Ever had a brilliant idea for starting a business, or maybe just wanted to make some key overhauls to an existing business but never felt confident enough to pursue it? Perhaps some marketing pros and fellow entrepreneurs would have given you the feedback you needed to either go forward or scrap it altogether. Such was the thinking behind GoDaddy’s Flare, a new free mobile app available today.
“Flare is about giving people the confidence to make that next step with their business idea,” said Rene Reinsberg, GoDaddy’s VP of Emerging Products. “It’s a social app that is anchored by ideas.”
More specifically, Flare is a community space that fields and vets ideas from its users. People can log on and anonymously enter a concept they have for say, starting a local gardening service and receive support and advice in the form of “loves” — which is sort of like a Facebook like. Once they receive 10 “loves,” within 24 hours, their identity is revealed and their idea becomes eligible to be backed by consumers. There’s no literal backing or investing of funds involved, just users declaring their intent to purchase should the idea grow into a reality. Users can share their own or others’ ideas on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well as via email.
It’s also a place where ideas could potentially go to die. As Reinsberg points out, “people usually have more than one idea and sometimes you have to go back to the drawing board.”
And Flare wants to be that drawing board. It works by a user adding a headline for their idea, along with a short description detailing what makes the idea unique, and a picture either from their own archives or from Flare’s library of stock photos.
The app was invented when Reinsberg and his team found that many GoDaddy users were calling GoDaddy reps to ask for help not about a GoDaddy product, but for advice regarding an idea they had for a possible business action.
“We felt there was an unmet need to help small businesses and entrepreneurs to get feedback on an idea and take to it reality,” said Reinsberg.
GoDaddy users have been testing out Flare in its pre-launch phase, Reinsberg said, adding that Flare already has a strong community that includes GoDaddy’s CEO Blake Irving as well as other marketing minds such as Sarah Dekin, former CMO at Zipcar. GoDaddy itself is on there, shooting out new ideas and asking users whether they think they’re worthwhile or not.
Businesses of all sizes are recommended to sign up to suggest ideas they have for improvement. Thanks to the location-based technology of the app, a local restaurant, for instance, can suggest an idea and then see if people nearby “love” it, and next, if they would potentially back the idea as a consumer.
“If a coffee shop that doesn’t serve is noticing a [lag] around lunch time, they may want to ask users on Flare whether they should start serving lunch, [and if so] what kind of lunch? What types of sandwiches and soups?” said Reinsberg.
If 200 people in the vicinity of the coffee shop love the ideas proposed, and vow to be a consumer, that coffee shop can have the confidence to move forward with the plan.
“Having someone pledge to be a consumer is a big vow,” said Reinsberg. “The next step could be to launch a Kickstarter or seek funding [elsewhere].”
Using Flare could potentially help connect you to investors, who should also consider the app for worthy ventures. But what Flare is really about is generating interest and perceiving it as “the glue between the entrepreneur and these early stakeholders,” added Reinsberg.
Nicole Spector is a Street Fight contributor.