Followup Comments on the Ultimate Startup Knowledge Base

Before I try to attack the next topic in the series—networks/connections—let me point out a few of the comments I’ve received offline on the last post. If you haven’t read that, read it first.

You’re back? Great. In no particular order:

*Excellent wiki efforts exist now to be copied/improved upon.  Specifically, there already is a good workflow and precedent established on GitHub for open-source guides, including this one on equity compensation. A new one is just forming to discuss the ever popular topic of fundraising for startups—I am volunteering to help on that one, and hope that you readers will. However, almost all of these other examples show text-based material: hopefully we will be able to assemble a richer blend of media.

*Forget the hype of the title, we’re not trying to build the “ULTIMATE Startup Knowledge Base”—that’s arrogant and unattainable. There is no “ultimate”, or final one, as this is an ever-expanding field of knowledge and opinion. Nor is there any one definition of best (although we will have heavy curation.) Rather, this was meant to talk about an comprehensive effort that did not so much try to create new content as collect the best of various other efforts, using experts to identify the interesting material.

As the saying goes, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” Our intent is in between–to publicize and amplify the work of others, with the desire of becoming every startup’s virtual mentor.

As new content is created, that “best” list of advice needs to be continually updated, while not being wedded to any single editor’s viewpoint. It should plainly show where there is valid and plausible disagreement or alternative takes.

*There are only three bedrock principles: that this community resource should be 1) as widely distributed as possible, 2) of the highest possible quality that we can assess; and 3) unbiased by our own commercial interests. This does NOT mean that it shouldn’t include information produced by potentially biased sources (otherwise we’d be probably limited to information published by academics) and does not mean that it shouldn’t accept sponsorship, (this openness to money being a different approach than the GitHub Open Guides cited above.) We happily will defend our own ethical choices—when the motivation is not about the money for the organizers, that ethos hopefully will work its way down the stack of volunteers.

*Still Interested? If you’ve read the earlier post and are interested in helping, sign up for our USKB Facebook Group. That’s a better place to post suggestions than in the comments section below. Especially wanted—your favorite sources of startup knowledge and links to any other similar efforts. I won’t really be active until June, when Techstars’ Spring ‘17 class winds up (and I’ve finished my Python classes, which have been delayed too long.)

Sneak Preview of Next Post  The next planned post on networks and connections (1/3rd of the knowledge/connections/money venture triumvirate) is a difficult one to ponder. How can one create effective online communication, much less an online community? More than this, how can networking software bring us to new innovation? Here’s a terrific presentation by Dave King of Exaptive to a field of researchers at Harvard’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. I love the story of how a radiologist changed astronomy. It’s easy to extrapolate from medical research to tech products to be launched by startups.


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