The old adage is true. If you don't ask for something, then you probably won't get it.

I'm intensely interested in this community's thoughts on something brewing in the Value of Simple (VoS) labs.

So interested in fact, that I believe it's worth my time to write the first “Ask the Community” article here. And I believe it's worth your time to share your wonderful and unique views on a very special topic.

As an added incentive, you and your comments could be included as a case study or words of wisdom in what I'm hoping to create.

And if your feedback is stellar, I'll pick among the best commenters to feature in an upcoming post.

I won't waste your time making the intrigue build. Here's what's on my mind so you can tell me what's on yours.

Wait. Is That…Is That a…?

Some people told me they were most excited about my sensory deprivation tank experience (recap coming soon), more of the Smart and Simple Matters show, or next month's 120 hour Continuous Creation Challenge from last week's July 2012 Pulse Check.

But I was most excited (and mildly terrified) about the first VoS product. It's coming sometime in November and – if I validate that people need it – this amazing idea will eagerly escape from my brain and spread into the world.

I've already spoken with a few folks about all sorts of stuff related to this really big idea. Stuff like:

  • Some huge problems most of us have that I can solve
  • The benefits to solving these problems
  • Obstacles in getting people to understand the problems and solutions, getting it on the market, and having people willing to buy it
  • Best practices and what shape it takes
  • Who my target communities are (besides this one obviously)

But I need your guidance the most to validate whether it's viable and desirable.

So here are two questions I'd love your insight on. Pick one (or both if you'd like a challenge) and please answer it in the comments.

1. What's Most Frustrating About Creating Value from Information You've Consumed (e.g. Books, Videos, Recipes, Blog Posts, etc.)?


2. What Do You Think of When You Hear the Words “Curating” or “Curation?”

Note: It's cool to stop reading right now and go directly to the comments section to answer. If you don't usually comment, this is the time to make your voice heard. It's tremendously helpful, even if it's just a couple of sentences.

Why I'm Doing This

Ask the Community benefits everyone in major ways. These are just a few.

  1. It helps me understand what brings you pain, stress, worry, joy, confidence, and happiness (which I then use to create something to decrease the bad stuff and increase the good stuff)
  2. It gives this community a chance to directly share insight and experience into an important topic. That leads to us helping each other out and knowing how far along we are on the path we want to travel.
  3. Your comments point me in the direction of the types of articles I need to write, the kind of people I need to interview, the experiments I want to conduct, the freebies I want to give away, the products or services I'm passionate about, and the case studies to feature.

I'll be doing these Ask the Community articles periodically because I believe in the power of your personal and collective wisdom. To me, each of you can be a Simple Sage, Simple Hero, Community Connector, and Triumphant Troubleshooter.

So today it's your turn to shine. You get to be the one adding value to all our lives.

Once again, here are the two questions:

1. What's Most Frustrating About Creating Value from Information You've Consumed (e.g. Books, Videos, Recipes, Blog Posts, etc.)?


2. What Do You Think of When You Hear the Words “Curating” or “Curation?”

Maria Popova has already answered the second question when she says:

Curating is the…drive to find the interesting, meaningful, and relevant amidst the vast maze of overabundant information, creating a framework for what matters in the world and why — (and) is an increasingly valuable form of creative and intellectual labor.

Here's my answer to the second question to keep the ball rolling.

Curation is the act of intentionally sifting through everything you consume, categorizing and archiving the best stuff, and then making it accessible and sharable for your future benefit and the use of others.”

The System Changes Everything

We all curate whether we know it or not. It could be categorizing your best books, a specific way of organizing your website bookmarks, archiving information in an app like Evernote, or sharing recipes on Pinterest.

I've observed that most people do it inefficiently, haphazardly, and don't know about the best practices for making it useful.

This problem shouldn't exist and is a major source of pain and frustration for so many people. And even worse, most folks don't even know they have a problem.

I love this topic, but any solutions I could provide are only as good as the guidance you give me.

So help me learn from you!

Now It's Your Turn

Please share your insight in the comments on one of the questions above – or both questions if you're feeling frisky.

If you enjoy and benefit from this community, take an active role in helping to shape it.

I'm super stoked to read your thoughts and potentially feature some in an upcoming product or future article!

Photo Credit: Inha Leex Hale