A Tech Beat reader, Frank Ruscica, passes along an email he got from last December from Josh Peterson, CEO of Robot Co-op, the parent company of 43 Things. It offers a few more clues about how 43 Things came to be and where it's heading. Thanks, Frank! ...
Here is Josh's e-mail:
"I just spent about an hour surfing around [Ruscica's MSFT-/VC-approved business plan for a provider of customized lifelong learning and career services (CLLCS)] with a bit of amazement. I run a little company...We are a team of folks who worked together at Amazon.com developing that company's personalization and recommendations team and systems. We spent about 1.5 years thinking about what we wanted to build next. We thought a lot about online education tools. We thought a lot about classified ads and job networks. We thought a lot about reputation systems. We thought a bit about personalized advertising systems. We thought a lot about blogging and social networking systems. Eventually, we came up with the idea behind 43 Things.
"...I guess I'm mostly just fascinated that we've been working a very similar vein to the one you describe, without having a solid name for it (we call it 'the age of the amateur' or 'networks of shared experiences' instead of CLLCS, but believe me, we are talking about the same patterns and markets, if not in exactly the same way). Thanks for sharing what you have - its fascinating stuff."
There's also a little more explanation from Robot Co-op itself here.