What exactly is startupy?
Startupy is where curious people explore, curate, and interconnect the most insightful pieces of the Internet, together. It’s a communal playground for people in love with interesting ideas.
More practically, you can think of startupy as a modern version of del.icio.us meets Roam. It’s a searchable, interconnected repository of the most insightful content on the Internet, across a wide range of culturally relevant topics.
Our favorite analogy for startupy is that it’s like a pair of noise canceling headphones for the Internet. Most of us are overwhelmed by the firehose of cheap, mass produced content pouring into our digital lives. It’s getting harder to find the signal in the noise. But unlike Google or social media, when you start searching or browsing through startupy, you can rest assured that you’re about to land on genuine insight, instead of marketing fluff.
Where does the content on startupy come from?
It comes from humans! At startupy, we’re not employing bots, click farms, or algorithms to pull together the best of the internet. Our knowledge base is built one entry at a time by trustworthy human curators, who each bring their own taste, curiosity, and discernment to the table.
Our curators scour the internet for the most insightful essays, podcasts, videos, books, tweets, and links. Whenever they strike gold, they add it to their startupy profile and connect it to other relevant topics, ideas, people, or companies. That way, these insights don’t live in a personal silo, but can be rediscovered and remixed in all sorts of serendipitous ways.
If you’re interested in helping us curate the startupy world, we’ve got two options. You can become a founding member, which not only unlocks curation powers, but the entire searchable database. Or, you can apply to become a curator for free.
Why do we need this?
We’re entering the golden age of information. Many of the world’s most insightful people are freely emptying their brains into cyberspace. In theory, that creates opportunities for anyone, anywhere in the world to take that knowledge, build on it, and remix it in useful ways. World-changing ideas are no longer gatekept, locked in ivory towers and reserved for the elite. They’re available to anyone who’s curious and hungry to learn.
However, quality knowledge is often difficult to find because it rarely originates from skilled marketers. The best ideas are often scattered, and buried in esoteric corners of the internet we’d never stumble into organically. What’s worse, many of the corners of the internet we spend the most time in—social media, YouTube, search engines, etc are increasingly overrun by cheap, mass-produced content that isn’t designed to nourish humans, but to game the algorithms.
We believe infinite access to information can either overwhelm us, leading further into epistemic confusion and despair, or it can ignite us, leading to new solutions and more vibrant lives. Startupy exists to bring about the latter option. We’re building a tool that transforms abundant information from a liability into humanity’s superpower.
Where does the name startupy come from?
We love people that start things, so we made it an adjective and gave it our own twist.
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Is this about startups?
Our early vision was to collect the world’s best startup and business knowledge. But in the years since, our ambitions have expanded (a lot), and we’ve onboarded hundreds of intellectually-diverse curators, who are reaching far beyond the world of startups.
As we write this in late 2022, the startupy knowledge graph has over 1,000 topics, spanning web, tech, culture, business, and wellbeing. Here’s a small taste of the rabbit holes you’ll find inside:
And this is just the beginning. Our long term goal is to create a thriving, interconnected hub for all of humanity’s best ideas, regardless of industry or topic.
What types of content should I expect to find here?
First and foremost, startupy is not about news or facts of the day. Instead, we are a home for the best evergreen content on the Internet – podcasts, videos, books, essays, etc – across more than 1,000 topics. Our goal is to break free of the internet’s recency bias, and shine a spotlight on the ideas that will stand the test of time.
Each entry on startupy also includes key highlights and takeaways, right in the app. That way, you can get the high-level insights from a long podcast or lecture in minutes, not hours. We still believe consuming information from the original source is important. But our goal is to save you time and energy, so that you know which sources are worth going deeper into, and which are not.
How is startupy different from other curation, bookmarking or highlighting tools?
Most knowledge management tools are single-player. They’re about creating your own private repository of ideas. While those tools are useful, and have inspired us, we believe the future of knowledge is multi-player.
Unlike siloed PKM tools, startupy is a pulsing, thriving network of ideas, which is constantly growing and evolving as curious humans make new contributions and connections. When you start building your digital library in startupy, it has the same personal utility as many of today’s single-player tools. But the ideas you collect also become part of a dynamic whole, where your curation makes the collective body of knowledge more robust, and the collective knowledge makes your own understanding far deeper and richer.
The startupy vision for the future of human knowledge is radical. We’re building a searchable collective intelligence engine, where each of us becomes a node within the collective brain By following our curiosity, forging links, and making new connections, we improve ourselves at the same time as we improve the entire system, accelerating the spread of the most meaningful insights for humanity.
Like we said, it’s a radical vision. If you’re curious how we plan to deliver on it, our full memo outlining our strategy is available for premium members.
How do you make money?
We believe the incentives are fundamentally broken between users seeking knowledge and Internet businesses monetizing via ads.
That’s why startupy is 100% supported by memberships. This model aligns incentives between us and our customers, helps us focus on building a great product, and makes it possible for us to sustainably play the long game.
We also realize that memberships and paywalls make it hard for some people, especially in developing countries, to access what we’re building. So if you believe a startupy membership would benefit you but can’t afford it, choose what you want to pay here.
How is startupy currently funded? Are you planning to raise more money or exit?
We raised a community round from an amazing cohort of investors including Betaworks, Packy McCormick, Lux Capital, and many others. We don’t believe in endless fundraising or unsustainable spending. We have over three years of runway and are working towards sustainability so that we can continue building startupy for the long haul.
Also, we have no intention of selling startupy to make a quick buck. We’re setting out to build not just a sustainable business, but a new digital institution that enriches the internet for decades to come. It’s an ambitious vision, and we intend to be responsible stewards, prioritizing stability and longevity over the short term incentives that drive the modern tech industry.
Are there plans to be community-owned?
After going deep down the tokenized ownership rabbit hole and recording a podcast on it, we hit a dead end on a token as a viable, legally compliant path for sharing financial upside with our community.
We believe in our core that if you put your time and effort into helping something grow, you deserve to benefit and we are continuing to explore and learn the best ways to do this.
In the meantime, 1) anyone who uses startupy can contact us directly and work with us to improve the platform for everybody. 2) we are actively working towards building a community treasury to grow our thinking microgrants program
Can I use startupy for free?
Yes, limited browsing and search is available to everyone. Just create an account and you can dig in immediately.
Unlimited access to search and discovery, as well as curator access currently requires a premium membership ($120/year or $1000 for lifetime access).
We are still in the earliest stages of building startupy and are interested in making the product more useful, so this process is meant to add healthy friction and self-select for people who are interested in helping us shape startupy to be the best social knowledge graph.
Are y'all working on stuff? Fixing bugs and building new features?
You bet. We are working on a brand new interface coming in 2023 where you’ll be able to search and share your digital library across mobile and desktop, export your curations, and lots more.
You can view our full roadmap here.
If you’re interested in the ins and outs of how we go from idea to execution, members on the believer plan get full access to a repository with Figma files, internal memos, and all sorts of musings on the questions keeping us up at night.
What file types are supported?
Currently we support anything with a URL. PDFs, images, native text, and other file types will be supported in the near future.
Do you have a mobile app?
Not yet, but it’s coming in 2023.
Do you have a browser extension?
Not yet, but it’s coming in 2023.
Can I import highlights from other tools such as Readwise or Matter?
Not yet, but we expect to build integrations with other tools in the near future.
Email me at sari@startupy.world or DM us on Twitter with any requests so we know what to prioritize.
Can I export my content?
Yes, email us at hi@startupy.world and we’ll send you an export of your data.
We’re also working to make this option available in-app in the near future.
Can I cancel my subscription?
Of course! You can cancel, pause, or upgrade your subscription at any time. And if you decide to leave, you can still access everything you’ve curated. We won’t ever hold your profile hostage.
Do you offer student or group discounts?
Yes, you can purchase group plans here.
If you are a student, you can use code imastudent at checkout to get 50% off. No need to verify with a student ID or anything. We operate on the honor system.
If you’re a teacher or school interested in using startupy with your class for research purposes, contact me at sari@startupy.world for custom discounts.
Can I suggest features?
Please do. We live for feedback, and our work isn’t done until we deliver value to people like you. You can drop your feedback or suggestion here.
Who is behind this?
Startupy is a labor of love by me (Sari Azout) and a small + mighty team of incredible designers, engineers, and product strategists. You can read our seminal essay on why we need more community-curated knowledge networks here.
Startupy began as an Airtable database I obsessively curated to make my life easier. After spending thousands of hours interconnecting content, topics, people, and companies, it dawned on me – this was not just a database for me, but the foundation for a new paradigm in our relationship to information, and something that would be far more powerful in a collaborative setting. We need curation to help us filter what we consume. We need knowledge management to add structure, memory, and goal-orientation to our information stream. And we need community to tap into networked knowledge ✨.
How can I contact you?
Email me at sari@startupy.world anytime or DM me on twitter.