Swipe right if you’re interested, left to dismiss, and tap if you want to learn more. That recipe for landing a date Saturday night could also help you discover the next great startup idea, thanks to Flare.
The app, which uses Tinder’s hot swiping model, lets users share ideas and collect feedback from friends, entrepreneurs, and experts. GoDaddy, the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based web domain giant, is launching Flare in the Apple App Store today and plans to roll it out on Google Play next month.
The app won’t be a direct revenue source for GoDaddy, but rather a community-building tool.
“I do think it ultimately benefits GoDaddy,” said VP of Emerging Products Rene Reinsberg. “We’re the biggest technology company dedicated to small business so if we can encourage more people to start a business or grow a business it ultimately benefits the whole ecosystem and us included.”
If a would-be entrepreneur has an idea — say a cookbook for college students or a sustainable clothing line — he or she can post it to Flare. Other users can browse concepts and provide feedback regarding pricing, desirability, and other factors. That level of depth isn’t required, however, to evaluate ideas on Flare. Users can endorse or reject a concept quickly, with just a swipe. Swiping right saves the idea so a user can stay up-to-date on its progress, while swiping left dismisses it.
The idea for Flare came from a survey, conducted by GoDaddy. Sixty-seven percent of respondents said they had an idea for a business, product, or service, but just 15 percent pursued it. They said the main barriers to moving forward were self-doubt and uncertainty of how to proceed.
“If you look back at some of the most famous inventors of our history, most often the people with those famous ideas — think Thomas Edison with the lightbulb — were also the people who put out the most ideas,” Reinsberg said, referencing Adam Grant’s book Originals. “I think he, in his case, had over 100 patents that he filed in his early thirties and one of them was the lightbulb but then another one was, I think Adam describes it as a creepy doll.”
Reinsberg sees Flare as a low-stakes place for entrepreneurs to test their ideas, no matter how silly they might be. He acknowledged that some might be wary of the app, fearing their idea could be stolen. But he doesn’t expect that concern will dissuade too many users.
“As part of the survey, there was the question, ‘Would you not share your idea because of fear that it would be stolen,’ and only 11 percent said that’s a concern,” Reinsberg explained. “Most people, at that point, were saying, ‘I’m much more worried about this not being a good idea.'”
A number of industry leaders, including GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving, will be providing feedback on Flare as part of the app’s launch. This kind of access to expert advice, Reinsberg says, is one of the biggest draws to Flare.
“If you just have a corner shop and suddenly Blake gives you feedback on your ideas, that’s really powerful.”