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    • I think one of the most effective ways for companies to get access to early users is to give away something of value that you may eventually charge for, but that people can see is of real benefit that can’t be sourced anywhere else. With some of our early users we spent extra time walking them through the Curated process, giving them the opportunity to use the product without cost so they could experience the benefits. And that’s a great method for any business - giving people the chance to try before they buy.

       Because we consider the future of work to be “Human-tech,” relationships are an important component of what we do.  Traditional freelance platforms have catered lower-value work, whereas Curated is trusted with more complex, high-value projects. While we use technology to build in efficiencies, a key strength of our model and what drives repeat use in the business is the human reference that a “Curator” provides. This applies to both clients and our community of pre-vetted teams.  It’s about building trust, particularly when you are dealing with companies’ most important projects. So that’s how I think we’ve been able to work with some great companies.

    • I think companies are always looking for ways to optimize their spend within their business, especially in a market that’s really competitive for great talent. A statistic we use is 44% of all work is outsourced, so companies are looking outside of the walls of their organization to fulfil some of their larger spending initiatives. We’re seeing a greater reliance on project based work – which gives small to medium sized businesses the ability to compete without a reliance on huge fixed overheads.

    • It sounds cliché – but for any early stage business, the hustle is real. You can’t spend too much time building efficiencies into your business when you’re still learning how users interact with it. So you do need to be scrappy early on. And you just need to keep moving it forward. Because when you’ve got enough of a data set, you can then start making important decisions from those first 100 users that will help inform how the business operates with the next 1,000 users after that.

    • Curated is a community-driven business, so I’m big on community-sourced content. Anywhere (like Cake) that I can get real-time views of the world to me is a great way to consume information and opinions fast. For anyone growing a business – I’d also recommend reading content put out by investors – be it on Twitter or their own personal blogs. It’s an easy way to understand different perspectives on what trends they are following.

    • Be careful when asking your friends if they like your idea because they will often try to be supportive no matter what. Go and find early users who are unbiased and seek their feedback on your product, and use that to determine if you have a good idea, and whether or not people are actually going to use what you’re building. And anyone who comes to can speak with us directly – we’re always ready to help solve your next challenge. And you can find me @GeorgeMRaptis on Twitter.