April 24, 2013
On Betterific, people post ideas starting with “Wouldn’t it be better if…?” Here are a few clever ones from over 5,700 posted on the public beta site:
- Wouldn’t it be better if your car sent you a text message instead of/in addition to your car alarm going off?
- Wouldn’t it be better if there was a cup that measured the temperature of your beverage to let you know if it was too hot to drink?
- Wouldn’t it be better if you could get digital wallpaper so you could “redecorate” your [walls] to your own designs or photos as often as you liked?
- Wouldn’t it be better if the shades in your room automatically opened as soon as the sun came up?
- Wouldn’t it be better if light switch covers had small digital clocks that appeared when the switch is activated and displayed how long the light was on?
“Wouldn’t it be better if…?” is basically the question of the entrepreneur. All startups believe their product is making someone’s life better, or they wouldn’t be in business.
“As entrepreneurs, we always have lots and lots of ideas and we can’t always implement them all,” says Micha Weinblatt, who cofounded the site with Jonathan Schilit and Brad Cater. “Some days the ideas just blow me away.”
The ideas above could all launch startups in their own right. Other posts on Betterific include new features, improvements, or marketing campaigns for companies like Coca-Cola, WMATA, or Chipotle.
Weinblatt has signed on three brands who use Betterific to collect feedback: Arby’s, Saxbys Coffee, and Boloco. Arby’s amassed around 800 ideas, of which 26 percent were for new food items. According to Weinblatt, they want to start testing some of those ideas in the kitchen.
But most ideas on Betterific don’t make it into the hands of corporate executives who can actually bring about change. And for most users, Weinblatt says, that’s okay. They get alerts when their “betterifs” are popular, comments from the community, and possibly a feature in Betterific’s weekly top 7 email. Soon, top contributors will get the chance to nominate ideas for that email.
“[Users] feel like this is a good therapeutic outlet to share their ideas,” says Weinblatt, who is seeing 200 to 300 ideas posted per week. It’s their gift to the universe, a way of being heard with a dash of hope that someone, somewhere will bring their idea to life.
Betterific users also organically share their ideas on how to make Betterific better: they’re asking for an RSS feed, tags, and an app. The DC startup also hopes to power “idea boards” on other companies’ websites, like a digital suggestion box.
There’s no shortage of questions on Betterific. Now, the startup just needs to connect with people who can answer “yes” to them.
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