About Curagami and the Player Maker Economy
Curagami and the Player Maker Economy asks a few simple questions. Do things feel different? Do you feel things are getting different faster? You are right on both accounts and you are not alone. We named our company Curagami for two reasons. Have you ever tried to get a URL with common keywords? If you have you know that ship has sailed.
We formed Curagami because we love e-commerce. Our founder, Martin W. Smith, spent seven years as a Director of E-commerce for a multimillion dollar site and loved it. But there was a problem.
Worry and stress would be the two words Martin would use to describe his tenure especially as his team’s website became more and more important. Other channels such as print advertising and catalog were fading fast as the web grew even faster. By the last few years of Martin’s Director of E-commerce tenure his company was riding on the web’s sales.
And there was another problem. Even if Martin wasn’t working for catalog direct marketing merchants who viewed the web as an alien invader, the tools needed to drive a multimillion-dollar car safely at ever increasing speeds didn’t exist. As the bet got larger and more dispersed with chips riding on Pay Per Click ads, content marketing, social media, contests and blogging (to name only a few), stress and worry increased.
Martin and his friends Phil Buckley and Jarred Swart earned a 2013 grant from Durham’s Startup Factory to create new “player and maker” tools. Technology, the team learned, is making everything a game. Social media is making everyone a player. Combine those two ideas and you get the “player maker economy”. Curagami makes tools to win hearts, minds, and loyalty online for ecommerce merchants.
What’s up with the logo?
We started with an origami bird, a bird you may see Martin wearing around Durham. As the company evolved so did our logo. Martin calls today’s Curagami logo Nessie as it reminds him of the famously shy Loch Ness monster. We use “link blue” because blue is men’s (42%) and women’s (29%) favorite color.
What’s up with the name Curagami?
Curagami combines two words the company founders thought would prove increasingly important to online commerce – curation and gamification. Curation is the purposeful filtering of content so others can more easily discover, read and interact with it. Gamification applies game theory to web marketing with an overriding belief everything is a game these days.
What is a “Startup Factory”
Chris Heivly and Dave Neal run the south’s best accelerator for startups in Durham, North Carolina. When Curagami was founded the Startup Factory was located in the American Underground. These days, because Chris and Dave love being where the cool kids are, the factory is located at the 201 West Main in downtown Durham.