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Crunchbase & Neo4j's Interconnected Future: The Business Graph

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Based on this recent blog post from Matt Kaufman at Crunchbase, it looks like Crunchbase has some big, graph-based plans for the future. In particular, they intend to build what they call the Business Graph using their substantial dataset of 530,000 people (and companies). The Business Graph, Kaufman suggests, would connect businesses and people:

Think of it as the business world’s answer to Mark Zuckerberg’s “social graph,” which he once described as the “connections between people and the things they care about.” The Business Graph, at its core, is the web of connections between business activities and the people involved in them.

Kaufman credits Neo4j's graph database with giving Crunchbase the flexibility it needs to pursue this goal. Traditional alternatives - relational databases, for example - wouldn't be able to keep up. Graph databases like Neo4j, Kaufman argues, allow for substantial growth in a lot of directions. Again he uses Zuckerberg and Facebook as reference points:

Zuckerberg’s early decision to build on a graph database made it possible for the Facebook experience to morph in ways no one expected, including status updates, social games, and the ubiquitous “Like” button. Likewise, we know Crunchbase will take on directions we have not even considered yet.

Between Crunchbase's existing data and the high praise Kaufman has for Neo4j's graph database backing, the Business Graph sounds like it could be something really interesting.

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