Why we’re using a local curation model
The most obvious question we get is “How are you different from Crunchbase?”
First – let’s be clear: We ♥ Crunchbase. We ♥ Angel List.
There are a few key ways we’re different:
- Everything we do is laser-focused on cities and communities.
- Our data isn’t just crowd-sourced – it’s also curated by startup community leaders in each community.
- Sure, we built a basic directory. But we had to do that before we could focus on what we’re really excited about: visualizations and reports.
- Bootstrappers are real people too. We don’t just list companies that hit TechCrunch.
- We’re also mapping “community enablers” – the non-profits, associations, coworking space, events and people that support your community.
- Side note: I gotta give props to The Startup Foundation, which made the first attempt to map the world’s “community enablers” but ultimately had to abandon the project to focus on other things.
In this post, we’ll address #2 above: Why we chose a curation model.
First, let’s look at the challenges of a curation model:
- We had to build a dashboard for curators.
- Curators are busy people.
- Curators are not permanent. We’ll have to deal with succession planning.
- We have to find the right people to be curators. People that are well respected in their community. People that are probably already mapping.
So is it worth it?
We think so. In fact, we believe it will be the difference between building “just-another-tool” and building something usable, clean and uniquely valuable.
Why a curation model is the right model for Startup Genome:
Data that is strictly crowdsourced can have low integrity.
When we integrated Crunchbase data (so our curators would have a head start), I curated my city’s – Omaha’s – data. I removed over 50% of it. Curation by real humans will help ensure the integrity of our data.
We shouldn’t put the onus on startups to update their profiles.
There’s no incentive for dead companies to de-list themselves, and successful companies often forget to update their information. Pretty soon you have outdated data. That’s where the curators come in. When they hear that a startup has launched, or closed its doors, or received a new investment – they hop on Startup Genome.
Every city looks at its community differently.
Our curators in Cape Town asked if they could change the categorization and filters for their city. They know how the people in Cape Town think about Cape Town. We don’t.
Ready to be your city’s curator? Read this.
Do you have opinions on the curation model or ideas on how we can do it better? Please tell us in the comments!