Sunday, March 13, 2011

Entrepreneurs Need to Find the Best ‘Curators’

Every entrepreneur is flooded with information from all directions, but despite their best efforts to absorb it, they likely miss the information really needed to start a business. These days, we all have to rely on a few trusted sources to digest and filter information, net out the relevant messages, and steer us with links to accurate details.

These trusted sources are a new breed of professionals who may soon carry the new title of “information curator,” evolved from the “museum curator” role, where a domain expert filters and communicates the important elements of a past civilization or technology. The evolution and the real value of curator are outlined in a great new book “Curation Nation,” by Steven Rosenbaum.

In the past century, curators for business information were specialized news magazines like Forbes and Inc., and books for entrepreneurs like “Think and Grow Rich.” But with the speed of the Internet, these have become as old-fashioned as museum curators.

Modern digital curators for early-stage entrepreneurs are the expert bloggers who put “content into context.” They write and tweet every day, with the single guiding credibility and personality that the new social culture demands. Here are a few that I aspire to:

  1. Venture Hacks, by Babak Nivi and Naval Ravikant. These are both experienced entrepreneurs and angel investors. VentureHacks also created AngelList, a mailing list of prominent business angels that facilitates entrepreneur fundraising.

  2. Both Sides of the Table, by Mark Suster. Mark is a serial entrepreneur who is now active in the venture capital community for early-stage startups. He definitely has experience on both sides of the ‘entrepreneur versus investor’ table.

  3. Lessons Learned, by Eric Ries. He brings a strong technology base to the table, as a former CTO, and creator of the Lean Startup methodology. He is the co-author of several books including “The Black Art of Java Game Programming.”

  4. OnStartups, by Dharmesh Shah. Dharmesh is the founder and CTO of HubSpot, as well as a blogger and speaker on the topic of startups and Internet marketing. He also co-authored the book "Inbound Marketing" about the power of social media and blogs.

Then there are the aggregator curators that bring together the best of the best from a wide variety of sources, without the single guiding light to make sure they are consistent and integrated. These are great for understanding the big picture, spotting trends, and product reviews.

  1. TechCrunch, founder Michael Arrington. This popular site has an outstanding group of writers and contributors for profiling startups, reviewing new Internet products, and breaking tech news.

  2. Business Insider, Silicon Alley Insider, founder Henry Blodget. The Business Insider aggregates, reports, and analyzes the top entrepreneur and startup stories and blogs daily from across the web, and delivers them in a very readable format.

  3., Entrepreneurs, executive editor Brett Nelson. An invitation-only group of writers and bloggers comment daily on current events, trends, and all aspects of the entrepreneur role in the entrepreneur section and expert blogs.

  4. Huffington Post, Small Biz Blog, co-founder Arianna Huffington. Contrary to popular opinion, HuffPo is not just a place for political commentary. For many people, it also serves as a one-stop news source about small businesses and entrepreneurs.

If you are overwhelmed by the daily flood of content, and have realized that Google and the other search engines can’t achieve the filtering and required value judgments, then you need to look for an effective information curator like the ones outlined above. You may even decide that the more exciting opportunity is to be a curator yourself in our new curation nation.

Marty Zwilling




      1. Hi Marty,
        "Information curators". That's a new one for me at least. Thanks for telling us about them. I am following Dharmesh shah and rest i will follow as per your list. Thanks for the info and please write posts like this which are motivating factors to us.

      2. Incredibly beneficial article. I’ve discovered your web site by Google and I am genuinely happy about the information you present with your posts. Anyway keep in the great hard work!
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      3. Check out Curation for startups is already done.

      4. Marty, great list of "curators". I'm a huge fan of Mark Suster's blog as well because he gives you insight from both the entrepreneur side and the investor side.

        Thank you!

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