There’s plenty of people talking about the TechCrunch acquisition, so I hesitate to pile on too. I’ll say this one piece and then I’ll shut up:
My favorite asset in Techcrunch is not the blog network or the conference series. It’s CrunchBase, their wiki-based, structured data asset of companies and corporate transactions.
I doubt CrunchBase contributes to TechCrunch’s revenue in any meaningful way, so when I say “my favorite” i don’t mean it in financial terms. It’s my favorite because it’s:
- Incredibly Useful: I use CrunchBase everyday, and it rarely fails to deliver value to me with every usage.
- Uniquely Defined: When CrunchBase launched, no one else was doing a crowdsourced approach to aggregating transaction data around startups. Databases like VentureSource existed at the time, but all the content was populated top down and the system was (and still is) crazy expensive.
- Solid Network Effects: CrunchBase has two network effects going for them. 1) Their data gets more valuable as the network of users edit the data in a typical web-like form of reciprocal altruism and 2) Their PageRank is gaining steam and will only continue to grow as they become the default link for startup transaction data.
Who at AOL will be in charge of CrunchBase? I’d love to talk to him/her.