Rippld Builds a Social Network for Creative Professionals

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can search for projects or scout for talent. Creative folks can bid on projects, but, as opposed to 99Designs, where people are just trying to get it done as cheaply as possible, this is intended for people educated in quality of design so it’s not a race to the bottom.”

Rippld is adopting an interesting strategy for a company that seems dependent on user acquisition: Screening everyone who comes into the system to make sure their work is of the proper caliber. “Internally, we joke that Rippld is for the top 10 percent of creatives in the world,” Walker says, noting that the screening process will initially be mostly subjective. Coronado-Garcia adds that they may eventually institute a system where members “up vote” new applicants—once you get a sufficient number of people to endorse your work, you’re in.

Rippld also isn’t preoccupied with monetizing the site, at least not at first. “We don’t want ads,” Walker says flatly. “That’s not to say we won’t go there, but right now we want to keep the system beautiful. That’s the huge separator between us and other sites.”

Good thing, then, that Rippld has the support of TechTown and the Detroit Creative Corridor Center, and will begin fundraising in Silicon Valley over the summer.

“The important thing is helping people earn money and create value,” Coronado-Garcia says. “This will be a must-have for creatives. We’ll be able to extract value at some point, but first we have to minimize friction and get people interacting.”

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Sarah Schmid Stevenson is the editor of Xconomy Detroit/Ann Arbor. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or Follow @XconomyDET_AA

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