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Everyone is curating, and everyone loves food

So many products are now evolving to the point of expanding beyond merely providing content…they’re curating the content with their own voice, tone and style. They’re doing so because they know the barriers between someone engaging with one experience or another depend on how easily they fit and augment into their lives. The less effort, the easier an experience is to adopt. 


In terms of Airbnb the content isn’t just the listing of a home, its where you’re actually going. And if you’re not familiar with where it is you’re going, By expanding into experiences, its allowing users to forego a few steps in the trip planning process – presenting a range of activities depending on your interest. This is a prime example of contextualizing content, for things a person might be interested in – and also new experiences they may discover along the way.


Spotify has set an industry standard in terms of how they package music discovery. Having working at a competing music service, one thing I noticed was clear – whereas in some experiences discovery was something that was serendipitously presented along the way – Spotify presents it as a “gift” of sorts. And the gifts are presented to you on various time scales, daily, weekly, and ultimately their “year in review” product. This is another indicator that content curation plays an important role of accessing the familiar and discoverable.


For years Medium has allowed people to share their thoughts in a more structured, editorialized way than the standard blog post. What was missing was a way to easily navigate through various articles, think pieces and topics. Their first foray into “Collections” not only provides a value proposition for their subscription service, it makes it far easier to read and discover content on their platform.

“What if Instacart framed the base content (ingredients) in a curatorial voice that helped people adjust their lifestyles to the food delivered to
their homes?


An opportunity that comes to mind when thinking about Instacart is that it could position itself at the intersection of identity, interest, phase of life, dietary needs, and a range of other issues that relate to how and why people eat food.

And for the recipient – maybe you’re planning your first dinner party? Maybe you’re in a college dorm scrounging together ingredients for a late night study session. Or perhaps its your night for meal prep with the family or you’re heading to a pool party and its your turn to whip up cocktails.

Across various scenarios, needs, and discovery of new ways to incorporate meal prep – Instacart could be a central part of where people go to figure out how to best fit grocery shopping and meal planning in their lives.And it could be structured in a variety of formats: quick recipes via platforms like Instagram, structured and editorialized as lifestyle content, insertables that accompany deliveries – or essentially any method that lessens the cognitive load of looking at a ton of ingredients and not knowing exactly what to do with them.

Rafe Chisolm | 2019