Interview - Curicon CEO, Matt Byrne

For those who are unaware, Curicon is a new social network which, like Geek of Oz, has been created by geeks, for geeks and today we have the pleasure of speaking to CEO Matt Byrne.

The best thing about Curicon is that it truly has been created by geeks. Sure, being a millionaire/billionaire would be great but the feeling that you get from Curicon is that it was originally intended as a way of giving geeks a place to come together and indulge in each others passions (mind out of the gutter!) and if they end up ridiculously wealthy I'll be sure to crash at their pad and/or crib. I'm quite sure that Zuckerberg didn't create Facebook because he liked people so in that respect, Curicon > Facebook.

Follow on after the jump for our interview with Matt Byrne and details on how YOU could win a trip to New York Comic-Con!

Ryan: For those who are unaware, what exactly is Curicon?

Matt: We like to think of Curicon as the new online home of the geek and pop-culture collector. Curicon covers Comics, Action Figures, Games, Consoles, Trading Cards, Designer and Art Toys, LEGO, Miniatures, Scale Models, Toys and more! Pretty much anything you would find at Comic-Con, that is what Curicon is all about.

Curicon currently blends a social network with a collectables library and collection management system and very soon, we will have a fully featured marketplace that will allow you to buy and sell in a way perfectly suited to collectors.

What was the motivation in creating your own social network?

Did the world need another social network? Well, when you look at Curicon, you will see that it is an interest-based social network. When combined with the huge library and marketplace features, we feel that it is the perfect balance for a collector. Something like Facebook doesn't really give you the platform to meet other collectors or learn and explore more of the items you love. It is a general social network.

And we all know collectors love to show off! What is the point of collecting if you're unable to meet new people, share your collection with others and have a place to hang out?

Where did your geeky ways begin? What's is your origin story?

My origin story starts with a Commodore 64 at the age of 4, Comics at 7 and collecting everything that wasn't nailed down by age 10 – Comics, Cards, Stamps, Coins, Rocks, Telephone Cards (remember those??), Model cars, planes, boats and tanks. I have probably left something out, but you get the point!

I started repairing computers and writing software professionally while still at school, I have a BSc IT Innovation and I own an IT Management business as well as Curicon. So after 10 years in "the biz" I decided to build my ultimate dream… The best place on the net for geeky collectors!

Nowadays, what hobby are you most involved in?

Comics. My collection of comics is over 1000 now, including complete near mint runs of Spectacular Spider-Man, Web of Spider-Man and West Coast Avengers. I have that condition where I must "have them all" haha and I won't accept less than near mint!

I also have a pretty decent console collection with a particular focus on SEGA consoles. I love cartridge consoles, there is just something magic about loading a cartridge into a console. I guess it takes me back to my childhood.

What comics are on your pull list?

Right now I am reading The Amazing Spider-Man from issue #200 and West Coast Avengers from the start. I have non-near mint copies of them so as not to disturb my precious copies… Yeah… I'm like that.

So far, the Curicon story has just exploded! What has been one of the highlights of the journey so far?

Things have been going really well! We have made great friends and partnerships throughout the collecting world so far and we just keep meeting more and more awesome people everyday. I couldn't be happier with the response we have had. I think people can see we are doing this with passion and love and they accept us and make us feel welcome into their circles.

The highlight was covering San Diego Comic-Con as press! It was unreal. It was my first Comic-Con and I was just blown away with the vibe, energy and atmosphere. It isn't just the convention either – it is the entire city of San Deigo. Super heroes walk the streets, you can find Iron Man and Batman having a discussion over a beer in Hooters and everyone is just having the best time of their lives!

Where do you see Curicon going in the future? What's the master plan?

My dream is to create the definitive place for collectors online. Somewhere you can share, learn, explore, trade and enjoy what is for many, a huge part of their lives. I would like "Curicon" to become synonymous with collecting, I want to create something that the community wants and I want everyone to have a say in the process. Curicon is built by collectors, for collectors.

You guys have, probably the coolest geek related competition running at the moment. Can you tell us about it?

I actually think we do. I certainly haven't seen a competition of this scale run before.

If you would like to go to New York Comic-Con (who wouldn't!), well we have the competition for you! We are offering airfares, hotel and a 4-day pass – how awesome is that??

Who can enter? Anyone from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom or the United States. It is a huge prize and a great competition.

It is easy to boost your entries for more chances to win. You can share it, earn reputation points by using the site and locate the special metal card codes for stacks more entries. If you can manage to do all of the things on the awesome competition dashboard, and you win, you can take a friend with you! I bet you thought it couldn't get any better?

Now, there are some special codes out there to increase the chance of winning, any hints on where to find them?

Yep, there are a few different special codes out there. Look around the net for the "website bonus codes" - these have been posted on various geek sites. The really special codes are the ones on the backs of the Curicon Limited Edition Collectable Metal Cards… Now these can earn you anywhere from 50 to 100 extra entries for each code!

Where will you find them? Well, the cards are in the possession of people all over the globe. You could try asking around, searching the net..... or begging the Curicon team!

Thanks for speaking to us Matt. So, dear reader, head over to Curicon and register for your chance to win a trip to New York Comic Con! When you're there, don't forget to check out the collection of Geek of Oz!


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