Jules Pieri on Curation, Trust, and Daily Grommet’s Deal with Rakuten
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why Rakuten. He said it was a really deliberate choice. He wanted to work with operators, who would give them the space to succeed and help with international expansion. That means a lot to me to hear that from him.
We have similar international aspirations. Initially just having an inside track to international products is really important to us. Down the road it’s a two-way street. People in Japan and Korea love the products we source.
X: Curation seems to be getting a lot of attention from big tech players lately, as seen by things like eBay’s acquisition of Svpply. Why do you think that is?
JP: The reality is with the most high-margin, high-trust shopping experiences—Apple, Trader Joes, Lululemon—their central offering is highly curated. You’re playing with something that’s a classic and strong driver when you’re curating. It’s work—it’s hard work to do it well. Every choice you make builds or possibly limits trust. It’s not an amateurs’ game.
There is a definite human information overload. We cannot take in everything that comes our way. The more powerful business models will involve really good use of curation as a central offering.
What I know from building businesses is that if you can see something in the culture, where technology changes behavior—information overload is only more extreme everyday—you can build a big business around that. Curation is responding directly to that overload. Humans need to have trusted sources. Pinterest does it through social curation. We do it as kind of a hybrid. We present products and they live or die based on how people socially respond to them.
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