Starting your own business is never easy, especially without advice. But even for those who get advice from family, friends, colleagues or trusted advisors, that sometimes isn’t enough, according to Israeli startup CrowdAdvisor. The online service, to be launched in the next few days, calls itself a ”worldwide marketplace for feedback.”
“CrowdAdviser is all about taking into account the collective opinion of a group rather than a single expert to answer a question, ” says CrowdAdviser CEO Guy Simon. ”By allowing businesses to get instant feedback and inspiration from potential customers around the world, we make it easier to make a dream come true, ” he adds.
According to Simon, “thirty percent of small businesses won’t even make it past the first five years and we want to increase their success rate.”
The key, he believes, is customer feedback.
The business of questions and answers
Using CrowdAdviser, businesses can create a profile and post questions they need answered by the public and potential customers. They can also narrow their audience by selecting age group, profession, or location to acquire the exact market they are looking for.
And those who impart their wisdom don’t have to do it for free either. Compensation is awarded to the person who provides the “best” answer selected by the business asking the question. Companies send the money to CrowdAdviser, which then wires it to the winner through PayPal.
The crowd also has the ability to customize their profile by selecting topics they would like to be consulted on. In selecting a question on CrowdAdviser (similar to eBay’s auction selection), the crowd is also able to pick only questions that offer the highest monetary reward, or select questions based on the time remaining.
Your opinion matters
CrowdAdviser adopted some features for their platform typically found in gaming applications. The more active you are on CrowdAdviser by “liking” posts and answering questions, the higher rank you score for your profile. “The ranking system on CrowdAdviser serves as a credibility confirmation, ” explains Simon. If an individual has a high ranking, it shows the user is more experienced on CrowdAdviser, therefore, businesses and users are more likely to trust the opinion over other users with a lower ranking.
CrowdAdviser also recognizes highlights the most unique and interesting ideas by putting them up in the headline of their main page.
Understanding what the customer wants
In the future CrowdAdviser plans to adopt the Natural Language Processing (NLP) engine, which will enable their system to derive meaning from natural language input.
The engine will automatically analyze the relevance of the text in people’s comments in relation to the question asked so that businesses will obtain the precise information they are looking for.
At the moment, CrowdAdviser is self-funded. However, they plan on start fundraising discussions with potential investors following their launch, expected for the next few days. “We want to show them that it’s more than just an idea, ” says Simon.
Meanwhile, the startup says it is closing deals with entrepreneurs and startup companies in Israel and the US.