TBWA unleashed a new app to identify promising start-up opportunities. The app itself, called CoCreator, functions much like an online dating service – Entrepreneurs are encouraged to join the service using their LinkedIn accounts, and log a short description about an idea that they require assistance in seeing through to the next level. The app stables a field of TBWA experts in the fields of Branding and Communication, Business and Product, and Marketing and Partnerships that users can select from. Assuming the expert sees potential in the idea…a partnership is born.
Why I’m Curious?
This is just one more in a long line of examples of established businesses dedicating resources to identifying and incubating new ideas.
In an ideal scenario, one where people sign-up in droves, the approach seems particularly savvy – The app will serve to extend the agency’s pool of ideas beyond the confines of their immediate employee network, and as a potential new business generator and/or talent identifier.
But, it would seem to me that there are a fair amount of hurdles standing in the way of a rich, diverse user base…
You’ve got to wonder to what degree potential users will be skeptical of sharing their ideas with agency professionals…because, you know, who’s to say that the idea won’t surface “on its own, organic accord” from within the agency itself several months down the line? More skepticism…to what degree does the “expert” take ownership of the idea? As a user, I’ve got to be comfortable with sacrificing a potentially significant degree of control over the future of my idea…In following with the tone of the app trailer, the whole thing seems a tad naive.
We’ll see…my hunch is that many of the app’s users will be OK with the above, but it’ll dilute the purity/quality of the ideas on offer. The app hinges on there being a certain degree of cache in the TBWA brand, and I think that that cache will attract a certain type of prospect – One who is likely already an industry professional, or one who aspires to become one…I don’t see this app attracting bona fide entrepreneurs with ideas for which they’re willing to fight tooth and nail.