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.”

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

Image: courtesy of Uber

The Psychology Behind the Need for Curation

  • 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?

  • 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

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Gaby Goldberg

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