Put any proprietary information in software, distribute it via internet, add crowd sourcing and you have a transparency play. Geeks ultimate revenge is to build a rating system or Wikipedia for fill-in-your-favorite-domain. I am all for this transparency march. I believe this is a healthy way to reduce information asymmetry. Eventually reduced friction will help all participants. Two recent developments added to this growing phenomena.
LinkedIn announced company profile feature for their professional social networking site. They are continuing with the dual strategy of leveraging user data and controlling overall quality by buying professional data source (in case of company profile, data is coming from BusinessWeek). My guess is company profile page will eventually grow to eat into Hoover's revenue. Why pay for Hoover when you can get fresh data points from ex and present employees.
Other announcement which adds to overall transparency move is addition of recommendation system on Venture Hacks . I will highly recommend subscribing to this blog. Especially if you are in a startup world or have any aspiration of running it one day. Recommendation system adds informal social context to common request of asking for recommendations. Entrepreneurs will love this feature.
There will be more transparency projects and that will be positive for everybody. For investors and entrepreneurs, this will help in quickly shifting the discussion to product innovation and market.
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