Friday, April 15, 2011


Last week, my younger sister sent me a text message with a business idea: a check-in website, similar to foursquare, but entirely dedicated to helping people find free food.

As soon as I read it I thought, "That's GENIUS."

We all remember being in college, hanging out in our dorm rooms, and then getting an email that said "Free pizza in the..." - and running out of the room before we even had time to finish reading.
How many boring panels did you get stuck in because of the allure of free burritos?

Then I started thinking....why limit it to food? Why not have a site dedicated to helping people find free EVERYTHING?!

Here's how it would work:

You sign up as a member in our mobile app - let's call it "freeloader." Once you're signed in, you use your phone to check in every time you're in a restaurant, store, office, etc. that's giving away free stuff.

So for instance, you walk into a bar, and they're giving away free vodka martinis as part of their grey goose promotion. You check in and let the rest of us freeloaders know where to head. Or you're on campus and some political organization is giving out Obama-shaped cookies - again, you let us know!
Maybe you're at the final hour of a garage sale, and the host decides to throw away all of the stuff she hasn't sold. You check in, and a dozen people are instantly able to turn her trash into treasures. The possibilities are endless!
Apparently the one on the left is supposed to be McCain. But who cares? They're free.

 How it would make money:
Is that all you people ever think about!? I give you GOLD, and you still come back to the money questions.

Well as far as I can see, there's only one way for this idea to make money, and that's via ad revenue. Generally speaking, I prefer that a business idea have more than one possible revenue source, but I just can't see the other interested parties paying to play. Consumers aren't going to pay to be told where to find free stuff (because that's just self-defeating), and businesses aren't going to pay to give away free stuff (though how awesome would that be?).

That said, I'm not too worried about the lack of additional revenue streams, because considering how insanely popular this app would be, I'm guessing a whole lot of advertisers would be interested.

So who wants some freebies? Let me know your thoughts.

Shoutout to: pingmag, chewonthat

1 comment:

  1. sounds good - kind of similar to freecycle, but involving businesses. could def tap into the budget-conscious and freegan communities.