Here is the list of our top ten ideas from this past week. We’ve got fantastic ideas for Kindle and Nook, Fox Sports, SNL, Colgate, Google Maps and even Amtrak. Do you find these ideas inspiring? Join us to share your own ideas and give feedback on others. Happy innovating!
After the Super Bowl, the Oscars are the most watched event in American television. And as you might expect, companies pay millions of dollars for 30 second commercial spots in order to reach the Oscar watching audience. It’s surprising then that the format of the watching experience for the Oscars has changed hardly at all in its 86 year history. So has anyone ever thought of suggestions or ideas that might improve the Oscar watching experience?
Before we go down that road, let’s take a step back and look at the broader picture of why we’d ask that question. The Oscars are a celebration of the most accomplished and acclaimed artists of our modern world. People love seeing and sharing movies together. They love the stories, the music, the characters and the places that film brings to life. Cinema is an incredible artistic medium that reaches millions of people each year. Who could have ever dreamed that art could reach so many people and affect them so much? So in my mind at least, the Oscars carry a great deal of importance in our modern society, which may be why so many people tune in and root so enthusiastically for their favorite movie, actor, soundtrack, or screenwriter.
Art is the domain of the public. It serves to remind of us of who we are, where we come from and what we wish to accomplish as a society. It reminds of us of the beautiful and the terrible sides of our day to day lives. And of course, movies are also just a lot of fun to experience. So, if everyone has the ability to appreciate the various forms of art that are accomplished through film, along with the various cultures and stories that are expressed through this medium, why can’t we have more involvement in it’s celebration through things like the Oscars? The following Oscars themed betterifs got us thinking about ways in which the Academy Awards can be made into a more interactive experience, playing off the fact that the experience of movie watching is a shared experience.
If there’s one thing that we’ve learned at Betterific, it is the fact that people like to be involved in the process of making things better, more useful and more meaningful through leaving us feedback and ideas. A crowdsourced, democratic platform for sharing ideas is the best way to improve upon what is already out there (or isn’t out there for that matter) and for something like movies, which are so widely shared and admired you would expect a lot more engagement with people when its time to celebrate the best films of the year. We’d like to see something along the lines of what the above betterifs have suggested implemented in the Oscar viewing experience. We hope that once you’ve watched the Oscars this coming Sunday, you’ll let us know what innovative suggestions, feedback and ideas you have for making the Oscars better next year at Betterific.
Betterific gets a lot of ideas, suggestions and feedback relating to a wide variety of topics. This week we’re featuring an idea from one of our innovative members that has struck everyone’s fancy at Betterific. About a week ago, George Roche posted this betterif: “Wouldn’t it be better if the olympics also showed normal people doing the winter olympic events to give viewers a deeper appreciation of the athletes?” A few of us responded to the idea thinking it would be a hilarious hybrid between a sporting event/Jackass episode/American Idol… and then a few of us were thinking along the lines of more inspirational programming. Take someone who’s always had the dream of being an athlete and follow them through the process of training to be one and see what it takes to succeed (a la Biggest Loser).
The nice thing about crowdsourcing ideas for such creative topics like television programming is that there are numerous directions one could go that would all seemingly delight audiences, and apparently we’re not the only ones to recognize this. You may have heard that Amazon has started crowdsourcing feedback to get people’s reactions to pilot programming they’re developing for Amazon Prime’s on-demand television series. Depending on the number of votes that each pilot receives, decisions are made whether to put it into full scale production or to drop the show and find another. An article from last year in Entrepreneur magazine (Crowdsourcing’s New Platform: Prime Time Reality TV, by Catherine Clifford) details that CBS started working on a project for a television series that actually uses the crowd to decide which businesses should win money to fund their ventures, in an interesting Shark Tank twist. So far, we haven’t seen this show, called Crowd Rules, actually air… perhaps because it would have been more useful to ask the crowd first whether they’d be interested in watching this type of show.
And this again is why we love what Betterific can do and how awesome ideas can provide great value when they get to the right people. So, without further ado… here’s George explaining his vision of the idea:
GR: While watching the Sochi winter Olympics at a bar, I kept hearing the same comment from people along the lines of, “I think I could be an olympic bobsledder. It doesn’t even look that hard.” To which I would reply, “prove it.” Basically, I thought it would be fun to give some perspective on just how remarkable Olympic and professional athletes truly are by having normal people take a stab at it. Having some normal person trying to bobsled, figure skate, or curl would be interesting to watch. It would be both amusing and also quiet the people with inflated heads about how they could have been Olympians. And really this concept could apply to any pro sport or sporting event.
GG: Who would you like to see take this idea and run with it? Is it an idea for a reality TV show or a new sporting event perhaps?
GR: A TV show or web series would be a great format for this, and it could be done for a range of sports. What I’m picturing is American Gladiator meets Most Extreme Elimination Challenge where you are getting normal people to complete physical activities and then compare their results with a professional (or retired professional) athlete. Watch Usain Bolt smoke a slightly overweight mid-thirty year old. Or Justin Verlander blast a fastball by someone. Though the ultimate is really US football where people love to berate players for dropping catches…that they themselves would be able to complete maybe one out of a thousand times.
GG: Why do you think this is a good idea? Who would benefit from it?
GR: The benefit would really go to the athletes themselves because it would help ground people’s expectations and also highlight their skills. It would give a healthier appreciation of olympians and pro athletes across the board. Plus it would also be good for a laugh.
GG: What do you think about all the upvotes your idea has gotten?
GR: The upvotes validate that people would like the opportunity to see what your average person is capable of athletically. It also validates that it’s kind of hard to appreciate some sports that you’ve never played, or even seen live. Watching a cross country skier collapse at the end of the race is both inspiring and terrifying. But it begs the question, “how well could I have done?”
Thanks George for being such a great Betterific user!
Written by Gwen Gurley