We’re Hiring: Head of Business Development

Wordnik is looking for a highly skilled, entrepreneurial Head of Business Development who is seeking a leadership role within a dynamic, growing organization. As an expert early stage partner in distribution deal creation and management, the Head of Business Development will lead Partnership efforts for Wordnik. With an understanding of content and information management the Head of Business Development will manage relationships with clients and partners including major publishers, content aggregators and distributors, content/text service providers, and post-PC application creators and devices.  In addition, the Head of Business Development will represent Wordnik externally at relevant conferences and events.

The successful candidate will have a background in partnership creation, contract negotiations, management, and experience in the platform, web, and hand-held device industry. The ideal candidate will be flexible, creative, self-motivated, trustworthy, authentic, and comfortable working in a flexible and rapidly changing environment.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Head of Business Development will perform the following and other duties as assigned:

  • Lead a regular strategic assessment of existing and potential BD partnership and product opportunities.
  • Implement strategic BD partnership opportunities.
  • Increase revenue by identifying, negotiating and managing external partnerships with revenue-generating opportunities.
  • Introduce new products and distribution partnership opportunities to the market and appropriate companies.
  • Support new product development, including product research, marketing, and pricing.
  • Promote an organizational culture and structure that fosters cooperation, communication, collaboration, teamwork, and trust.
  • Provide leadership, direction, and support for BD organization as it grows.
  • Meet and exceed goals and objectives.
  • Maintain active relationships within the industry in order to leverage appropriate market influencers and provide guidance on company positioning.
  • Provide executive leadership to the organization, giving input on company direction and organizational strategy as appropriate.

Desired Skills & Experience

The successful applicant will have the following minimum qualifications:

  • 5-10 years work experience with 2+ years in a management role and 5+ years in the content, platform, or SaaS industries startups.
  • Expert and inspired team-management skills, with past experience providing leadership to a dynamic organization.
  • A proven track record in Business Development and new partner generation.
  • Client-service orientation and superb client management skills.
  • Comfort representing the organization with executive-level management at multinational corporations and fast-growing new technology companies
  • Comfort with wearing many hats and shifting quickly between various responsibilities.
  • Excellent presentation, writing, and communication skills.
  • Comfort with regular travel to conferences and client sites.
  • Resourceful and inspirational attitude when interacting with both internal and external audiences.
  • High level of professional integrity.
  • Willingness to be flexible, adaptable, and proactive in a constantly changing industry.

About Wordnik

Wordnik’s proprietary language analysis technology combines linguistic and semantic algorithms to provide meaning and content discovery services for content creators, publishers, and aggregators.  Wordnik is backed by some of the leading investors in Silicon Valley, including Mohr Davidow Ventures, Floodgate, Baseline, SV Angels, Roger McNamee and over a dozen well-respected angel investors.

Wordnik Mobile

When you visit Wordnik.com on a smartphone you now get a mobile-optimized version of the site, featuring definitions, examples, related words, and, new in this version, audio. The mobile site, http://m.wordnik.com, delivers the most commonly-sought information on Wordnik.com in a mobile-optimized design that’s easier and faster to use (and which iPhone users can easily add to their home screen). If you want more in-depth information you can click through to the full-sized (immobile?) site, and if you want to always get the larger site, you can opt out of the mobile version altogether.

Mobile traffic to Wordnik is growing—over twenty percent of visitors are using tablets or smartphones—and we strive to be the best source of language information, however and wherever you need it. Please let us know what we can do to keep making the mobile experience better.

More Audio on Wordnik

Audio pronunciations from the Macmillan Dictionary—over 43,000 of them—are now available on Wordnik.com, and also through our API.

Mr. Macmillan* has a lovely voice, and is more upbeat than Mr. and Ms. Heritage, as you can hear on frankfurter and wheezy. He sounds a little like the Moviefone guy.

This update gives us audio on a number of words that previously didn’t have any, like 18-wheeler and zzz. If you want to contribute a regional variation or your own version of a pronunciation just go to the ‘Pronunciations’ section of any word and use built-in recorder.

*update: Just discovered there’s a Ms. Macmillan as well.

Wordnik Tech Roundup

Wordnik Lead Engineer Kumanan Rajamanikkam recently wrote a great post for Cloudera’s blog about how we’re using Hadoop to process our corpus data–a real challenge, since the corpus can grow at up to 8,000 words per second. Since switching to Cloudera-flavored Hadoop, some analysis jobs that once took over three weeks to run can now be done in a day.

The blog High Scalability also wrote a good summary of blog posts and slideshows outlining how we use MongoDB and Scala, among other tools, to manage our data.

And, saving the best for last, we’d like to introduce our new Director of Engineering, Ramesh Pidikiti, who will be working on our API and our overall engineering project management. Prior to joining Wordnik Ramesh was the VP of Engineering at Passenger, and before that played lead roles at Certus Software and HCL. We’re very excited to have him–welcome, Ramesh!

Create Your Own Word of the Day

Sweet Tooth Fairy of the Day

Wordnik offers a Word of the Day email every weekday. Now every Wordnik user can create their own Word of the Day, without worrying about details like managing subscribers or sending out emails. Ever wished Wordnik offered words of the day on specific topics, or a word a day for SAT study or other purposes? Now you can take it into your own hands 🙂

From your profile page just click the ‘Create your own Word of the Day’ link in the right-hand column, and you can then add and schedule words, and invite friends to subscribe. You can invite other Wordniks by username, or anyone with an email address (they’ll have to create a Wordnik account to accept the invitation).

When viewing your own word of the day you’re able to see all of your words, past and future. If you look at someone else’s WotD you’ll only see past words, but with one click you’ll be able to sign up and receive new ones every day by email.

You can find recent WotDs to subscribe to on the Community page, or by checking out the complete list of all words of the day. We’ll be adding to this feature over time, so if you have any requests, please let us know in the comments.


For months we’ve been hunting for someone to work with us on Wordnik.com. We knew the ideal person would both design and code, but it’s hard to find people who excel at either, much less both, so before we even posted the job we were debating what kinds of compromises we would have to make.
We were ecstatic when Zeke Sikelianos got in touch and made it easy on us. He’s a polymath who makes beautiful things that work, and it didn’t hurt that he was one of the winners of our developers challenge. We’re delighted to welcome him to Wordnik.

Improved Search: Wildcards and Lists

We’ve rolled out a handful of improvements to word search. There’s more on the way, but here’s a quick overview of two new features: wildcard searches and list search.

These can be used from our recently-added search results pages, which you can get to either from the ‘See all results for’ link at the bottom of the autocomplete results when you search from any page, or by going to http://www.wordnik.com/search directly.

The * wildcard matches any number of characters:

? matches any single character:

Or you can limit single-character wildcards to just vowels or just consonants with @ and # respectively:

Searching without wildcards returns results similar to what you see from autocomplete, but includes results from lists, tags, and related words:

Or you can specifically focus on lists and see more results:

Upcoming releases will allow regex-style searches and let you search other kinds of Wordnik content. If you’d like to see other search-related features, or have suggestions for how these should work, please let us know in the comments or through feedback@wordnik.com.