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Dealipedia - The Business Wiki Now Open For Business

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 launching Dealipedia - a 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.

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 email 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 and sign up 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 $14 million dollars 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 the wisdom of crowds, 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.

--MR

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