Mitch Free writes on Forbes about the unique business value that curation can bring to those markets where there is already an abundance of choices. “The web has revolutionized access to information. If you travel to a new city, you don’t have to wait to ask a hotel concierge or local contact which restaurants are worth your time: that information is at your fingertips long before you arrive. The web’s universality and ubiquity are also its weaknesses, however: even if all are listed online, choosing from the 25,000 restaurants in New York City still requires a local’s advice. While “curation” might bring to mind the image of a red-jacketed museum staffer scowling at you for taking flash photographs, in the digital age it’s becoming an increasingly critical – and lucrative – business model. No longer is access to information precious in itself. Information is overwhelmingly available, and those in a position to tame the tidal wave into a useful format offer a valuable service.” The articles uses as a reference example the case of a new restaurant listing site that curates the best 100 restaurants in 100 cities by charging qualifying restaurants. Rightful. Interesting. 7/10
The power of the web is a hot topic for business journals and Internet startups, notably its ability to turn a simple idea into a powerful force by leveraging existing social interactions and letting people share what’s important to them. No longer do we rely on a few experts and advertisers to dole out information according to their own priorities, and passively consume that information. On the contrary, content can be created and curated by literally thousands of ‘average’ people with above average interest and insight, and spread across huge aggregations of likeminded people.
I’ve been watching closely the up-and-coming site “One Hundred Tables,” a restaurant listing site that’s built on a simple idea: one hundred featured restaurants in each of one hundred cities. Founder Tony Akston has created a million-dollar business model by charging just $100 to be listed, a sum a restaurant can recoup by snagging just one new regular. The concept is simple, the site is low in cost to host and maintain, and it offers something every entrepreneur strives for: overwhelming value for the customer. The price point is almost unthinkably reasonable given the opportunity for return – a rare business “no brainer.” The real earning potential is in the exponential multiplication of small transactions – a staple concept for web-based businesses.