“A giant catalog of how different businesses work” … currently *in the making* which is to say, it’s early days and there’s not a lot there yet beyond the idea, and some early first-shots at what “a giant catalog of how different businesses work” might mean.


Business Catalog was inspired by this Tweet from Austen Allred (Co-founder & CEO – Bloom Institute of Technology):

I want a book or website that’s just a giant catalog of how different businesses work.

Like I want to see, “Movie theaters – cost x to build, pay x per ticket, margins on food are core revenue driver…”

But for everything.

How am I supposed to learn how much water parks make?” (original here: https://twitter.com/Austen/status/1544420910001786881)

I thought: I could do that as a side project. Could be useful for all sorts of people: entrepreneurs, investors, students. I wonder if it should just be an open site, or a members-only thing, or a contributor community… Hmmm… let’s have a go at it.  


I’m Chris Smith. Generally I’ve been a product person for the last 12 years, with a bit of startup co-founder action more recently. Here are my normal guises on Twitter (https://twitter.com/schmodt) and LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrisunionspaces/). This is a side project.


The fun way – scissors and string. Right now I’m using low/no-code tools, plugging services like Hubspot and Google Drive together with Zapier, and trying to spend as little as possible – always a sensible idea.

If people seem to like the direction I’m taking, I’ll consider spending a bit more money (and time), to do three things:

  1. Content Development: The catalog will only thrive on excellent content and graphics. I’d like to experiment with the relative merits of three potential methods of sourcing it: i. AI-written/human edited catalog entries (current content is this); ii. Community-submission catalog entries (probably via a conversational questionnaire type of process); iii. Paid writers
  2. Audience development: What channels, positioning, and messaging will build and maintain interest and repeat visits?
  3. Proposition development: What approach to access/membership and income is going to work best to make sure the catalog can continue running, with or without me, and maybe even make some money?

These three things are each going to necessitate design and dev beyond my skills and audience/community/marketing smarts I don’t personally have. So if anyone else wants to…

  • Volunteer to help out with the project in any of these areas, please do! – my email is chris at biz-catalog dot online OR…
  • Sponsor me a coffee, as it were, (or ten coffees…) towards doing these things fairly slowly, my ko-fi is here: https://ko-fi.com/bizcatalog
  • Discuss ramping up operations with a significant injection of funds in return for a slice of any putative, future Biz Catalog pie, I’m open to discussion. Again, my email is chris at biz-catalog dot online

Hope you enjoy the catalog. Let me know if so! https://twitter.com/bizcatalog (Also let me know if not.)


We hope you enjoy the site. If for any reason you don’t, let us know: chris at biz-catalog dot online

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