The process of collecting and monitoring business information is broken, laden with middlemen who don’t add value and yield less than perfect information. One of the most compelling aspects of Internet companies is their ability to eliminate the number of parties involved between a producer and a consumer. Dell famously did this by creating a very lean supply chain and delivered custom computer systems more quickly and inexpensively. Through podcasting, Apple enabled the producers of raw content to distribute it directly around the globe collapsing the layers between teachers and students, artists and fans, etc.
The business information and credit industry are laden with middlemen creating several costly bottlenecks which should have been rendered obsolete years ago. These bottlenecks increase costs, decrease accuracy, and increase the risk of sustaining financial damage.
Currently, the creditworthiness of a business is largely determined by the church of big fat credit bureaus. Quoting the Wikipedia definition:
“…(they) collect information and provide information for a variety of uses…”
That doesn’t seem like a whole lot of value. The bureaus are the data middlemen behind the credit curtain. These fading credit wizards have outlived their value yet continue to peddle stale, inaccurate, and snake oily data. They keep you anchored with an ID, charge you to establish your profile, view your profile, and update your profile. Then, they resell this data they charged you to input to other companies as “leads.”
This broken industry can be optimized by doing three things:
1. Freeing the Data
2. Socializing the Data and
3. Fixing the Process.