complete my studies in Biology and African American Studies with an Organic Chemistry thesis, but most importantly, I finished with a purpose: Because of my path, I realized that I could help other students achieve their dreams as my mentors did for me by providing them with support along their academic journey. Being low-income, first-gen and especially undertaking a STEM major was a challenge, but I proved to myself my dreams were achievable. As someone who believed in paying it forward, I wanted to convey this same message by mentoring students who identified with my path.”

Foundation of FuzeU

Because of these connections during her undergraduate years, Wise started FuzeU, a new company dedicated to supporting the diverse next generation of STEM students through mentorship.

“Ideally, I’m setting up a peer-to-peer-to-professional mentorship pipeline for those students that hit campus and have no idea where to turn for a network. This definitely helps them with career development skills so they’re prepared once they graduate and become young professionals”

After pitching FuzeU at SXSW this year, Wise and her FuzeU team are currently developing the company’s mentor strategies and solutions through a pilot series, in which companies can try out FuzeU’s mentorship network.

“We are in a pilot stage right now, where we have over thirteen companies represented and over twenty mentors that are on the scene with our students, so I’m really thankful for that,” Wise said. “It’s my hope that, at the end of this pilot, we knock it out the park, it’s an amazing experience for all and we’re able to take that information to our volunteer mentors’ leadership within their companies so that they will engage with us and actually become a client.”

Wise’s Own Mentors: Guiding Forces and Insightful Support Systems

An entrepreneur today, Wise’s mentors as a student were spread across fields, allowing her to develop nuanced leadership skills that draw from a variety of disciplines.

“Two of the first peer-mentors I had as a Silas Hunt Scholarship recipient were Justin Grimes and C.J. Mathis. They were some of best people and later on, friends in the world” Wise said. “We had great conversations, and they were amazing in helping me get acclimated to campus life and making the most out of my experience. Dr. Johnetta Cross-Brazzell, at the time, was the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. While she always had a million things going on, she always made time for her students and it was because of her and our relationship that I understood a lot of the intricacies of what it took to be a leader that were not taught in the classroom.”

One of Wise’s most fervent cheerleaders today, however? Her four-year-old daughter.

“I think one of the best moments I’ve had, on top of pitching at SXSW, as an early entrepreneur was when I came home after that competition and I was able to hug my little girl. This precious moment was short-lived when she found out I didn’t win. I then had to explain to her why I only didn’t come home with a check, but why I didn’t think of the idea that did win! We discount a lot of what little people see and understand, but she’s definitely one that sees it and gets it” Wise said. “Having her be my biggest cheerleader is just a blessing and absolutely humbling.”

Entrepreneur, Writer, Mother

Outside of her business, Wise enjoys spending time with her daughter—the two like cooking, playing soccer, and are currently getting ready for kindergarten. Wise is also a published author, and her first book, Last Stop…Dupont Circle, was released in January 2018.

“All proceeds from my self-published novel go towards the platform and I’ve raised about three hundred dollars right now, so that’s been cool to see those profits go towards my dream,” Wise said. “I’m looking forward to starting the second novel this Spring. I love to write and I’m really looking forward to the messages I get to convey in my second novel.”

Wise’s Keys to Success

Wise’s myriad accomplishments have served her well in her entrepreneurial experiences. When seeking out guidance, however, she’s come across opportunities that can do more harm than help. Her biggest advice in avoiding these situations?

“Protect your time. Not everybody deserves to have your time. And as a young, budding CEO, and to be completely honest, a woman in tech, it’s often hard when you see certain people you think can help you, and they pass that card off to you like they want to be a resource, but, really the acquaintance is for self-serving purposes. It’s not for you at all. Learning to vet intentionally and ask questions early has made all the difference in time management for me,” Wise said.

In establishing FuzeU, Wise has found her passion—helping others achieve their academic and professional goals.

“I would say to anyone that is second guessing or waiting on that perfect moment to make their dream come true: there’s not ever going to be a perfect moment. You have to make your moments perfect,” Wise said. “And, you have to know that if this is something that you’re passionate about, you will figure it out and you will absolutely make it happen.”

The Dog Parker Brooklyn

Dog Parker: Smart Technology to Keep Pups Safer and Happier

Founded by Chelsea Brownridge, the Brooklyn-based startup Dog Parker installs community doghouses outside storefronts—it’s a secure, easy way to bring your dog with you wherever you go.

Winston is a terrier mix rescue with perky ears and plenty of energy. When his owner Chelsea Brownridge picked up coffee, stopped in the grocery store, or ran daily errands around her Brooklyn neighborhood, Winston was either stuck at home or tied up outside.

“It’s the city. It’s the busy streets of New York and Brooklyn, so when I’m out with my dog, there’s a problem that I’ve learned about here: in about 60% of stores, either because of food prep or other hygiene rules that they have on them, they can’t let dogs inside,” Brownridge said. “So, if you’re out with your dog in a city context, there’s a lot of places that you can’t go together.”

While Winston was inside a small New York City apartment, Chelsea still wished that he was by her side and worried about him being cooped up all day. He was alone, and, even in the bustling city, her neighborhood’s sense of community suffered.

“Dogs are more responsible for social communities than church,” Brownridge said. “That’s because when you have your dog out, people talk to the dogs and want to meet one another. There are community gathering places like dog parks, so it’s a way that people are meeting one another when a lot of the time, in this day and age, our faces are in our phones.”

Building Winston’s home away from home

Enter Chelsea’s solution to this dilemma: the Dog Parker, a smart house for dogs designed for quick stops, allowing pet owners to seamlessly include their dogs in their daily routines. One dog can stay in a Dog Parker for up to ninety minutes at a time, with owners paying twenty-cents per minute. Dog Parkers are located throughout Brooklyn, and, like so many other tech startups, this one began in a garage.

The Dog Parker Specs

“It was a very classic startup situation … As you can imagine, there are all these things we have to reconsider to make this a safe, clean, comfortable environment for dogs. We’re dealing with family members—their loved ones—so we have to make sure that our options are top-notch … What if the power gets cut? What if someone forgets their dog, which has never happened? But all the what ifs and things you could think of—we’ve taken our time to consider very deeply,” Brownridge said.

The dog days of ordinances and regulations

Dog Parker is a one-of-a-kind service, and with that innovation came a series of obstacles and regulations before installing the Dog Parkers on the Brooklyn streets and, in the future, sidewalks in new cities.

“Doghouses are not something that’s explicitly in any city’s rules,” Brownridge said. “So, what we’re doing, in some cases, is launching pilot programs … In other cases, it takes about four weeks in most cities to introduce a new ordinance to allow for some new law … Cities are really excited by what we’re doing, because it increases walkability. Cities want to have smart city infrastructure. It improves the everyday lives of dog owners, and it drives the economic development.”

Dog houses are a brick-and-mortar’s best friend

Dog Parker specifically helps small businesses by allowing dog owners to fit local supermarket stops and coffee runs in to morning dog walks.

Chelsea Dog Parker, NY

“Brick-and-mortars are struggling more and more, with online shopping, and mom and pop shops, grocery stores—they’re all trying to figure out ways to better attract customers … So, we are drawing business, more walk-ins, more foot traffic, and so that’s what’s really exciting for our store partners.” – Chelsea Brownridge, Founder @ Dog Parker

From nonprofits to smart technology

Both Brownridge and her cofounder, Todd Schechter, came from nonprofit backgrounds. When the pair was developing the sophisticated technology that would help remotely monitor and control Dog Parkers across the city, their mentor through New York City’s Next Top Makers program, Chris Quintero, was vital in leading the team through the startup’s early stages. Quintero helped the Dog Parker founders conceptualize the Dog Parker’s unit economics—a model that considered costs, profits and margins.

Dog parker
dog parker

“We were passionate about solving a personal problem, but we didn’t have, on paper, the things that would make us an obvious choice to do this … [Unit economics] was language in a way of talking about our business so we could attract investments … I don’t think, without him, we would have been on such a path to raise the money we raised, to talk about our business in a sophisticated way, to be able to even understand what we should be able learning and thinking about,” Brownridge said.

What’s next for Chelsea, Winston, and Dog Parker?

Three years after Dog Parker’s establishment, the excitement has not worn off for Brownridge and her co-founders.

“Every time a session starts, we get an email that says so and so has started a session at [this] location … We started with … maybe just once, twice a day, we would get this email, and it was so exciting—someone is using one of the houses,” Brownridge said.

“Then it became like eight to ten a day. Then it became twenty and thirty and forty, and it just kept growing every day … It’s been amazing to look back and remember how excited we were to just get one of those a day.”

Today, with those emails flooding the Dog Parker inboxes, the company has plans to expand to more cities, though they can’t release specifics yet. By moving beyond traditional fundraising strategies, Brownridge and her co-founders are able to gauge the public interest in bringing Dog Parker’s community doghouses to cities across the country.

dog parker

“We’re doing a crowd-sourced equity deal on WeFunder [] … We’ve had a lot of success raising money in traditional ways, and with how much this has resonated with people, we’ve made it publicly available for people to invest at our current terms,” Brownridge said. “What we partially hope to get from that is people’s enthusiasm to help bring us to their community.”

Even with Dog Parker’s success in Brooklyn neighborhoods, Brownridge admits that the journey has not been easy; her story has instead been filled with entrepreneurial highs and lows that make the rewards well worth the risk.

“It’s scary for everyone, and I’m not alone in that,” Brownridge said. “Every entrepreneur has their stories of sacrifice—financially, personally, whatever it is. I guess [knowing] that we would be here today … would have given me some peace of mind back then, but I’m proud to look back and know we took that risk and that it worked out.”

outsourced mobile app development in new york

Adaptability. Determination. Grit. A Startup Journey.

An entrepreneur’s journey to success isn’t something that can be taught through a book or taught in a classroom.

There’s no set path. There’s no script. You fight through problems. You shed blood, sweat and tears. And you succeed because you never gave up and because you had the skill to make it.

For Dossey Richards, CEO of Lotus Technologies, fighting was the easy part. A former amateur Muay Thai kickboxer, Dossey knew that he could overcome anything if he could overcome the fear of stepping into the ring with a 250-pound heavyweight.

If 9 out of 10 startups fail, then what separates Dossey from the other 9 founders?

The answer can be found in 3 distinct qualities: adaptability, determination, and grit.

Like so many other founders, Dossey started with a grand vision. At 18, he wanted to create a social network where he could showcase his passion for art — a social network for artists. With no knowledge of technology, he saved up cash, raised capital from friends and family, and outsourced the project.

After “weeks” of development, he found that he was only left with a couple of final pages, and barely a skeleton for the rest of the platform.

He could have given up. But, he didn’t.


Dossey spent countless nights learning — teaching himself HTML, CSS, and every language he needed to learn to finish his social network.

But, something else happened as he finished up his project. He discovered that he had a hunger for more. Dossey found a medium that allowed him to both earn a living and showcase his “art,” and this newfound appetite for expression and entrepreneurship had to be satisfied.

As he put it:

Dossey Richards, Lotus Technologies NYC

“I wanted to keep technology as horizontal and powerful as art. Trying to not just create beautiful architectural patterns, but things that could be appreciated as creative as canvas art.”

But, there was one problem. No would hire him.

As ambitious as Dossey was, he quickly learned that a self-taught developer without a portfolio is about as desirable to employers as a two-week-old pizza.


He could have given up. But, he didn’t. He was determined to follow his newfound passion.

Even though he went on to found Lotus Technologies, Dossey cites an early success as his proudest moment as an entrepreneur:

“The proudest moment that I can remember is actually before I started Lotus Technologies. I had taught myself HTML and CSS, and was building very simple websites. I was told I needed a portfolio to be hired, but I couldn’t build a portfolio without working. So, I went on craigslist and after being shot down for several opportunities, I ended up posting ads in the labor section.

I very honestly said I’ll make any website for $300. I was pouring my heart out, telling people that I didn’t have a portfolio, and I was doing this to build my personal portfolio. Within 2 hours, I received my first client call. He gave me a deposit for the website $150. It seems so small now but at the time, it was such a symbol. The first time I had ever made money doing something by my own accord. I remember every second of that day. It seemed so small then, but it was a life-changing moment.”

Fast forward, and this first website has sent Dossey down a path from a self-taught developer, to senior developer, to CTO, to founder of Lotus Technologies.


No matter what challenges came his way as an entrepreneur, Dossey knocked them out left and right. Nothing could stop him.

As he put it:

“If I can walk into a ring and fight a heavyweight fighter, then I can go through anything. “

Even as Lotus Technologies continued to grow, and solidified itself as one of the top dev-shops for mobile technology and fast-growing startups, Dossey kept pushing limits to grow his company.

For budding entrepreneurs and early-stage founders, he has this piece of advice:

“Don’t aim for a glossy finish. As entrepreneurs, we spend a lot of time trying to build a business on our presumptions of what that looks like. I thought the next phase was to hire a large sales team. After all, that’s what everyone said was the next phase. But they were wrong. The sales team had such a hard time communicating the skills and confidence of a true engineer, so we refocused. The media showcases startups in a certain light and only highlight success stories, and the ridiculous budgets they spend on marketing fads and ads. Most of the stuff we see about how business is done is a lie. How we grow is actually what we learn and our experience, and taking advantage of the opportunities you have in front of you.”

“So what’s next for Dossey and Lotus Technologies?”

“Good Software is going to be as necessary as clean water.”

lotus technologies custom web and mobile development

There were challenges, but Dossey remained his adaptive, determined and gritty self to achieve the company growth goals he aimed to reach.

The path for growth can’t be taught through a book. This path can only be followed through its walking, through adapting to obstacles and through never giving up when solutions are elusive.

Dossey credits a number of people who have mentored him throughout his journey. Some of these people are Chauncey Thorne, a Sr. Developer who gave him much needed direction early on in his development career, and Vincent Barr, marketing executive of MongoDB, and Lucas Seyhun, owner of FarmSoho.

Dossey and Lotus Technologies are going to fill a major need in the market — building software and mobile technology for early stage companies such as: Thrive Global, Plugg, and Convey.  You can see some of their work here.

freelance talent

Building Your Business with Freelance Talent

Freelance experts can be valuable partners with your company, but getting optimal results from this partnership isn’t as easy as telling them to “fix it,” “figure it out,” or “build a better mousetrap.”

Talk to any startup. I guarantee that they'll have at least one story of a freelance hiring that went wrong. We've worked with dozens of startups that thought they could get by with the help of freelancers to build out their tech products.

The end result?

A "Jenga-like" platform with pieces stacked on pieces ready to collapse. And what ends up happening, is the company puts off an entire redesign to continue to push for customer acquisition goals. Delaying the inevitable complete product rebuild.

Sometimes these scenarios are inevitable for inexperienced entrepreneurs. It's a learning experience.

But hiring freelance talent should be done with a plan in place.

Drawing on the skills of freelancers can be very beneficial for businesses of all kinds, especially for projects that are out of the ordinary for the internal team working on them. That being said, it is important to prepare for the arrival of your freelance talent and prepare the team or teams they will be working with.

Asses/Project Your Project Needs

The first step in finding a freelancer is assessing your needs in a systematic way.

The worst possible use of an expensive freelancer is hiring them for needs that you don’t fully understand. You want them to hit the ground running, so assess the extent of your needs in advance. Freelancers will also be curious about the length of their engagement with your company, and vague answers will discourage freelancers with other clients to serve.

What will the freelancer(s) do?

  • What work is currently beyond the skills of or time constraints on your employees?

- Is there too much work for your employees or is it too complicated?

- Which skills are demanded by this work?

  • What projects/products/accounts depend on the work being done?

- When are the pertinent deadlines?

- Are you on schedule?

  • What kind of work-load will your freelancer be under?
  • How much work for how long?
  • Will a single freelancer be enough to meet deadlines?
  • Which skills will be most used by the freelancer?
  • Which specific technical skills (eg. Coding with Ruby on Rails)?
  • Which “soft skills” (eg. Communicating, collaborating)?
  • What kind of experience will be most valuable for a freelancer to have?
  • What are the specifics (eg. testing the security of financial services software) that will make a freelancer highly qualified for the work you need done?
  • How soon after the completion of this project will you require the skills of the freelancer again?

-Will you require a different freelancer for upcoming projects?

Answering these questions should give you a clear picture of the work that a freelancer will be charged with, which is crucial in finding the right person for your needs.

Find the Right Freelancer or Freelancers

After you’ve assessed the demands and extent of the work, the next step is finding the right freelancer (or freelancers) to do that work.

Besides finding someone with the right skills and experience, any freelancer you hire should be given a decent understanding of the job they are supposed to do for you.

As you talk with freelancers, walk them through the project or projects they will be working using the information you gathered in the assessment step. Then, ask questions to gauge their interest level and the relevance of their first-hand experience.

  • Have you ever worked on a project like this before?
  • Was it smaller or larger in scale?
  • How did this project go?
  • What was your role in this project?
  • Can I contact the manager you worked with most closely?
  • Does any aspect of your work on this project strikes you as challenging?
    • Does the target release date seem feasible?
    • What will be the most difficult and/or time consuming part of this project?
  • What tools do you usually use for work like this and what resources do you need?
    • What programs/tools are essential for completing your work?
    • How many supporting staff members do you need and what do you need from them?

Have potential freelances walk you through their solutions to the work you need done. Ask them to talk about their direct experience with projects like yours and how they have supported the completion of these projects. It is also good to pay attention to the questions that freelancers ask in return, as people focused on specifics are already thinking of the job at hand.

Prepare Freelance Talent

After you’ve found the right freelancer for your needs, it’s time to put your feet up and watch the work take care of itself, right?

While this would be nice, investing in a freelancer and then failing to orient or prepare this professional is just sloppy.

You want freelance talent to get off to a great start, so clear the path for them and collect all the information that they’re likely to want before they ever make it to your office.

  • What will the freelancer(s) be working on day one?
  • What are the first deliverables that the freelancer will work on?
  • In the first week?
  • In the first month?
  • What information will they need to start their work and do this work optimally?
  • What are the first questions that an expert will likely ask?
  • Which specifics will make this project different from projects they’ve done at other companies?
  • Who will be key in supporting their work?
  • Which employees will work closely with the freelancer?
  • Which employees will the freelancer report to on a regular basis?
  • Are there any details that are outside of a “best case scenario” for their project?
  • Where have you hit snags?
  • Where is the product now and where does it need to be?
  • What are the problems that will require the most of their attention?

No matter what they’re working on, it’s always a good idea to have freelance talent sign Non-Disclosure Agreements prior to starting work for your company. They may be a valuable asset today, but they could be working for a competitor tomorrow and this policy is fairly standard.

Freelance talent can support your internal team on an as-needed basis, but getting your preferred contractors for every project cannot be 100% guaranteed. As free agents, they may be engaged on another project when you’re in crunch time, so it’s important to anticipate these needs and try to coordinate in advance.

Love Goodly a eco friendly product subscription box for women

“Always nontoxic. Always cruelty-free” – For Justine Lassoff it’s Personal

In 2015 Justine Lassoff launched Love Goodly with her co-founder Katie Bogue Miller.

The guiding principles behind the business—which offers both a bi-monthly beauty box subscription service and an online store—can be summed up as: carefully curated beauty and skincare products, always cruelty-free, always non-toxic.

“Many people may not realize that the skin is the largest organ. Every day women use over 160 chemicals in their personal and beauty care. Several of these,” Justine explains, “have been linked to health problems.”

Women who want to make informed and health-conscious choices face a challenge in the US, where many substances that are banned in Europe for their effects on human health are still unregulated.

For Justine, promoting the use of safe beauty products isn’t just business, it’s personal.

“As a breast cancer survivor, you are aware of the toxins in everyday life that affect us. So, I want to help other women switch to healthier beauty and skincare products.”

A proven track-record

Using her background in marketing and a passion for healthy and green beauty products, Justine co-founded and served as the CEO of LovingEco in 2010. The flash-sales site for eco-friendly fashion and beauty products featured curated selections by fashion editors and environmental experts.

“We also started offering beauty samples in a bag, which became immensely popular and we soon sold out,” she says, adding that no one at the time realized just how explosive beauty samples would become.

LovingEco soon caught the attention of a company backed by entrepreneur and Paul Mitchell co-founder John Paul DeJoria. “We ended up selling and folding it into their brand.”

Starting and running your own company is challenging, especially when it comes to creating brand awareness and spreading the word. Justine’s solution is to tap into things that drive community, such as the power and solidarity of female networking.

Justine and Katie officially launched Love Goodly in 2015 during an event with a women’s networking group: TuesdayNights. “It was our coming out party when we first started taking orders. The incredible support from the women in this community was our first step.”

But, while Justine is not one to gloss over the challenges, (“there will be hard days!”) the rewards are well worth it.

“You are doing something you love, and the feedback we get from customers fuels us. Every day we get emails and reviews on social media from people who love the box. We are making an impact one woman at a time.”

Follow your passion

If you are truly passionate about your startup, chances are that investors will be too. Justine gives a shout-out to Allen DeBevoise—the angel investor who was the sole seed funder of Love Goodly. “His confidence and support of companies with female founders has been incredibly impactful.”

What kind of advice would Justine give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

“Follow your passion. It should be something that drives you. Start with your ideas and flesh them out. Talk to people, consumers, focus groups. Create a landing page and test. You want  to grow your audience first to make sure that there is a good market fit for your ideas.”

Poised for success

Eco Friendly Makeup Subscription Boxes

Justine’s entrepreneurial experience, passion for healthy and eco-friendly products, and knack for capitalizing on emerging trends are paying off. Last year Love Goodly doubled its revenue and saw a 200 percent increase in its gross margins.

The business caught the eye of SeedInvest, which reached out to Love Goodly for an equity crowdfunding campaign that will be live until the end of April. “They only accept one percent of applicants, but in this case they actually reached out to us. They have obviously done their due diligence, which is also great for investors to know.”

If you’d like to invest or learn about Love Goodly, then click here.

phone interview questions

Phone Interview Questions for Software Developers

Face it. No matter what fancy tech you have in place, at some point you're going to need to hop on the phone to interview your top candidates.

But don't worry!

Phone interviews are a great way to meet and qualify candidates, without the logistical and time commitments that come with in-person interviews. Whether you're interviewing someone local or outside your state, they are sure to appreciate the trip you’re saving them as they participate in your remote interview.

Phone interviews are a standard in the recruiting process. They're even expected by software developer candidates.

Using Phone Interviews to Evaluate Software Developers

The phone interview is a good time to ask technical questions, but only if they aren’t eating up a huge part of your interview time. Hearing candidates walk you through their problem-solving process on the phone can be valuable, but waiting on the line as they solve complex problems puts artificial pressure on them. It also wastes your time if they hit a road-block, need time to think or become flustered.

Instead, consider assigning your most technical questions to candidates in a follow-up email. This way, you can devote the initial phone interview to meeting and evaluating candidates through a smooth, revealing dialogue. Candidates will also appreciate not having to do complex problems under pressure. 

Here are some of the most important questions to ask software developer candidates and the functions these questions serve. If they get off topic, gently guide them back to a line of conversation that demonstrates their experience and comfort level with the work you need done.

Best Phone Interview Questions to Ask Developers

How are you today?

FUNCTION: Starting off with a friendly, soft-ball question helps the candidate to relax and warm up their communication skills for the interview.

Starting the phone interview by answering a word problem or technical question gets things off to a slower start. Retaining the interest of skilled candidates will be easier with a friendly first impression, so don’t forget to ease into each phone interview before getting down to business. In this day and age where culture matters, it's most important to build the proper rapport to set you apart from other opportunities they're evaluating.

What do you know about our company and the software that we develop?

  • What about the software appeals to you?

FUNCTION: This question reveals the interest level of candidates and is a great launch point into discussing:

  • Candidate direct experience with the work your company does.
  • Candidate knowledge on your company.
  • The work the candidate is currently doing/ what they like about it.
  • How candidate skills would support the work your company does.
  • Key company/brand information.
  • Industry/ technology trends.
  • Technical aspects of the software you develop.

This question is a great launch point for discussing the work your company does and the work your candidate does. It is also great for testing how invested the candidate is in the idea of working for your company.

Tell me about the largest scale development process problem that you or your team have faced and worked through.   

  • How did the problem relate to advancing in the dev process and the final product?
  • What role did you play in the solution?
  • Was this the most challenging dev obstacle you’ve worked on?
  • Where you and your team-mates able to solve the problem?

FUNCTION: This question tests candidates for their ability to explain bugs, errors and catastrophic failures in the software development process.

From here, you can explore their systematic problem-solving skills, their approach to work on ongoing pieces of software, and their record for finding bypasses to roadblocks in the development process.

There will always be obstacles in the development process, for individual workers and product development as a whole. You want candidates who have experience moving the dev process forward and who are comfortable working around large scale problems when creating software.

What method of collaboration has been most successful for you?

  • What method has been the least successful for you?

FUNCTION: Having your new software developer fit seamlessly into your team’s workflow is the ideal, and these questions reveal how your developer candidate works with others.

Knowing a software developers work habits, shows you how much they will have to adjust to life in your company. Their answer will also show you the ways that other software companies are managing workflow and collaboration.

Knowing what collaboration practices don’t work for your candidate is also important information. Even if your team uses their least favorite method, hearing their perspective is valuable and shows you if they will enjoy working for your company. The fit has to be right on both sides, and it’s better for employer and candidate to know about “deal-breaker” procedures/details early on in the interview process.

What levels of programming and/or functionality have you been responsible for designing/developing during the software development process?

  • Which portions of the completed software were your responsibility to develop/design?
  • How did your work contribute to the final product?

FUNCTION: These questions reveal the scope of your candidate’s software development experience and where this experience is concentrated.

These questions will help you uncover candidate experience at different stages and areas of the development process. By focusing on the scale and effect of the work entrusted to this candidate in the past, you will be able to determine if they’re up for your open job.

Narrow in on the portions of the dev process that the hire will be working on:

  • Front end development/design
  • Back end development/design
  • User interface development/design
  • Functional development/design
  • Software Update development/design
  • Online interface development/design
  • Mobile development/design

Learning the scale at which the software developer is used to working will be crucial in qualifying them for your job. They will have a specific role to play in your software development cycle, and you must be sure that they are comfortable.

Why is ______ the best language for building ______functionality in a piece of software?

FUNCTION: This question tests the candidate’s independent thinking ability, as well as their knowledge on specific computer languages.

There may be an established language for the software functionality you want them to build, but engaged engineers will not be able to take blanked statements without talking about alternatives.

If they disagree on which language is best, this is a great time to discuss this point and/or explain that it’s the language that’s being used for ongoing development. This question reveals candidate comfort level with the languages that your developer must understand, as well as their ability to think of alternatives to real world problems faced by your company. It can also help bring about new solutions that for your company.

What are you looking for in your next job?

FUNCTION: This question shows candidates that you care about their career ambitions and want to know if your open job is a good match for these ambitions.

This is one of the most important questions you will ask during the interview process. If your open job aligns with their career aspirations, candidates are more likely to remain engaged in their work, maintain productivity and work longer at their job. If your open job doesn’t match the ambitions of a top candidate, then this information is much better learned sooner than later.

Don’t be afraid to dive deeper into a candidate'ss past experience. The key things you want to learn are if they have the chops and if they're the right fit. While learning about their technical skills may take a couple of emails, the phone interview is the perfect time to learn about what they're looking for in their next role and company.  

women in tech

International Women’s Day: How to Hire Women For Tech Positions

Women around the world have marched in solidarity, and it’s time that tech companies started showing solidarity as well. You want women in your open engineer, science and data roles, because they are ready and excited to take on these jobs. And there will be jobs for you to fill, lots of them.

There are projected to be over 1.1 Million open computer science and technology related jobs open by 2024, and only 41% of these jobs can be done by candidates with a bachelor’s degree level of education. New tech roles will require more expertise, experience and education, and, by sheer numbers, more women are attending college and holding jobs than men.

However, their representation in tech is... well slim. Women currently only hold 26% of computer science and technology jobs. There was 27% increase in the number of first-year undergraduate women interested in majoring in Computer Science between 2000 and 2015, and, considering that 74 percent of young girls express interest in STEM fields and computer science, we could see a large increase in female tech workers in the future.

You want women marching into your open tech jobs because there is still a gender gap to close in STEM heavy jobs and you don’t want to be on the wrong side of history. Early adopters of this diversity hiring initiative have an opportunity to build it into their brand story and earn the respect of female tech talent around the world.

Companies that don’t make an effort to hire more women may not feel the effects today, but they may start to notice how a clearly male-dominated workspace can be a deterrent for otherwise interested candidates.

Here are a few steps that every tech company should take in order to build greater gender diversity in their workforce.

How to Hire More Women

Sounds easy enough right?  If you have a racially/ethnically/gender diverse workforce as a whole and in each individual department, you are fine. That being said, even reasonably diverse companies can fall short on diversity in specific departments.

At Google, women only make up 17% of their technical staff. At Facebook, only 15% of technical employees are women and at Twitter, only 10% of technical staff are female. The reasons for this trend are debated, but the solution is simple: hire more female tech talent.

Though you should always focus on candidate qualifications first, getting more women into tech starts with acknowledging that there are very few women in tech. Your interviewers should always be focused on skills, experience and qualifications, but they should all be aware of your company’s goal of increasing the diversity of your team. Having people of different genders, backgrounds, education, skills, etc will always put your company at an advantage over others that only hire the same people over and over.

A diversity of opinions, talents and backgrounds is essential for effective innovation, and strengthening your ability to hire a diversity of tech professionals will be essential for employers going forward. 

Ask Tough Questions

If you want to improve the gender balance on your tech team or at your company, you may need to ask some tough questions. For instance:

“If I were female, would this (joke)(comment)(question)(attitude)(policy) make me feel uncomfortable?”

Men account for the vast majority of tech employees and, as any guy who has been stuck in a room full of other guys can tell you, things can get out of hand. A “fun” work environment is only worth having if it’s fun for everyone, and a male-dominated company culture has the potential to drive off female tech talent and deter female candidates from accepting your offer.

There are plenty of horror stories out there from women in the tech industry who unwittingly joined companies and departments that had become man caves, boys clubs, nerd bunkers, etc. and this is not the sort of press or reputation you want for your organization.

Every company has its own unique culture, but this culture also needs to work for everyone and adjust to new members of the team. Ask the tough questions about your company’s culture and use the insights that these questions produce to effect a change in your organization, if necessary.

Make it Public Knowledge

Though this issue is raised on a consistent basis, the progress being made is slow. Make it public knowledge that your company’s goal is to employ more women in technical roles, and you can generate a huge increase of interest from female tech candidates.

Creating this sort of reputation for your company can be a lightning rod for female tech stars from all corners of the industry. By announcing this goal in a press release and/or on social media, you stand to gain a powerful recruiting tool.

A diversity of ideas and backgrounds is what drives innovation, not cramming 100 near-clones into a basement and expecting something original to emerge. So, when you are making a choice between several qualified candidates, consider the impact that you could make on this issue by choosing a woman for your open tech job. This trend isn’t going to reverse itself overnight, but getting more women into tech starts with changing attitudes and acknowledging how much work is left to be done on this issue.

blockchain for beginners

The BlockChain Bible

Blockchain is the foundation of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, a trend that has been getting huge levels of attention recently.

Whether or not Bitcoin is a worthwhile investment remains to be seen, but for those who bought Bitcoin in the beginning, their investment has yielded insane dividends.

Bitcoin was founded in 2009, but it wasn’t until a year and a half later that man named Laszlo Hanyecz was the first person to spend Bitcoins in a financial transaction.

Lazlo traded someone 10,000 bitcoins to for two papa john’s pizzas, a transaction of 41$. Today, the Bitcoins spent to relieve his craving for take-and-bake, are valued at 150 Million.

The reason that Bitcoin’s value has increased in such a dramatic way?

Though many forces are causing Bitcoin’s value to rise, such as shifting attitudes of large investors and Bitcoin fans refusing to sell bitcoin to drive up the price above 1M per-coin, none of the success of Bitcoin would be possible without blockchain.

Blockchain for Beginners

Before we cover more applications of the blockchain technology behind Bitcoin, here are the basics for those who are less familiar with blockchain.

What is Blockchain?

A blockchain is a data set known as a “distributed ledger” that creates connections between different data points, called blocks, in a chain that is unbreakable and unalterable.

Blocks are linked by “hash pointers,” which connect each block and encrypt the information within blocks.

Hash Pointer:

Hash: Cryptographic hash of information (ie. a Bitcoin transaction).


Pointer: A link to where the hashed data is stored.

Stored in this encrypted format, the data in a blockchain is accessible but unalterable, a perfect record of whatever you happen to be recording.

Essentially, blockchains are massive spreadsheets, and the entries in this spreadsheet range from the transactions conducted using a Bitcoin, to the location of a product being shipped, to the policy information of insurance holders.  

What is Blockchain technology?

Blockchain technology is technology that uses blockchain to achieve or support its functionality. Technology using blockchain is poised to become the new standard for many business processes and for data security, data storage and data sharing needs of companies.

Examples of Blockchain Applications

Here are just a few examples of companies that are applying blockchain to innovate in established industries:

  • Providence – Tracks Yellowfin Tuna from catch to plate with blockchain.
  • Symbiont – Blockchain applications for enterprises to manage loans, the distribution of index data, private equity and crowdfunding and ensure data accuracy/security.
  • Kik – A messenger platform that uses blockchain for message threads.
  • Shapeshift – An online exchange for different cryptocurrencies, (ie: bitcoin into z-cash, ether, etc.).
  • IBM – A wide variety of blockchain applications, from verifying food safety and tracking commodities through supply chains to clinical trial management and data security.

What is Blockchain Wallet?

Blockchain wallets are applications used to save the addresses of blockchain currencies and conduct financial transactions with Bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies.

What is Blockchain Used for?

Blockchain has proven to be useful or even revolutionary in a number of industries, from healthcare to finance, from insurance to education.

Here’s how blockchain is changing the way that business is done in established industries:

What is Blockchain in Insurance?

Using Blockchain for data storage in the insurance industry may become the new standard before long.

The data security offered by blockchain, along with the ability to eliminate fraud and redundancies in policy information, make blockchain a natural fit for the insurance industry.

Blockchain also allows for “smart contracts” that can automatically approve or deny insurance policy claims, based on whether or not claim data meets the conditions of the smart contract.

What is Blockchain in Finance/Banking?

In finance and banking, blockchain has the ability to manage a huge number of processes and is speculated to have sweeping applications throughout the finance and banking industries.

Here’s an excellent take on blockchain in finance from the Harvard business Review:

“Money, equities, bonds, titles, deeds, contracts, and virtually all other kinds of assets can be moved and stored securely, privately, and from peer to peer, because trust is established not by powerful intermediaries like banks and governments, but by network consensus, cryptography, collaboration, and clever code.”

Additionally, as cryptocurrency gains popularity and major financial powers like China take steps towards embracing digital currency, blockchain may revolutionize our financial system and may remove the need for as many intermediary companies involved in finance and banking.

What is Blockchain in Healthcare?

Blockchain in healthcare helps to manage data and automate processes in an industry where accuracy is literally a matter of life or death.

Medical error is one of the most common causes of death in the US, and storing patient records in a distributed ledger reduces redundancies and errors that lead to these deaths. Blockchain also allows for more accurate tracking of pharmaceutical medication, which will both help patients and help to reduce the diversion of opiates into illegal markets.

What is Blockchain in Supply Chain / Logistics?

In the supply chain and logistics industries, blockchain makes it much easier to track the location of commodities as they are created, packaged and shipped to different points along the way to store shelves.

Smart contracts will allow payments and authorizations to be triggered by the GPS location of packages as they are shipped, helping to increase efficiency in the 1.5 trillion dollar industry.

What is Blockchain in Real Estate?

In real estate, blockchain is helping to increase the efficiency of property transactions by decreasing the time it takes to verify an individual’s financial information and improving transparency in the industry.

Blockchain would also help to make forged ownership documents and fake rental listing scams impossible, by having all transactions related to a property being incorruptibly while in a blockchain.

What is Blockchain in Education?

In education, blockchain could help to standardize the authentication of certificates issued from learning institutions.

Blockchain will also help to ensure that the credentials of all educators are valid and eliminate redundancy and error in student performance data.

What is Blockchain in Marketing?

Marketing applications of blockchain are diverse, and this industry will improve accuracy when targeting consumers as well as increasing data transparency for these consumers.

Blockchain can be used to ensure that people are not over-exposed to particular ads or even to automatically pay people for using their data. It can also be used to verify that followers are people, not bots and to guarantee the legitimacy of sponsored contests, ensuring that only one vote is given to each participant.

What is Blockchain for Business?

Blockchain has a great number of applications for businesses of all kinds, from improving the accuracy and transparency of records to eliminating time consuming back of office processes.

The applications of blockchain in business are still being discovered and optimized, and we may see a widespread adoption of this technology across industries in the coming years.

Why Blockchain Matters?

Blockchain matters because, for now, it is one of the most secure and practical ways to store data sets, especially when these data sets are used by multiple parties for multiple purposes.

Early adopters of blockchain applications are already reaping the benefits of improved data visibility, integrity and security, and, as use of blockchain proliferates, more and more industries will grow to depend on this technology.  

What is Blockchain Mining?

Blockchain mining is most commonly applied in Bitcoin mining.

Bitcoin Mining is where individual “miners” solve math problems created by mining computers to add a series of bitcoin transactions to the public record of bitcoin transactions.

Here’s a detailed explanation of Bitcoin Mining from The Economist:

“Every ten minutes or so mining computers collect a few hundred pending bitcoin transactions (a “block”) and turn them into a mathematical puzzle. The first miner to find the solution announces it to others on the network. The other miners then check whether the sender of the funds has the right to spend the money, and whether the solution to the puzzle is correct.

If enough of them grant their approval, the block is cryptographically added to the ledger and the miners move on to the next set of transactions (hence the term “blockchain”). The miner who found the solution gets 25 bitcoins as a reward, but only after another 99 blocks have been added to the ledger.”

Blockchain Glossary, Terms, and Definitions

Here’s an informative glossary on blockchain terms and definitions put together by Blockgeeks:

551% Attack

When more than half of the computing power of a cryptocurrency network is controlled by a single entity or group, this entity or group may issue conflicting transactions to harm the network, should they have the malicious intent to do so.


Cryptocurrency addresses are used to send or receive transactions on the network. An address usually presents itself as a string of alphanumeric characters.


Short form for ‘Application Specific Integrated Circuit’. Often compared to GPUs, ASICs are specially made for mining and may offer significant power savings.


Bitcoin is the first decentralised, open source cryptocurrency that runs on a global peer to peer network, without the need for middlemen and a centralised issuer.


Blocks are packages of data that carry permanently recorded data on the blockchain network.


A blockchain is a shared ledger where transactions are permanently recorded by appending blocks. The blockchain serves as a historical record of all transactions that ever occurred, from the genesis block to the latest block, hence the name blockchain.

Block Explorer

Block explorer is an online tool to view all transactions, past and current, on the blockchain. They provide useful information such as network hash rate and transaction growth.

Block Height

The number of blocks connected on the blockchain.

Block Reward

A form of incentive for the miner who successfully calculated the hash in a block during mining. Verification of transactions on the blockchain generates new coins in the process, and the miner is rewarded a portion of those.

Central Ledger

A ledger maintained by a central agency.


The successful act of hashing a transaction and adding it to the blockchain.


Consensus is achieved when all participants of the network agree on the validity of the transactions, ensuring that the ledgers are exact copies of each other.


Also known as tokens, cryptocurrencies are representations of digital assets.

Cryptographic Hash Function

Cryptographic hashes produce a fixed-size and unique hash value from variable-size transaction input. The SHA-256 computational algorithm is an example of a cryptographic hash.


A decentralised application (Dapp) is an application that is open source, operates autonomously, has its data stored on a blockchain, incentivised in the form of cryptographic tokens and operates on a protocol that shows proof of value.


Decentralised Autonomous Organizations can be thought of as corporations that run without any human intervention and surrender all forms of control to an incorruptible set of business rules.

Distributed Ledger

Distributed ledgers are ledgers in which data is stored across a network of decentralized nodes. A distributed ledger does not have to have its own currency and may be permissioned and private.

Distributed Network

A type of network where processing power and data are spread over the nodes rather than having a centralised data centre.


This refers to how easily a data block of transaction information can be mined successfully.

Digital Signature

A digital code generated by public key encryption that is attached to an electronically transmitted document to verify its contents and the sender’s identity.

Double Spending

Double spending occurs when a sum of money is spent more than once.


Ethereum is a blockchain-based decentralised platform for apps that run smart contracts, and is aimed at solving issues associated with censorship, fraud and third party interference.


The Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) is a Turing complete virtual machine that allows anyone to execute arbitrary EVM Byte Code. Every Ethereum node runs on the EVM to maintain consensus across the blockchain.


Forks create an alternate version of the blockchain, leaving two blockchains to run simultaneously on different parts of the network.

Genesis Block

The first or first few blocks of a blockchain.

Hard Fork

A type of fork that renders previously invalid transactions valid, and vice versa. This type of fork requires all nodes and users to upgrade to the latest version of the protocol software.


The act of performing a hash function on the output data. This is used for confirming coin transactions.

Hash Rate

Measurement of performance for the mining rig is expressed in hashes per second.

Hybrid PoS/PoW

A hybrid PoS/PoW allows for both Proof of Stake and Proof of Work as consensus distribution algorithms on the network. In this method, a balance between miners and voters (holders) may be achieved, creating a system of community-based governance by both insiders (holders) and outsiders (miners).


Mining is the act of validating blockchain transactions. The necessity of validation warrants an incentive for the miners, usually in the form of coins. In this cryptocurrency boom, mining can be a lucrative business when done properly. By choosing the most efficient and suitable hardware and mining target, mining can produce a stable form of passive income.


Multi-signature addresses provide an added layer of security by requiring more than one key to authorize a transaction.


A copy of the ledger operated by a participant of the blockchain network.


Oracles work as a bridge between the real world and the blockchain by providing data to the smart contracts.

Peer to Peer

Peer to Peer (P2P) refers to the decentralized interactions between two parties or more in a highly-interconnected network. Participants of a P2P network deal directly with each other through a single mediation point.

Public Address

A public address is the cryptographic hash of a public key. They act as email addresses that can be published anywhere, unlike private keys.

Private Key

A private key is a string of data that allows you to access the tokens in a specific wallet. They act as passwords that are kept hidden from anyone but the owner of the address.

Proof of Stake

A consensus distribution algorithm that rewards earnings based on the number of coins you own or hold. The more you invest in the coin, the more you gain by mining with this protocol.

Proof of Work

A consensus distribution algorithm that requires an active role in mining data blocks, often consuming resources, such as electricity. The more ‘work’ you do or the more computational power you provide, the more coins you are rewarded with.


Scrypt is a type of cryptographic algorithm and is used by Litecoin. Compared to SHA256, this is quicker as it does not use up as much processing time.


SHA-256 is a cryptographic algorithm used by cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. However, it uses a lot of computing power and processing time, forcing miners to form mining pools to capture gains.

Smart Contracts

Smart contracts encode business rules in a programmable language onto the blockchain and are enforced by the participants of the network.

Soft Fork

A soft fork differs from a hard fork in that only previously valid transactions are made invalid. Since old nodes recognize the new blocks as valid, a soft fork is essentially backward-compatible. This type of fork requires most miners upgrading in order to enforce, while a hard fork requires all nodes to agree on the new version.


Solidity is Ethereum’s programming language for developing smart contracts.


A test blockchain used by developers to prevent expending assets on the main chain.

Transaction Block

A collection of transactions gathered into a block that can then be hashed and added to the blockchain.

Transaction Fee

All cryptocurrency transactions involve a small transaction fee. These transaction fees add up to account for the block reward that a miner receives when he successfully processes a block.

Turing Complete

Turing complete refers to the ability of a machine to perform calculations that any other programmable computer is capable of. An example of this is the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).


A file that houses private keys. It usually contains a software client which allows access to view and create transactions on a specific blockchain that the wallet is designed for.

Blockchain Slang

Last, but not least, here’s a glossary of blockchain slang to help you as you read more about blockchain and blockchain applications:

#ALTCOIN = Any crypto currency other than bitcoin.

#ASHDRAKED = A situation where you lost all your money.

#BAGHOLDER = A person who buys and hold coins in large quantity hoping to make good profits in the future.

#BEAR/BEARISH = Negative price movement

#BTFD = Buy The Fucking Dip (an indication to buy a coin when it has dumped so hard)

#BULL/#BULLISH = Positive price movement

#DILDO = Long green or red candles

#DUMP = To Sell off a coin

#DUMPING = Downward price movement

#DYOR = Do Your Own Research

#FA = Fundamental Analysis

#FOMO = Fear Of Missing Out (A coin is pumping and you get the feeling it’s gonna pump more, so you buy high)

#FUD = Fear Uncertainty & Doubt

#HODL = Hold/Hold a position

#JOMO = Joy Of Missing Out

#LONG = Margin bull position

#MCAP = Market Capitalization

#MOON = Continuous upward movement of price

#OTC = Over The Counter

#PUMP = Upward price movement

#SAJ #CANDLE = Huge green candle

#SHITCOIN = A coin with no potential value or use

#SHORT = Margin bear position

#SWING = Zig zag price movement (Upwards and downwards)

#TA = Technical Analysis

REKT = When you have a bad loss

REVERSE INDICATOR = Someone who is always wrong predicting price movements.

RSI = Relative Strength Index

WHALE = Very Wealthy trader/Market mover