Why This Month-Old Startup Is The Most Promising To Launch In A While

paul berry
Paul Berry is the founder of RebelMouse

I get asked a lot, “What’s your favourite startup?”It’s a tough question to answer. There are startups that are interesting, like Gumroad. There are startups that are innovative, like Dwolla and Makerbot. And then there are the next big networks, like Pinterest and Kickstarter.

There’s a new company that launched in beta last month called RebelMouse. After being initially unimpressed, I now think it’s one of the best startups to launch in a while.

RebelMouse is a snapshot of your social media activity. It’s founded by Paul Berry, the former CTO of The Huffington Post.

When you log into RebelMouse with Facebook or Twitter, you’re shown a page that looks like Pinterest with your latest tweets and status updates in the form of big headlines and pictures.

I wasn’t initially impressed by my RebelMouse page because I already know what I’ve shared via social media. I don’t need to rehash every tweet. But then I realised my RebelMouse page isn’t for me, like Pinterest is for hosting your collections. Instead, RebelMouse is like a Facebook profile page; it’s meant to help other people learn your interests.

When you scan other people’s Rebel Mouse pages, you learn a lot about them, even if you already follow them on Twitter. It resurfaces things you may have missed in social media streams in a visually compelling way. From my page, it’s instantly apparent that I care about startups, college sports, and cute animals.I care about a lot of other things too, but those are the topics I share most.

When you look at an industry expert’s RebelMouse page, like Sarah Lacy (entrepreneurship), you can learn all about the topic in a glance.

If you want to add other people’s messages to your Rebelmouse stream, you can invite “collaborators” to your page. You can also change the design of your page, like a personal blog.

While most other social sites (Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, Facebook, Foursquare, Pinterest, etc) are focused on building their own networks, RebelMouse organizes the cacophony that’s left in their wake. Right now, our social data has no central hub; it gets drowned out and lost forever as soon as it’s published. RebelMouse a one url for all the social media madness, and we’re in desperate need of a curator.

Once the platform launches publicly (you can reserve your username now), I think it will prove to be a big traffic driver for publications, the way Pinterest is for ecommerce companies. RebelMouse is aiding social media discovery.

There aren’t many startups like RebelMouse. The closest I’ve seen is a Bill Gross backed startup, Hypemarks. But Berry and his team of Huffington Post founders have the technical and business savvy to own the space.

Fred Wilson stated the value of RebelMouse best:

We’ve talked quite a bit about the fragmentation of social media. Tweeting at Twitter, Checking in on Foursquare, Pinning on Pinterest, Tumbling on Tumblr…

There are many reasons for this fragmentation and we’ve discussed them. I think the big reasons are the move to mobile where features are delivered via an app on your home screen rather than inside some monolithic web app and the desire to curate application specific social graphs instead of one graph to rule them all.

There is an opportunity to aggregate all of this activity on a single URL where followers can see the totality of a person’s social activity. Enter RebelMouse.

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