One of my favorite things in the world, Scoop.it, got out of beta last week ahead of schedule and under budget. Startup entrepreneurs reading that last statement are shaking their heads side to side. "Not possible," my American startup brethren are thinking.
There is only one way to come in ahead of schedule and under budget - launch crap. The vicious three-legged-stool of startups (time, quality, cost) says you must sacrifice one leg. Get to market fast to crowdsource your beta. "Crowdsource your beta" is another way of saying, "Launch crap". Startups need wisdom of crowds testing and advice to fix the "wish we were GREAT" leg. Best path to greatness is get as many smart people involved as soon a possible and as fast as possible just ask Mr. Zuckerberg (Facebook), Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn), Seth Godin (author) or my friend Red Maxwell (CEO OnRamp Branding).
Speaking to startup coach Chris Heivly (@cheivly) a few months ago he explained a key startup concept - invest in teams not things. Things change, but they only become great things with the right team. Marc Rougier (President and co-founder), Guillaume Decugis (CEO) and a team of kids who could be my French sons and daughters (if I hadn't failed French :) have done the impossible. Scoop.it is insanely great and it came in ahead of time and under budget. Every startup entrepreneur in America tips our berets in humble appreciation. How does Wayne say it on Wayne's World, "We are not worthy."
I had a chance to speak with Scoop.it co-founder Marc (via email) a little after writing Curation The Next Web Revolution (on Technorati too). Marc helped me understand curation better, curation as fabric, curation as infrastructure. He also generously shared the keys to his very cool Scoop.it beta (my scoops). You've seen Ferris Beuller. Sharing Scoop.it's keys is the equivalent of Cameron's father encouraging his son to drive his Ferrari. Marc, I apologize for not being a good driver (beta tester). Life got crazy and I didn't help the way I should (owe you one :).
Even without my help, the Scoop.it team created a magical thing. Scoop.it makes sense of the largest, most complex dada trap ever envisioned by Marcel Duchamp or Tristan Tzara. Anyone question the surrealist roots of the Internet? Scoop.it is Steve Jobsian simple and beautiful (so Jobsian again) and it answers an impossible question. How do we curate the web? So Jobsian yet again.
The Scoop.it's team's real genius was in NOT trying to curate the web themselves. As a fellow entrepreneur I feel the sweat and itch of NOT bringing the web to a place called OURS. OURS means we have the coolest table in the lunchroom. OURS means we control social pecking order and who gets to sit where. Problem is OURS is a mirage, an illusion, a balloon popped by the much more powerful and Web 3.0 concept of US!
The Scoop.it team built based on an important and valuable idea - it isn't about what we (the Scoop.it team) do it is about what we help others do. Don't forget an easily overlooked fact. The Scoop.it team started work over a year ago. Easy to say, "of course you build crowdsourced tools to curate the web," now when curation is the new black and crowdsourcing seems old hat. THEN, when my brilliant French brothers and sisters started drawing on white boards, no one knew we would be where we are now, now when web 2.0's new social rules are self-evident. A mere two years ago no one listened if I started sentences with, "Twitter...." or "Facebook....".
I saw a crack of light a few years ago (2008) when a new door opened in my head (sounds more painful than it is :). My first Curation Revolution post was in June 2011, but I headed toward curation as early as Infinite Inventory posts in 2008. Once inventory (of anything) become infinite curation rules. One thing to sense the future, quite another to CREATE IT. Marc, Guillaume and the French children I never had (and couldn't understand if I did and I mean this on many levels :), created our curation future. How cool is that?
I will share why Scoop.it and curation may be the most important Internet marketing business trend on my new employer's (Raleigh web developers Atlantic BT) blog soon. I may toss in an article or two on how Scoop.it will help cure cancer too.
Today every American startup entrepreneur and I celebrate Marc, Guillaume and the great, smart, hard working Scoop.it French children I never had by tipping our berets and saying, "We are not worthy" three times:
We Are Not Worthy.
We Are Not Worthy.
We Are Not worthy.
Thanks Scoop.it team. You guys ROCK!