On February 14, 2007, I wrote a widely read post titled: Web 3.0 = (4C + P + VS). On the Internet, it remains, after seven years, a widely read piece, defining a vision for the evolution of the web.
However, the web has not evolved according to this vision quite as rapidly as I had imagined. We have hardly seen the fragmented web mature into a more deeply personalized user experience.
Given that backdrop, I was excited to encounter a company recently that does realize the true potential of a context-specific, deeply personalized user experience that brings together content, community, commerce and vertical search.
Have a look at our recent Entrepreneur Journeys story: From Berlin, Bringing Art Auctions Online: Auctionata CEO Alexander Zacke.
Auctionata competes with Christie’s and Sotheby’s, engages a community of art collectors – both buyers and sellers, and art experts who know how to appraise and value art. It takes 20% from the buyers, and 20% from the sellers, and pays a commission to the experts who help them in each transaction. Given their items are high ticket, the business model is fabulously lucrative. I would even go so far as to say that this is one of the best business models I have seen on the web in a long time.
The entrepreneur, Alex Zacke, is from an Austrian family that has been in the art business for generations, and has deep domain knowledge of the art business. This background has enabled Alex to raise funding from VCs in Berlin on a powerpoint. The company is doing phenomenally well.