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Sponsored: Blind: An Anonymous App for Big 4 Employees

Our careers consume a huge portion of our lives. Each of you reading this came here in hopes of finding information pertaining to your career. We talk to friends, colleagues and turn to every online resource imaginable, yet, at the peak of today’s mobile revolution, social apps at our disposal for working professionals are largely stalking tools at best.

The information I seek is often outdated, lack credibility or never there to begin with. What’s even more challenging for today’s white-collar workers is that hierarchy, corporate facade and fear of retribution makes it incredibly difficult for everyone to just be themselves. We’ve all heard the stories of employees being let go or candidates getting rejected by an employer after seeing their social media.

So, we created Blind — an anonymous community app for feedback and advice. The first truly anonymous, safe place for honest conversations.

Maybe you are a first year associate seeking advice or a Sr. Manager exploring exit opportunities. Or maybe you’ve moved offices and just want to learn about your new environment.

The mission is to give equal voice and flatten the playing field for everyone. Our vision is to empower each and every working individual to just be themselves — because, what is said is more important than who said it and more communication is almost always better than less.

[Blind] is an information hub. From salary discussions to exit options, I can quickly obtain inside scoop on what's happening at my company near real-time.
                            Anonymous user at – PwC Risk Assurance

How does it work?

I know what you are thinking. “Nothing is truly anonymous.” We get that a lot.

Blind app is exclusive to select list of companies that is employee driven; we never communicate with corporate offices, executives, HR, etc. Currently for accounting, we welcome all Big 4 employees and anyone working at the top 10 firms. Outside of that we host a waitlist which requires 100~200 employees to sign up before we make our anonymous community available to an office. This is important for two reasons:

  • Blind opens with a bang so users can immediately have someone to talk to.
  • When you open with a group of users it makes it extremely difficult for companies to know who is who. Just an added security measure to what we’ve already built.

As for the security element, each and every one of our users who have joined our app have used their corporate emails to verify. This email information is locked away in our patented infrastructure which makes it impossible for even our engineers to trace our users. This means even if our entire app were to be breached no one can every trace content back to it’s original poster. It’s the same if the government reached out to us. They are welcome to look, but our data centers hold no information that could potentially help identify members of our community. Beyond that, every packet of information that goes through our app is hashed even on workplace wifi.

Blind groups users by company and their greater industry. On the left you have a private channel for just you and your coworkers. On the right we have an intercompany discussion board called “Lounge."

Initial launch and success

We launched targeting tech companies. This time last year we made Blind available to Amazon employees in Seattle, then Microsoft and then added the rest of top 100 tech companies. Today we have 1 in 5 of all US-based Microsoft, LinkedIn and Yahoo employees verified on the app and have a strong community of Google, Apple, Amazon and Uber employees joining in on the conversation.

Expansion into PwC, then Big 4

In July, we noticed a jump in waitlist registrations at PwC, probably after our features on Forbes and Business Insider. In just a few short weeks, Blind opened up a private channel and immediately saw growth from EY, Deloitte and KPMG employees. We even added a private messaging function that deletes all conversations moments after they happen, sticking to our vision of maintaining our user privacy.

I personally use Blind a lot because it helps public accountants like me find comfort sharing difficulties we experience at work.
                    Anonymous user – KPMG Auditor

Today, Blind is available for top 10 Public Accounting firms in the US. We welcome users from all lines of services to help diversify our community. Content is 100% community driven and users are responsible for moderating their own community through our flagging system. We encourage you all to try our app as we have exciting plans of eventually connecting our accounting community with other industries. Imagine people working in advisory engaging in open dialogue with Mckinsey, BCG employees or audit/tax professionals chatting about culture and work benefits with people in industry.

I can see how private messaging here [Blind] can lead to future job and business opportunities.
                        Anonymous user – Deloitte Advisory

Professional barriers make it difficult to ask the burning questions we really care about. What’s important here is that you are not alone. If you’ve ever looked back in your career and wished you had known something earlier, or if you’ve ever looked forward and wondering if you were going in the right direction, I encourage you to share that thought on Blind and see your professional circle work for you. You’ll notice that work is a lot more human and fun than we realize.

Image: iStock/robstyle