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How Jordan Crawford Built the World’s First GTM Data Business By Scraping Job Boards

Say you run an ad agency. You target clients with a large budget who are interested in Facebook ads. You want to find all of this information quickly without wasting time on meetings with unqualified leads. How would you do it?

Jordan Crawford, founder of go-to-market (GTM) data science analysis business, Blueprint, says to go look at job postings.

The connection seems strange until Jordan explains it.

“I can give you the number of paid media people each agency is hiring and the density of those using Meta or Google based on the job descriptions. I can also often tell you their ad budget as they’ll normally give a figure in the description.”

Jordan makes finding uncommon connections like these look easy and has built a growing reputation for it in the Go-to-Market (GTM) community in San Francisco. However, his path to $60,000 client deals wasn’t always so clear. 

For almost a decade, he studied hard to become a professor of political science. He quit his life in academia when he realized the pay was bad and competition high, choosing instead to climb the food chain at various Bay Area startups in the early 2010s. 

But Jordan’s time as an employee didn’t offer the clear ladder to success he was searching for. He was frequently let go or forced to watch as his employers crashed and burned in the cutthroat world of venture-capital. 

However, After many different roles and experiences, Jordan gained enough industry knowledge and connection to create and grow his own business at 63 percent year over year. He credits his success to persistence and strong bonds with other founders. Here’s his story.

If Your Sim Can Have It, Why Can’t You?

If Jordan were to trace his entrepreneurial start, he believes it came from selling baggies of gummy worms on the playground in the fifth grade.

“I ran a business with 100 percent margins,” says Jordan, laughing. “My mom used to buy the largest Costco gummy worm bags for me. I’d break these into little baggies and sell them for five dollars a pop on the playground. My best customer’s name was T, and he got a discount because he would buy it in bulk.”

I’d just spent 12 hours getting the fake me all the stuff the real me didn’t have.

Although Jordan showed entrepreneurial promise as a child, he wouldn’t have described himself as a self-starter until his freshman year of college. A sudden change driven by an addiction to the popular role-playing game, The Sims.

“When I was a freshman in college, I once played The Sims from three AM to three PM,” he says. “One day, I noticed my Sim had a girlfriend, a job, a house, and was well-respected in the community. I’d just spent 12 hours getting the fake me all the stuff the real me didn’t have. I became possessed. Right then, I closed it down, went to Silicon Valley Careers (now defunct), and applied to any job where at least one bullet point in the job description described me.”

After feverishly applying to hundreds of positions, Jordan took a job at a startup called Palm (acquired by HP and later LG). He’d impressed the HR team with one word in his application. 

“I used the word keen on the application and the interviewer had only heard Australians use that word and thought she should interview me,” he says.

A Career in Tech or Political Science?

Palm was Jordan’s home for seven years while he studied for an undergraduate and a master’s degree in political science. At the time, he was convinced this job was only to pay the bills and that he would end up a professor.

However, Jordan’s career at Palm became promising. While his first job was filing papers for a living as an HR intern, after six years, he ran all of the support for WebOS’s App Catalog (the App Store for Palm products) and filed multiple patents for the business.

By the time Jordan finished his master’s degree in 2008, he’d realized teaching at a university wasn’t his calling – a professor of political science spent much more time researching than teaching. And the pay couldn’t even buy him a plate of sushi three times a week.

“You take three years to get published, and no one will ever read it,” he says. “You write for your career but not for the attainment of additional knowledge. You also get paid forty grand to live in Alabama and compete with people with degrees from Harvard. I thought this was all ass-backwards.”

Jordan decided it was time to hang up his old dreams and double down on his blooming tech career.

The Years of Startups That Almost Made it

After graduating, Jordan stayed at Palm for another year and then decided he’d look for new jobs. In this period, Jordan took positions quickly and left them just as fast. He thinks it helped him figure out his calling on an accelerated timeline.

“The way to find yourself is to cycle through jobs quickly,” says Jordan. “In my case, it was because the company collapsed or because I was fired. It turns out, I wasn’t really built to be an employee.”

Jordan’s first job after Palm was as a contractor at an electric vehicle-adjacent business called Better Place. They’d manufactured a system to swap out electric vehicle batteries rather than recharging them. At the time, they’d raised almost a billion dollars.

Jordan looks back at his time at Better Place fondly. It was a promising business filled with talented employees. But it collapsed soon after partnering with a legacy car company.

“Better Place made a billion-dollar bet that Nissan-Renault Group (now Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi) could help them build an electric vehicle – it didn’t pay off,” he says. “When you work with legacy car companies, they say things like, ‘We will absolutely get this initiative done this decade.’ At that point, it’s already dead.”

After Better Place wound down, Jordan wanted a job that would catapult his career and give him equity in a booming business.

“I seemed to work at companies that would only fail or fire me,” he says. “I wanted to work somewhere where equity mattered, where the team was small and nimble, and the mission was meaningful.”

Jordan landed a job with a notoriously difficult-to-enter Silicon Valley startup, Inkling (acquired by Echo360 in 2024). He considers Inkling the Forest Gump moment of his life – he was in the right place, at the right time, and with the right people.

“It was an amazing team of people and I’m still pretty good friends with many today,” he says. “Ivan Zhao of Notion worked there. Olof, who runs Mixmax, worked there. Zach Leach who runs design at Gamma (and was one of my co-founders) worked there. Amazing companies grew out of Inkling because they hired some great people.”

However, after about two and a half years, Jordan became unpopular after he suggested Inkling shut his program down due to lack of earnings. Soon after, Jordan was fired in 2013 for taking too much of his unlimited PTO.

“The CEO asked me to turn around in the middle of my vacation and come back to work,” he says. “Of course, I said no.”

Selling to Restaurants Is Tough

Jordan was relieved to be fired at this point in his career as he’d forged a number of connections in the Valley. In 2011, he founded a company creating websites for restaurants with Zach Leach, who he’d previously worked with at Inkling.

“We created a site where you could type in your business name and a restaurant website would automatically be ready for you. We’d pull information from the web and the client and we’d make it look beautiful. We sold that for fifty dollars a month, fully managed. You didn’t have to worry about it.”

It seemed like a great idea, but Jordan discovered restaurant owners were tough sells for SaaS founders.

“Restaurant owners don’t have money and are hard to get hold of,” he says. “Also customers that don’t have money usually have high expectations of your service. They’d always want to tweak the design and we’d need to tell them that’s not the point of this.”

The website creator service failed – but with a silver lining. While building their sales pipeline, Jordan and Zach launched a new marketing product: an API on for contacting businesses by mail called Scout.

“We sent out mailers to restaurants, and in doing so, we built this tool where you could upload a PDF and it would send out mailers automatically,” he says. “We launched on Product Hunt, got to number one, and made more revenue that day than in two years of the business.”

How to Direct Mail a Dropshipper

A year later, Jordan used his direct mail expertise to help, a YC Winter 14 company, grow from one to 100 million in gross market transactions in two years. The venture made him three times more money than he’d ever earned at his full-time jobs.

At the time, Zinc had recently built a tool called PriceYak that let users scour the internet for ecommerce stores selling the same products at lower prices. 

Jordan helped Zinc send handwritten letters to online sellers with price discrepancies. The notes informed them that their product was being sold cheaper on another site and asked if they’d like help setting up an arbitrage, for a commission of course. 

“We realized one of the best ways to get peoples’ addresses on eBay was to buy their products,” says Jordan. “We would throw a party at the office about once every quarter where you could get a horse head and a yo-yo – just random shit.”

Systemizing a Consultancy

Around 2020, Jordan was still working on Scout (Zach had left some years before) when his friend John (who he’d previously advised on growth at his startup) approached him to build a systemized Go-to-Market (GTM) business. Jordan had learned a couple of interesting tricks for finding leads for his direct-mail business, mainly by searching unexpected sources like job boards.

The problem is everyone has access to that same data, including your competitors. Unlike the jobs data, none of it indicates what companies really want to do.

“One of my customers once told me, ‘Jordan, when a business lays off their engineering team and hires a chief technology officer and has an open role for a lead engineer, it means that they’re going to start outsourcing their development.’ You can’t export that list from Apollo or ZoomInfo, but if you have that data, suddenly your message becomes obvious.”

After years of working with startup Go-to-Market teams, Jordan noticed a large problem for sales departments – everyone used the same data. Jordan and John decided to build a business entirely around scraping job boards for customer data to help clients differentiate.

“A lot of these data providers on the market like Apollo, ZoomInfo, and Ocean are helpful for building starter lists for go-to-market teams,” he says. “The problem is everyone has access to that same data, including your competitors. Unlike the jobs data, none of it indicates what companies really want to do.

“The idea was to build a B2B data product to monitor job postings online and let you sort all jobs on the US market by density of keywords. You could tell which companies were trying to double down on an events strategy, or improve their marketing attribution, or hire people to do cold calling. All of this data is in their job postings!”

Since they were bootstrapped, Jordan worked on consulting while John built the product. However, Jordan’s attention was divided and the money came slowly in the first year.

“We tried to build two businesses and it was a bad idea,” Jordan says, “And after working that way for a while, John wanted more stability. We parted amicably.”

After John left, Jordan laid Scout to rest and rebranded the new business as Blueprint. He crafted a lead-generating tool called JordanGPT – a ChatGPT wrapper that automatically asked the same preliminary questions and answers he’d normally ask clients.

He set up a $500-per-month basic plan that automatically compiled sales lists for clients based on online job posts. The more expensive plan scraped these lists and provided potential client tech stack insights.

Finally, he added an enterprise tier starting at $60,000 per year where he’d work as a GTM data consultant if a business wanted his services.

Within months of launching Blueprint, Jordan landed his first $80,000 client.

“Most of our revenue comes from helping people take their vision of who their customer is in their head and to build a data set just for them from anywhere it exists on the web,” he says. “We use AI to score ideal customer profiles and personas and to search and summarize the data from the web. Then we deliver clients a total addressable market score. One that helps them know which customers to reach out to, at what time, and what to say to them.”

To this day, Jordan continues to grow Blueprint through word of mouth. That’s the benefit of a long career across multiple businesses. As an advisor at nine different startups, he’s amassed numerous LinkedIn connections which he can leverage into future business.

Though Jordan doesn’t wish to reveal exact figures, Blueprint grew 66 percent last year and pays a living wage to him and his two employees. He’s seeing an increasing demand for his services as companies search for a method to use AI for sales data.

Don’t Do Entrepreneurship Alone

Jordan believes entrepreneurship has always resided within him, surfaced by fortunate experiences in his life.

“It grew from friendships and was watered by the people who took bets on me,” he says. “My Miracle Grow was finding the lane where I excelled and gaining skills the market needed desperately.”

In Jordan’s opinion, it’s necessary when building a business to surround yourself with friends to cheer you on and help you succeed. He even prefers building with a cofounder when he has the chance.

Your knowledge exists on a small island surrounded by an ocean of ignorance

“Building a business is an exercise in irrational persistence, and in my case, an exercise in battling the emotional challenges of working alone,” he says. “I’m literally in a dark room with a studio light as we speak, and this is most of my work existence. When you have a co-founder, it drastically increases the complexity of the business, but boy it brings so much joy to build with someone.”

He also says that for anyone seeking to grow a successful business like his, you need to focus on your relationships with other people.

“Growing a business is growing enough trust with other people for them to take big bets on you,” he says. “Your knowledge exists on a small island surrounded by an ocean of ignorance. You need other people (co-founders, customers, friends, and LinkedIn acquaintances) to help you close the gaps in your unknown unknowns.”

So if you’re going to start a business, first build a reputation for being helpful and solving problems. Success comes not just from having an interesting idea, but knowing people who trust you and are willing to make a bet on you, even if it’s not a perfect fit or it’s a risky bet. Be the kind of person someone would bet on.

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