Ask yourself: Should I read this?
Unless you are Google, you probably can’t spare the time because it’s not relevant. For small business owners and entrepreneurs, there’s a new solution for filtering through all the noise in the news to discover the most relevant stories for your business.
Welcome, WiseRadar, “personalized news for the startup world.”
Founded by Jean Friesewinkel, a developer, engineer and former business consultant at Bain & Company, WiseRadar aggregates and curates news about your competitors, customers, and market into a simple, digestible email.
Users start with the first step, which is to “setup your radar.” You add competitors that WiseRadar will help monitor. The list of companies comes from the Crunchbase and AngelList directories, but you can also request to add unlisted businesses. Then, voila! What you do with the competitor news and your extra free time is up to you.
As the co-founder of Blank Label, a luxury menswear company, I decided to sign up for WiseRadar and give it a whirl. After I received beta access, I added nine businesses to my radar (WiseRadar recommends adding ten). Shortly afterwards, I received my first curated email digest.
The email begins with a friendly greeting, “Welcome, Danny! Your radar is up and running.” And then prefaces with:
To make the most of our beta, here are three things you should know:
- Morning reports. Your digests will arrive on weekdays at 7am, and will include up to 5 stories relevant to the companies you’ve added.
- No noise. We make it a principle to only send relevant stories. But if you don’t receive anything for a while and think you should have, please let us know!
- We’re here to help you. You can simply reply to your digests with questions or requests. We’re just getting started, and we’ll always be listening.
Below is your first digest. Enjoy!
The meaty part of the email included links to five stories about companies on my radar.
The first link was the only one that was truly relevant, although outdated — nearly four weeks old. The second story featured a new startup we had never heard of, which I shall soon add to my radar, and briefly mentioned a competitor I listed. The third and the fifth stories mentioned a competitor, but were irrelevant because they featured a business we didn’t care about. The fourth story came with a bad link.
Although my remarks seem critical, the fact is, the companies on my radar have been quiet lately. As a user of Google Alerts, to keep tabs on the competition, I have heard the crickets chirping over the past months.
Tools like WiseRadar, which aim to provide a more sophisticated version of Google Alerts, are important because they minimize the distraction that comes from too much news.
I am a reformed news junkie. When I first fell in love with startups back in 2009, I read every-and-any article TechCrunch published. And I was busier than I ever could have imagined. But being busy isn’t the same as being productive.
Getting caught up in the hype of news is one of the biggest traps small business owners and entrepreneurs fall into that leads to massive bouts of non-productivity. (Email is another.)
People, small business owners and entrepreneurs especially, are an emotional breed. We are attracted to news that shocks or ‘wows’ us. For this reason, catchy headlines from Mashable and picture slideshows from Business Insider easily fill up an afternoon that could have otherwise been used towards creating real value. When I came to this realization, I deleted the bookmarks on my web browser and started doing real work.
Simply put, read less news. You’ll be happier, and your business will thank you.
For beta access, apply with your LinkedIn at the WiseRadar website.