What’s the best way to find top-notch products, and avoid bad ones? Ask a trusted group of people who have made similar decisions, and in many cases already own the products you’re considering.
That’s the philosophy behind Yabbly, currently available in beta on the web and iOS. Seattle tech vet Tom Leung, the company’s founder and CEO, presented Yabbly as our hand-picked App of the Week when we recorded the GeekWire radio show in front of an audience for the first time last week.
“Yabbly is a place for thoughtful discussion about product decisions,” Leung explained, describing the service as an alternative to the sometimes painful process of sifting and sorting reviews on large e-commerce and consumer sites such as Amazon. Instead, Yabbly users start with a specific need and the personal context for their decision.
What type of bandsaw should I buy for this project? What’s the best way to buy tickets for a Machu Picchu hike? Should I get the iPhone 4 or iPhone 5 for my wife?
Then other members of the community can jump in to answer based on their own experience and the context of the question.
That last question, about which iPhone to buy, was my own, and I received eleven thoughtful responses, some of them bordering on essays, to help me make my decision. There were concrete recommendations and details, in the context of the specific decision I was making. (Almost everyone said the iPhone 5 was worth the extra cost, by the way.)
“It’s a much better way to get the best product for you, not sorting by the best product for the average person,” Leung explained, adding later, “When you sort by average review, you’re playing roulette with your wallet.”
Yabbly is a free service, but you’ll need to apply to be a member of the community by telling them about a product you love, to demonstrate your thoughtfulness.
Leung explained that the startup will ultimately make money by helping companies present targeted messages to consumers via sponsor content, offers and other forms of advertising.
App of the Week is a regular feature of the GeekWire radio show and podcast, airing at 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. Saturdays on 97.3 KIRO-FM in Seattle. The show runs every weekend on GeekWire.com, except when preempted by live sports. You can get every episode using this RSS feed, subscribe in iTunes or find us on Stitcher.
Listen to the segment via this MP3 file or the audio player below.