WHO I CHOOSE: A Review Site for Businesses, No Negative Reviews Allowed

April 16, 2013

5:00 pm

Screen Shot 2013-04-08 at 12.25.41 PMI’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon on Yelp; perhaps you’ve seen it? Some great restaurants end up with three stars – but when you take a look at the rating distribution, the majority of reviews are four stars.

Negative reviews can, perhaps undeservedly, pull down a restaurant’s rating. But not on WHO I CHOOSE – this new business review site is for positive reviews only.

That may seem unhelpful, but think of it like this: it’s your personal list of favorite dentists, dog walkers, hair cutters, and restaurants, shared with others.

Founder David Winchell started WHO I CHOOSE to make reviews more social, shared among people you trust. I “wanted to bring the referral conversations that happen spontaneously every day across the table at lunch, to an online platform,” he says.

Below, Winchell shares some wide-ranging insights on entrepreneurship and his personal story.

Tech Cocktail: What’s the hardest lesson you’ve had to learn so far? 

David Winchell: Just because you build it and are excited about it, doesn’t mean you will hear anything but crickets when you first start out! Launch is only the very beginning.

Tech Cocktail: How do you keep your team motivated at the office? 

Winchell: We talk a lot about why we built the site, and what it can bring to others to enhance their lives.

Tech Cocktail: If you had an extra $1,000 to spend on marketing, what would you do?

Winchell: Probably buy a sign on one of those trucks that drive up and down the Las Vegas strip in the middle of summer while throwing water bottles labeled with our website to the dehydrated crowds.

Tech Cocktail: What keeps you motivated on the hard days? 

Winchell: My wife and kids! Also, the belief that we have built a platform that can help everyday consumers do more business, make more money, and find what they need.

Tech Cocktail: What personality trait has served you the best as an entrepreneur?

Winchell: Restlessness.

Tech Cocktail: What’s the most encouraging sign of success you’ve seen so far?

Winchell: Early on, we ended up having a children’s dentist as a new user. She set up her page and paid to become a Premium Business Member. Someone that trusts me and knows I have kids checked my Choice Page to find a children’s dentist, and found her. He contacted her after seeing her WHO I CHOOSE page, and set up an appointment. She got a new customer, he got a new dentist. Watching the site work the way it was intended was by far the most encouraging early sign of success.

Tech Cocktail: What’s your crazy, long-term, huge vision? 

Winchell: To be the primary positive source of information used by everyone to find business recommendations from people they trust.

Tech Cocktail: If your startup were a cocktail, which one would it be and why?

Winchell: A Mojito…as it is fine on its own, but you can customize it by muddling up different fruits and making it your own.

WHO I CHOOSE is a showcased startup at this week’s Tech Cocktail Week mixer in Las Vegas.

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact kira@tech.co.

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