GoDaddy officially entered the arena of validating startup ideas with the introduction of their new app: Flare.
But then again, as a web hosting and domain service provider supporting millions of small businesses, many of whom are launching their businesses into the online world for the first time, maybe GoDaddy has always been at the forefront of this type of business idea testing…
Essentially, the Flare app allows entrepreneurs to get quick feedback on their business ideas, and potentially connect with potential customers, experts and investors.
I recently came across an article by Fitz Tepper (@fitztepper) on TechCrunch published on the day the Flare app was released (May 26, 2016). Tepper’s article noted that GoDaddy customers would often pitch business ideas during calls to the company’s customer support line. The opportunity to foster a community of like-minded entrepreneurs was not lost on GoDaddy, and thus Flare was born.
How Flare Helps Validate Startup Ideas
Flare sparked my interest immediately; not just for its ability to quickly allow users to test their business ideas and gather input from other users, but also for its elegant interface.
Entrepreneurs simply upload their ideas, and fellow app users get to either swipe left (to ignore an idea – essentially voting it down) or swipe right (to express interest and approval for an idea).
Once an idea has been swiped right by 10 or more people, it moves into the next stage where the entrepreneur may conduct small-scale market research by asking app users targeted yes/no questions.
For example, let’s say you’re potentially interested in launching an on-demand custom t-shirt service. If enough users have expressed interest in your idea, you may then pose questions, such as “Would you pay $30 for a custom t-shirt?” or “Is keeping production local important to you?”
The more interest and approval an idea receives, the more input and feedback an entrepreneur can receive in return. As the startup ideas begin to show promise with growing popularity, it becomes a virtuous cycle.
Think of this app as having your own little version of Shark Tank in your pocket – where you could either be the Shark, the business idea pitch-person, or both!
One additional feature on Flare allows users to see which business ideas were submitted from entrepreneurs living within their area. This has always been a popular feature for people browsing Kickstarter campaigns.
Flare App Pros and Cons
In Tepper’s article, he wrote that “Rene Reinsberg, VP of Emerging Products at GoDaddy, explained that the goal is to allow entrepreneurs to get feedback on businesses at the idea stage, since nowadays most crowdfunding campaigns (which were arguably once supposed to be built just around ideas) require a lot of upfront polish and capital.”
This point is worth highlighting, as we went into great detail during our series on How to Crush it with Crowdfunding to demonstrate the level of preparation and execution necessary to run a successful crowdfunding campaign.
Many people looking to test their business ideas don’t necessarily want (or need) to commit that amount of time, money or energy to validate their idea before they’re confident in moving forward.
Flare could potentially be that stripped-down tool for idea validation.
One criticism I’ve read in comments on this new app is that it presents a conflict for GoDaddy.
There was concern that the company would be receiving a steady supply of new business ideas and extracting valuable data, which it could then turnaround and use itself to develop the more popular ideas it collected.
Ideas are a dime-a-dozen; the fortune’s in the follow-through.
The company and its employees have much more to gain by creating an eager community of burgeoning entrepreneurs who may one day use its services to launch the very idea they first pitched on Flare.
Though GoDaddy’s Reinsberg did note that they may add support services to Flare at a later date, such as connecting its users with in-house professionals or products to help build and support their new idea, no such strategy has been made official at this time.
But clearly the app and the company’s existing suite of services are well positioned and complimentary – and that’s potentially beneficial to both the company and the app’s users.
Overall, Flare provides a great new platform to help entrepreneurs looking to understand if there will be market interest for their potential product or service.
Definitely something to add to your personal Testing the Muse toolbox for business idea validation.
The Flare app is now available for download in iTunes and Google Play.
For those who may be ready to test their ideas on a bigger platform (e.g. Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, GoFund Me, etc.) – CLICK HERE to download your copy of The Complete Crowdfunding Kit – 100% free!