After continually getting frustrated that I couldn't find historic data
on business deals or easily keep track of new deals without reading a
dozen different publications I decided to remedy the problem by
business wiki for mergers, acquisitions, venture investments, IPO and
other deals. We're launching with nearly 20,000 deals, but also never
before revealed info like how much Yahoo paid for Flickr, how much
Google paid for Grandcentral and how much the founders of Myspace made
in their sale to News Corp. To
discuss this topic with others, click
I like to keep up
to date on the latest business dealings, but it's a challenge because I
continually have to scan a wide range of print and online sources. I've
always thought there should be one place I can go to get information on
significant business transactions. I'm not referring to company
background information or commentary, but the actual deals themselves.
Other times I want to research historic trends or transactions. There's
no good comprehensible and searchable resource for this information.
There are several commercial databases, but they typically require an
annual fee of $1000 or more and they often only have just one category
of deal. This data shouldn't be locked up in a commercial database, but
should be freely available to all.
To remedy this I asked a couple friends to help me create Dealipedia
-- a deal database that makes it easy to keep abreast of all the latest
deals and equally important research historic deals. Want to see all
the companies that Nokia has purchased? Now you can.
Need to investigate all the companies that Sequoia Capital has invested
in? It's a snap.
Several features make Dealipedia a unique business resource. Most
notably rather than the typical command and control system with an
editor and reporters Dealipedia utilizes a wiki method of user
submissions to build the database. All are invited to add or edit a
deal. Just as the online encyclopedia Wikipedia
relies on the wisdom and efforts of crowd to assemble its information
Dealipedia does the same. For the kick-off I invited many of my
personal friends to enter deals with which they were
associated. Combined with entries made by Dealipedia
employees, we have input nearly 18,000 transactions. Of
course we don't have every deal but with the help of those affiliated
with the business world who want people to know about their deals we
hope to quickly amass the largest deal database in the world.
Unlike Wikipedia the deals in Dealipedia are very structured so they can
be searched and sorted in very precise ways. Instead of paragraphs of
free flowing text many of the deal particulars are entered into
pre-defined fields. This makes it easy to do advanced
searches such as finding all mergers and acquisitions between
$100 and $200 million.
Along with the historic data Dealipedia offers a daily free
service to deliver new deals to your inbox each day. This will make it
easy to stay up-to-date on major transactions even when you can't scan
the entire Wall Street Journal and your favorite business sites. You
can sign up here
for the newsletter. I've been testing the service internally and it's
definitely an email I read each day.
I'm predicting one of the more popular sections will be Who
Made The Money
which lists who actually made the money in a given transaction.
Original founders might own a tiny sliver and benefit very little or
they might own an enormous chunk. This information is rarely revealed,
but insightful when assessing a deal. Each deal on Dealipedia has a
"Who Made The Money" section where I invite people to enter information
on how the proceeds of a transaction were distributed.
I expect the classic business information industry such as Hoover,
Bloomberg, etc to be critical of Dealipedia. There's a long record of
the establishment fearing and not understanding user generated content
systems. I saw that with MP3.com when we decided to accept all musical
acts. More recently Encyclopedia Britannica and Grolier dismissed
Wikipedia as being incomplete or worse inaccurate. What they miss is
that these populations are self-policing. The good override the bad.
Plus technology can be used to construct a system which manages the
flow of content and channels it in a positive direction. This is why
today Wikipedia is the unquestionable leader of reliable knowledge on
the net. This isn't to say there aren't inaccuracies. If humans are
involved there will be errors. Even the finest reporters make errors
which is why every newspaper has a daily "corrections" section. There
will be errors in Dealipedia too, but the people will correct them.
I encourage you to browse Dealipedia
for the daily deals newsletter if you want to be kept informed of the
major business transactions happening. If you have knowledge about
deals I hope you will share it with others by adding a deal or adding
information to existing deals such as "Who Made The Money". I added
some never before publicly revealed details about MP3.com which I sold
to Vivendi Universal that you may want to check out. There was an extra
that went to certain individuals when the company was sold and
surprisingly it wasn't a golden parachute for the departing CEO.
I'm confident that with user submissions from PR personnel, principals,
legal and financial representation or any others with knowledge plus
Dealipedia will become a fantastic business resource to research
historic deals and or stay abreast of new transactions. All user
submissions are licensed under the Creative Commons so they can be used
in mashups and other net services.
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