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One-Liner Pitch: Betterific gives consumers a platform to offer feedback on how to improve their favorite products and companies.
Why It's Taking Off: It's like Reddit for customer suggestions online.
It started with a fitted sheet.
Micha Weinblatt was making his bed, and struggling to figure out which side of his fitted bed sheet was the width and which was the length, when he came up with a simple solution: Companies should include a label on the sheet to note which side is which. That led him to another thought: How does one go about sharing an idea like that?
"What do you do with that idea, short of starting a linen company? You could tweet it or Facebook it, but you don't have much of an audience there," Weinblatt told Mashable. "We started looking around, and saw there was no great place to share ideas and make products better."
With that in mind, Weinblatt and his two co-founders, Brad Cater and Jonathan Schilit, decided to develop Betterific, a website that serves as a platform for consumers to offer feedback on how to improve their favorite products and companies. The site, which launched in public beta last month, provides users with a simple prompt ("Wouldn't it be better if...") and then lets the community vote the idea up or down, similar to Reddit.
While the project is still in its early stages, users have already posted more than 2,200 ideas to the website, which range from a suggestion for Amazon ("Wouldn't it be better if Amazon offered a print and e-book combo when you purchase a book online?") to a suggestion for airlines in general ("Wouldn't it be better if airlines had a sign that said please wake me up for my meal?") One of the most popular suggestions to date is for toilets: "Wouldn't it be better if toilets had a 'pedal lift lid' like a lot of trash cans so you wouldn't have to touch the seat to lift it up and down?"
Weinblatt said users also make suggestions for how to improve Betterific, some of which the team has started to implement; they include: letting users tag one another in posts, and building private forums within the website so companies can solicit feedback from a select group of users.
Now that customers have started to post to the website, the team is working to fill in the other side of the equation by reaching out to big and small companies. The goal is to get businesses to embed part of Betterific on their own websites, so they can tap into the community's feedback, as well as that of their own customers.
Beyond that, the Betterific team hopes to build out features that let companies engage with specific users to follow up on their suggestions. This way, Weinblatt said the Betterific community could serve as a true "brain trust" for companies, which is good for engagement on the site, and perhaps just as importantly, for giving the startup a valuable asset that it could monetize going forward.
Betterific went through the DreamIt Ventures incubator program in New York late last year, and is currently looking to raise a $650,000 round of funding. The team is also working on an iPhone app for the website, which should be released in the next two months.