Thursday, February 28, 2008


One thing that Wikipedia hath wrought is a slew of take-off-pedias.

There's the mean but funny dickipedia. There's something called "chickipedia", which I happened to stumble on but instantaneously realized was neither for nor about me. And now there's the generally more interesting and useful dealipedia, which, as described by Megan McCarthy at Wired:

...aims to become a hub of information about mergers, investments, acquisitions, and other business deals by encouraging the people in on the deals to upload information to its public wiki. The goal is to help entrepreneurs, VCs, and other curious parties understand what goes on behind the scenes of the business world.

Dealipedia is the brainchild of Michael Robertson, who made his boodle when he sold to Vivendi a few years back. His personal boodle, which he's happy to reveal, amounted to $115 - easily enough to enable him to create X-ipedias for the rest of his life.

There's a big part of me that says what Michael Robertson or anyone else made on a deal is none of my business, and yet...

Isn't it just the type of information we all want to know? Come on, who hasn't looked up an address or two on Zillow to see what our friends homes are worth - or were worth. (I don't know how frequently Zillow updates; and, by the way, they have the wrong number of bathrooms for our condo: it's two full, not one and a half, thank you). Who hasn't trolled through one of the campaign donation sites to see if the person they suspect is a Republican actually is? Who hasn't debated signing up for one of those online people search sites so they can play their own personal version of Private Eye?

Dealipedia - if it takes off - will obviously satisfy our desire for gossipy little details about who just got rich (note to those who just got rich: beware a call from your college development office). Plus it will provide interesting - and relevant - business information that will help:

...entrepreneurs negotiating a first round of investment, investors dipping their toes into the startup market, or shareholders trying to figure out how much money one company paid to acquire another.

I will definitely be drifting over to Dealipedia when I get my next market research project.

Sure, you can pay for a lot of this information, but with Dealipedia, it will be free.

Of course, you do get what you pay for, which means there will be plenty of holes in the information. And, when it comes to money, I don't know about the wisdom of crowds. I suspect that most of those who have the direct skinny on a deal won't be all that inclined to offer up that information. (Robertson may not be alone, but I'm guessing he's not in the majority.)

Plenty of contributors - who contribute anonymously - will likely have the urge to aggrandize or play down their plays.

Will there be enough interest to keep the info correct?

The most interesting information, by far, is in the the "Who Made the Money" section, which you can probably discern from the name gives out about how much the key players got out of a deal.

I will definitely be grazing around at Dealipedia from time to time. How else can I find out scoop like CrunchyRoll scoring $4.05M in VC. Just what is CrunchyRoll, you might ask? Well, I might ask, as well, since I spent a few minutes over there and have no idea what they are - something to do with anime, but other than that...And I have no opinion whatsoever on whether there should be something called "manga" on CrunchyRoll. (Okay - out of context I could figure out that it was something you read. For my fellow ignorati, I wiki'd: manga's a Japanese comic book.)

But I'll leave the last word to Michael Robertson.

"I'm proud that I made $100 million, or whatever it was, on I'm proud of that. I don't mind people knowing because, at some level, that says that I'm a decent businessman," Robertson said. "So I think that if people may be fearful of being boastful, I think that deep down, they will want this information to be made public and that's our bet with Dealipedia."

Did I say last word?

I meant next to last word?

I was pretty much liking this guy until I read "I made $100 million, or whatever it was."

Michael, honey, if you're not sure how much you made on the deal, you made way too much. If it means that little to you, I know plenty of people who'd be just delighted to keep the change.

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