Is less more? A few thoughts on curation.

Maybe it’s old age but I like things to be a little bit more curated these days. Rather than the “Everything Store” approach of being offered a vast choice I prefer some filtering on the part of the service concerned.

My archetypal example of this is a restaurant in Berlin called Die Henne which I first visited about ten years ago and went back to this week. There’s only one thing on the food menu (half a chicken) but they do it very well and they’ve now been doing it for a hundred years.

It’s an extreme example of curation (or choice editing as it’s sometimes called) but there are many more contemporary technology ones. We’ve just signed up for Mubi which is almost exactly like Netflix except that it only offers 30 films at a time rather than thousands. The strand that ties them all together is a team knowledgable about cinema who can choose movies that you might not have heard of but that you ‘should’ see.

Curation feels more compelling to me than the now standard five star generic recommendation system that Amazon or TripAdvisor offer. Even the supposedly ‘personalised’ recommendations of Netflix seem a bit naff. But maybe I’m just predictably becoming a consumer of all those curated top 10 lists…

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