The Betterific Blog

Connecting consumers with brands to crowdsource and innovate on product ideas.


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Brainstorming with Innovator Dan Pick

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When you win a Betterific crowdourced innovation challenge you get a number of perks – the prize winnings, the bragging rights, and access to the bully pulpit!  We want to make you famous for your creativity.  When you win a challenge, you embody what Robert F Kennedy said: “Some men see things as they are and ask why.  I dream things that never were and ask why not.”

This is the first in our “Brainstorming with…” series.  We’re excited to have Dan Pick, who’s been a member of Betterific since we first started.  Dan is an ideator in the true sense of the word – he’s submitted hundreds  of ideas, has participated in countless challenges and has won his fair share.  Below is an interview we had with Dan, where we ask him about his techniques, some insight into how he brainstorms, and for some suggestions on how to make Betterific even better!  Dan has a really interesting perspective on ideation and gives us a window into his futuristic concepts.

Dan won our Hyundai Innovation Challenge.  Dan is a Manager in North Highland’s Strategy Division.  We’re lucky to count him as a member of the Betterific community.  To join the Betterific community, head over to our site and sign up!  It’s a great way to flex your idea muscles.  (Below is the slightly edited post).

Winner picture oneMW: What do you when you’re not brainstorming on Betterific?  Daniel E Pick (DEP) : I like to tinker with an Arduino and Raspberry Pi. Also, currently training for a half marathon!

MW: Tell us something about you that we wouldn’t know from your resume. DEP: I’m teaching myself data science skills, and will try to find applications to help non-profits, my company (better understand the needs of the customer) and myself.

MW: What are you working on that really excites you? DEP: Working with the Arduino is probably the most exciting, because I’ve completed projects more easily and in much less time than similar projects in electrical engineering classes in college.  

MW: Betterific members are ideas people!  If you’re open to it, what BIG idea are you thinking about/sitting on?  DEP: I’m somewhat of a futurist, exploring how weak signals present today will manifest in 10-20 years. One idea, which is probably much closer to reality than 10 years out, is combining virtual reality and augmented reality with a haptic suit to compliment travel and most activities. You could “climb” Kilimanjaro, “play” soccer with friends scattered around the country/world, have a first person immersion into a historical event, attend a virtual work meeting and/or work remotely but have the sensations of being co-located with your colleagues.Winner picture two

MW: When you get an invitation to join a Betterific innovation challenge, how do you approach the challenge?  Do you sketch out some ideas on paper?  Do you go the page to get inspired by other people’s ideas?  Any good techniques you want to share? DEP: My goal is to first jot down as many ideas as possible from top of mind. Then, I put them aside and envision myself using the product/service. I think about what ideas could be quick fixes, as well as some “pie in the sky” ideas. Sometimes, Betterific users prefer the grandiose ideas, but those are harder and more expensive to implement. So, I try to include some easier ideas to help the company that launched the campaign (even if those ideas don’t get a lot of votes). Finally, I review ideas from other users. That sometimes gives me more inspiration. All of this occurs over a few days. Then, I pause for a few days and typically try to return for another brainstorming session.

MW: Where do your “good ideas come from?” DEP: I don’t think that I have better ideas than others, per se. I just focus on generating a lot of ideas, and some good ones typically result. Here’s a fun fact – Mozart composed 600 pieces of music, Beethoven created 650, and Bach had more than 1000. Of course, only a small number of them became hits.

MW: If you were CEO of Betterific for a day, what would you improve about the platform? DEP: Three Suggestions: Have users submit their own campaign suggestions for one week. The top idea could either be selected by the Betterific team or through votes from the Betterific community. Then, for one week, Betterific users could submit ideas to solve that particular problem. Two: The site needs to include an easier way to aggregate the betterifs. Within a challenge, I can see who the thought leaders are. I should be able to click the number next to their name and view their betterifs just for the challenge. In addition, the top-voted ideas should be at the top of the feed, regardless of the date they were submitted. Then, it would be easier to find the top-voted ideas. Three: It would be better if there was follow-up to the challenges. Which ideas did the company like? Do they have any feedback about the campaign? Are there opportunities for Betterific users to serve as members of a focus group or complete surveys aimed to glean consumer preferences? Also, it would be helpful to know the goals of the campaign – Does the company aim to receive 500+ submissions, including at least 10-20 quick-wins and 50+ longer-term considerations that they can share with R&D?

MW: What have you enjoyed most about the Betterific platform? And what do you like most about the community? DEP: It’s really cool to have a forum to share ideas. Although it’s great to help companies, I especially enjoy when a Betterific user posts something that the community is able to solve for them. That’s powerful!

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Betterific Business (explained) and New Features!

Hi lovers of innovation, ideation and imagination:

At Betterific we’re firing on all cylinders–pushing the envelope of how we can crowdsource innovation.  So what do we work on, on a daily basis?

The Betterific memberbase: Keeping our members engaged–thru weekly emails, innovation challenges, and overall great content.

The Betterific website: What new features should we be adding to make our members happy?  What new features should we be creating to connect our members with brands?  What new features can we create to help make the product development process easier more efficient, more social, and more fun?

Bringing brands on board: We work hard to bring brands like: Target, World Kitchen, Vitamin Water, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, ConAgra, Arby’s, the Washington Nationals, the Washington Wizards, 16 handles…and others onto our platform to host innovation challenges and get ideas through the product development process–from ideation, to evaluation.

Building out our private label Betterific for internal innovation: A year and a half after building out Betterific.com large Fortune 500 brands approached us, asking if they could bring our style of crowdsourcing innovation to their employees.  Repurpose Betterific for their internal use, so employees can connect with managers across the organziation.  This helps flatten the hierarchy, encourages innovation, and helps the C suite get a better understanding of what’s happening down the line.  We’ve deployed a number of our internal employee innovation programs, and they have been tremendously successful.  Saving companies millions of dollars, engaging employees, and inspiring new innovative products and services.

Now, back to the purpose of this post.  New features on Betterific.com!

-Comment editing: We launched the ability to edit your own comments!

The Evaluation zone: Following Target’s overwhelming productive “Dorm Room Innovation Challenge” they asked us to help conceive of a product where they could bring their favorite ideas back out to the community to evaluate them.  We then created the Evaluation zone, a private room for our members to rate, vote, and comment on their favorite concepts.  Target mocked up their favorite ideas (as suggested by our memberbase) and revealed their creations in this room.  It’s a very exciting evolution of Betterific.com – in addition to helping to source  the ideas, we can now help evaluate them as well.Cooler-ottoman

That’s all for now, folks.  Thanks again for joining Betterific, and making it the community that it is today.


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Betterific’s First Product Launch!

My fellow Betterificers, tomorrow, Friday July 17th, will be a special day. Why, you ask? Because with the help of our friends over at Dormify, for the first time ever, a Betterif has been transformed from an online idea to a consumer product, and will be featured on the Today Show!

The product, more specifically, solves a problem faced by many around the world. For too long, people have fumbled with fitted bed sheets, spending too much time questioning which corner goes where and not enough time actually making the bed. If there was a simple label or graphic on the sheet illustrating the proper way to fit it, countless time could be saved. And finally, thanks to the diligence of the Betterific team and the quality of the idea, Dormify has begun to produce and sell the product (which can be purchased here).

The improved fitted bed sheet represents one of the first tangible products to come from the Betterific labs, and if you would like to see one of your ideas possibly come to fruition, then join Betterific here. We’re always on the lookout for innovative souls to keep our innovation train chugging along.


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Top Weekly Ideas

Hey fellow Betterific-ers, this past week in ideas has been really productive and interesting. The top ideas are pure gold, with some really innovative ideas that, if implemented, have the potential to really make serious waves. But to be honest, Betterific is so full of innovation and good stuff that it isn’t surprising that these ideas came up. But without further adieu, here are the ideas:

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Top Weekly Ideas

Hey folks! So with the world cup already in progress, I want to take this time to make a shout out to Team USA! Even though we tied yesterday it was an amazing game to watch. I hope you all have been watching some matches, because the world cup is awesome. To help you pass the time between games, and to sate your appetites for all things Betterific, here I present last week’s top ideas!

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Top Weekly Ideas

Hello to all my faithful Betterific readers and posters! This week’s collection of top ideas is pure quality, with ideas calling for things like box pickup services offered by moving companies to basing student loans off of the quality of the college and the likelihood of graduates receiving a job afterwards. It’s posts like these that make me proud of the community Betterific has created, and all I have to say is keep moving and keep shaking. Together we can innovate a better world. Browse the posts below, and remember to share with everyone!

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Top Weekly Ideas

Hey everyone, last week we had a great assortment of ideas featured on Betterific, ranging from fat camp for dogs to Facebook throwback Thursdays. Feel free to explore the ideas below, they’re innovative and interesting to think about. And as always, feel free to share share share!!!!

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