What distinguishes Clearbit's approach to data collection from companies like ZoomInfo?
Co-founder at Clearbit
We did it very differently. We weren’t going to go hire researchers—we wanted to get as much of this as we could programmatically. The way we built that loop is we went out and built a system that could take a domain name, or an email address, and then go hit every single public API or public service we could find to pull data back.
So, everything from Google Search results to about.me, to GOIP data. We just found public APIs or APIs that we could pay for, or places we could scrape. We could go in real time and build a profile about that person and company. At one point there were about 215 different data sources, and as the company got bigger, we built our own data assets and data sources that were a little bit more reliable, but also defensible, and used less and less of the smaller public ones.