What's beyond cool? At Bawte we
want, scratch that, need to be beyond cool. But not in the way you may think. Beyond cool to us does not mean super-cool. Nope, to us it means utilitarian. Sounds a bit odd, we know. You typically think of something that is utiltiarian as striving to get to beyond simple utiltiy to the apex of 'cool'. We actually see it in quite the reverse for Bawte. How so? Let me tell you.
Check-ins, tagging, rating, sharing, tweeting, posting (OK, I'll stop) are all pretty popular things to do amongst social media users. Often times though there is this nagging question, "Why did I just do that?" Why did I check into a location or an event or a TV show? Why did I blast something out to my 10,000 followers on Twitter (or in my case +300 :|)? Most often there isn't much of a compelling reason.
Many times when I check in on Foursquare (and I do often) there is little reward. Beyond getting my points and moving up from #18 to #17 among my friends, there isn't much reason for me to check in to a location. Now don't take this as a bash on Foursquare. I love Foursquare and when you consider how it came about (social experiment) it has evolved quite dramatically and for the better. I am certain the brains in NY have been thinking for a long time about getting to the place beyond cool where they are delivering value on a majority of those check-ins.
When we started Bawte, it was imperative that we deliver value from the get-go. I could rattle off all the ways we plan on delivering value, but its easier for me to give examples.
Say you buy a sleek new TV. As you open that package you see the clear plastic bag of "stuff". "Stuff" includes, instructions, product registration, warranty info, possibly service info and a bunch of other things that you have no idea what to do with. I mean, you just bought this super skinny flat panel TV and the paper that comes with it is thicker than the TV itself. Do you keep the "stuff"? Do you register the TV? What happens if you don't? Do you need the manual? All these questions with no real good answer.
Bawte enables that pile of papers to be thrown away (In the recycling! Let's be green for crying out loud.) With a quick tag of the product, registration is done. From that tag we now create a history of products tagged. So at any time you can see that TV and open up a nice little brand page which includes info on the product you purchased, like tag date, instructions, warranty, service contact info and much more. All of this at your fingertips. Sure much of this info is all available on the brands' websites, but when you click that dropdown to find your TV, do you remember if you bought the XJRB10-J or the XVRB10-J? If you're like me, the answer is "No". How awesome and useful would it be to have that a click away? I really have to come up with a better way to prove a point beyond rhetorical questions. :/
What about being useful for products that may not require this level of engagement? Let's say you go into your favorite convenience store to grab a super-cold fountain pop with their crushed ice. Nothing to register. No instruction manual. No warranty. So why tag it? Well beyond a quick and easy way to share the info (have you ever wondered what someone's twitter handle was mid-tweet?) we think these brands will want to incentivise your continued patronage (AKA loyalty). This can mean free products, money off, swag. Again, that goes beyond being cool. It has a material impact.
Bawte, I am certain, will continue to evolve, but our users can be assured that while we aim to be cutting edge and cool, there will always be a utilitarian backstory to everything we do. If we are merely cool we are easily replaced by the next cool idea…and that is not cool.