Your friends and family will tell you your product is fantastic, so who can you get to spend their precious free time testing your wares (and do it for free)?
Enter startup BetaBait, which lets early adopters sign up to hear about companies like yours – those that need people to give honest feedback about their wares.
After BetaBait accepts you (you fill out an application the website promises takes "2 minutes"), you'll be included on an email registered users receive of start-ups looking for beta testers. Users can opt to receive the email daily, weekly or monthly.
"We've seen a massive amount of interest from startups looking to get off the ground," co-founder Cody Barbierri told the Boston Business Journal. The site, which launched in mid-December, already has more than a thousand start-ups signed up – and more than 5,000 people willing to play guinea pig. (BetaBeat also offers some tips to make yourself more appealing to potential testers.)
Barbierri – an occasional VentureBeat contributor – initially said his goal was not money, though new features of the site will make it easier for the company to make some. There are sponsorships of the email and website available – in other words, kick in some cash to BetaBeat and your company will be featured more prominently.
The Bridgeport, Connecticut-based company also launched an "online discovery" service where both users and start-ups can see all the submitted apps online, vote on them (don't worry, you won't be voted off the island), and comment on them, a la Facebook.
Currently, the site is heavy on social networking apps that need testing. Business-focused apps are the second-biggest group.
And attention Hallmark: BetaBait is also petitioning the White House for a nationwide Early Adopters Day. They've chosen Sept. 20 as the date, and are asking for Tweets in support of it. Visit the website, click your approval, and a Tweet automatically will be sent to @BarackObama.
Barbierri told TechCrunch: "Without [early adopters], Foursquare would have never reached the masses, same with most startups that are big right now. So, because they are such an important part of the Startup ecosystem, we felt a nationally recognized day would be a nice 'thank you.' Plus, entrepreneurs have their own day (Nov. 20), so we thought it was only fair."
What do you think about Early Adopters Day? (We're taking nominations for the best – and most entertainingly appropriate – gifts!)
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