ShiftCentral / Even Apple needs a human curator

Even Apple needs a human curator

Venture partner at Allegis Capital and former Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassée wrote an open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook today, in which he urged Cook to allow humans to curate the “gold mine” that is the App Store.

Gassée wrote that the App Store, which has one million titles, isn’t being mined in the best interests of Apple, its developers and its customers because it’s “buried in an impenetrable jungle.”

Interestingly, he suggested that instead of using algorithms, the company should assign a team to sort and promote apps, develop an App Store Guide, give expert opinions and write weekly newsletters to identify noteworthy new titles, present a developer file, etc.

I agree with Gassee that a talented team of curators can serve your information needs better, which in turn, serves your business interests better. Here’s why: a week ago, I read through a list of content items, supposedly curated based on the clients’ needs. The list was compiled by software and it included an item with a bunch of meaningless numbers. I assumed it was picked up because it had a word or two that was relevant to the search term.

But humans will know that not everything a software finds relevant to search terms is actually useful for the client or company. Curators and analysts can not only select the best and most important information, but also provide context as to why it’s important.

Software and algorithms are great for sorting information, but human guidance is still needed to get the best out of it.