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