Curators Are the New Creators

The Business Model of Good Taste

“We’re living in a pivotal time in the history of mass communication — what we believe is the golden age of new media.”

With more creators, more content, and more choice than ever before, consumers are now being consumed by a state of analysis paralysis. The real scarcity isn’t content anymore. It’s attention. When it’s impossible to absorb everything from the flood of information, the best we can do is pick and choose what matters to us most — or, better yet, find the people who can do the curating for us. Mario Gabriele from The Generalist said it best:

As the amount of content grows, so does the market for credible curators.

A great case study is Nathan Baschez and Dan Shipper’s Everything Bundle. In April, they decided to offer a bundled version of their newsletters, expecting a few extra subscribers from the experiment. Instead, they grew together from 600 to 1,000 paying subscribers within the first month. With all this talk of unbundling (some examples are the unbundlings of college, G Suite, Reddit, and venture capital), Nathan and Dan’s intentional bundling proved to be a striking success.

Image: courtesy of Uber

The Psychology Behind the Need for Curation

As it turns out, there’s some psychological ground to all of this. Think of it as a carefully mixed cocktail of the following:

  • Zuckerberg’s Law, or the tendency to share more and more on social media over time
  • Dunbar’s number, or the average number of stable social relationships one can maintain at a given time (it’s around 150)
  • Zipf’s Law, which describes how in any system of resources there are a small number of items of high value, and a “long tail” of many more of low value (slightly tangential but related reading: Metcalfe’s Law, which has now largely been refuted as a method of evaluating social networks, but in 2012 helped to rationalize Facebook’s insane over-valuation in its IPO)

How Do You Curate — and Why?

There isn’t one sole motivation behind why creators, influencers, and brands may want to curate. In fact, curation can:

  • Build a personal brand or audience.
  • Fulfill a need in a particular market. For example, Femstreet is a weekly digest of timely posts from female investors and operators. It’s racked up thousands of subscribers and has been featured in Fortune, Forbes, and Crunchbase.
  • Create an extra category within an existing business.
  • Become an additional revenue source. As we saw with The Browser example, it’s possible to monetize free content if it’s curated well — consumers are willing to pay someone who has good taste, and it’s an easy way to add a revenue stream to your business.

Making Curation Profitable

  1. Find initial traction
  2. Shift the emphasis from the individual to the greater media brand
  3. Scale and continue to add value



Investor at TCG Crypto. Alum @Stanford. Follow me @gaby_goldberg.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Gaby Goldberg

Investor at TCG Crypto. Alum @Stanford. Follow me @gaby_goldberg.