Crowdsource Commercial Development with Popularise

December 24, 2011

12:00 pm

You know that prime commercial location on State Street that keeps on churning out failed businesses?  First it was a Moe’s Southwest Grill, then a Fudruckers, then a Goodwill, now it’s vacant again.  The developers just can’t seem to figure out what the people want.

At best, though, running an in-depth competitive analysis and digging through an ocean of local demographic and psychographic data only gives a business owner a rough guess about what people want.  This high foot traffic area could be a gold mine, but this lack of intelligence means businesses keep missing the mark.  The developers lose.  The patrons lose.  The neighborhood loses.

Popularise can help your neighborhood win.

In Co-Founder, Ben Miller’s own words, “We created Popularise as a new way to approach developing authentic places, by using the web to give development power back to local residents like you…just as the web transformed the media industry, so it can transform the real estate industry.”

Popularise takes the guesswork out of the development equation by asking local residents to vote on which businesses they would most like to see.  The hope is that by polling the community, a developer gets the most accurate portrayal of the neighborhood’s wishes.

Additionally, by engaging the local community, the business owner is effectively building relationships with potential customers well in advance of the business opening its doors.


For this crowdsourced commercial development project to become a success, Popularise will have to become, well, popular.  If the feedback from users doesn’t reach a significant sample size, the data is essentially no better than asking the first 20 people on the street.  For this reason, Popularise is focusing its efforts on creating interest in one city at a time, starting with Washington, DC.  There are already a pair of vacant DC properties listed on the website – check them out for yourself.

You have the opportunity to put your neighborhood’s development in your hands.  For those in the DC area, spread the word, and popularize Popularise.

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When Zach Davis isn’t getting lost in the mountains, he is hustling from Boulder, CO as Tech Cocktail’s Director of Marketing. He is the author of Appalachian Trials, a book chronicling the mindset necessary for thru-hiking all 2,181 miles of the Appalachian Trail, a feat he accomplished in 2011. Zach is a green tea enthusiast, die-hard Chicago sports fan, and avid concert-goer. Follow Zach on Twitter: @zrdavis.

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