The Power and Potential of Lists: Exploring User Behavior and Opportunities


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 07, 2023

3 min read


The Power and Potential of Lists: Exploring User Behavior and Opportunities


Lists have become an integral part of our digital experience, shaping the way we organize information, make decisions, and discover new content. However, despite their prevalence, there are still many unexplored aspects and untapped potential within the realm of listmaking. In this article, we will delve into the different types of list users, the challenges faced by list-based platforms, and the opportunities for innovation and growth.

Understanding the Different Types of List Users:

  • 1. Task Management: One of the primary uses of lists is for personal task management. Individuals create lists to keep track of their to-dos, prioritize activities, and stay organized. This mode of listmaking is focused on individual needs and efficiency.
  • 2. Publishing: Listmaking also extends to the realm of publishing, where individuals create lists for others to consume. This could include curated lists of books, movies, products, or travel destinations. However, despite the potential for network effects and widespread adoption, no startup has fully capitalized on this opportunity.
  • 3. Team Collaboration: Lists are not limited to individual use or publishing; they also play a crucial role in team collaboration and work management. Platforms like Atlassian's Jira and Asana provide tools for teams to create and manage lists, enhancing productivity and project management.

Challenges and Opportunities in List-based Platforms:

  • 1. Lack of Breakout Success: Despite the obvious potential of listmaking, there has been a dearth of breakout successes in this space. The internet's 20+ years of existence should have yielded a transformative list-based platform, but none have cracked the code. This presents an opportunity for startups to rethink the listmaking experience and build compelling features.
  • 2. Monetization and Value Creation: While search engines like Google have successfully monetized search results, the same model doesn't easily translate to list-based platforms. The challenge lies in creating intersecting points within lists and finding ways to monetize them effectively. One potential approach could be leveraging user preferences and personality to personalize general lists, creating a more engaging and valuable experience.
  • 3. Balancing Utility and Engagement: Many lists lack urgency or solve pressing problems, making it challenging to build a sustainable business model around them. To overcome this, list-based platforms must focus on providing dynamic and actionable lists, fostering engagement and network effects between list creators and readers. Additionally, combining list-based sites with discovery engines could enhance content discovery and navigation on the internet.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Foster Community: Building a successful list-based platform requires cultivating a strong community. Startups should prioritize fanaticizing an early user base and creating a sense of recognition and contribution within the community.
  • 2. Long-Term Approach: A true horizontal list-building site requires a patient, long-term approach, especially during thrifty times when rent and talent are more affordable. This allows for the exploration of wild ideas and the emergence of innovative solutions.
  • 3. Find the Right Balance: Striking a balance between altruism and narcissism is crucial. Platforms should consider lessons from Wikipedia's success in fostering altruistic contributions while also incorporating features that cater to users' desire for recognition and self-expression.


Lists have the potential to transform how we organize information, discover content, and collaborate. By understanding the different types of list users, addressing challenges, and leveraging opportunities, startups can create innovative list-based platforms that enhance productivity, engagement, and community building. The future of listmaking lies in finding novel ways to personalize lists, foster engagement, and create value for both creators and consumers.

Hatch New Ideas with Glasp AI 🐣

Glasp AI allows you to hatch new ideas based on your curated content. Let's curate and create with Glasp AI :)