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When I see ‘Chef’s Pick’ on the menu, quite often I am tempted to pick it for my order. As a teenager, I used to wait for the arrival of Reader’s Digest every month. There is something weirdly beautiful about things that are handpicked. Even as internet giants such as Google and Amazon, strive to make their recommendation engines smarter, the good old handpicking thrives in various forms as competing alternatives. Let’s look at four interesting examples:

MistoBox – MistoBox enables people to discover coffee from around the world, like never before. The company chooses and sends four coffee samples every month to its subscribers, and they call themselves coffee geeks who know the difference between the merely-good and the truly-special coffee roasts.

Quarterly – Internet provides us with innumerable means to stay tuned with the people we admire. Quarterly adds a new dimension to the way we connect with those people. The company provides a platform through which, every quarter subscribers receive actual items that tell a compelling story crafted by the person they admire, and subscribe to.

Quarterly

8tracks – The founders of 8tracks believe that handcrafted music programming trumps algorithms. The website enables users to discover playlists created by DJ’s/other users, and to create their own playlists which others can listen to. Listeners get a unique blend of word-of-mouth sharing and radio programming — long trusted means for music discovery.

8tracks

Scoop.it – Like the founders of 8tracks, those of Scoop.it also believe that algorithms alone are not enough at organizing the web’s content in a smart, meaningful way and that humans could do a much better job at it. The website enables users to curate web content and share it with others.

As you may have noted, the four examples presented above represent different scope, in terms of things that are curated, and the people who curate them. The possibilities are many. So look around and see if you can curate something yourself or create a platform for others to curate something in a meaningful way. There may be a business opportunity out there. Good luck!

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