Jun 18 , 2010

Honorable Mention In The Betacup Challenge!

The Betacup challenge is now over, and Champion Cup ended up as one of three runners up to receive an honorable mention from the Betacup jury! Huge thanks to the organizers, to the jury, to all those who supported it and congrats to the other winners and everyone else who took part!

I’m grateful for the feedback from the jury. Jake Nickell, founder of Threadless:

While I was hoping for a solution that would solve everything, I think that’s a pipe dream. So I was looking for something that would have the biggest impact. I think this is the one. In today’s social climate, I just felt like the idea behind this had the most potential to engage a large amount of people. I love how it spreads into so many online social presences and could really see millions of people participating and actually bringing the cup back just because they could so easily share that they are being socially responsible to all their friends.

… and Starbucks’ Jim Hanna:

The concept encompasses a number of strategic Starbucks platforms, including engaging digital communities, rewards for frequency, transaction automation, relatively easy exchange of universal tumblers.

Particular congratulations to Karma Cup, the top prize winner! I’m actually quite awed at the simplicity of their solution. Even though it only requires a chalkboard, it gets at most of the behavioural issues that need to be addressed. By ignoring non-reusable mugs, it provides a public nudge, gently shaming people away from disposable cups. Its collective reward fosters a sense of community. As Allan pointed out, the playful jockeying for position to get free coffee will probably lead to fun encounters in line. It’s open as any coffee shop with a blackboard can participate. Finally, the low tech nature communicates the thrifty spirit that we need to beat this problem.

I hope the final approach will include a technological platform like Champion Cup, mainly because it would make it possible to visualize the problem and share in the solution on an enormous scale. Exposing that data would also create many more touchpoints we could harness to change our behaviour. That said, Karma Cup should be implemented right now because of the ridiculous amount that it would achieve with its elegant, inexpensive solution.

Road infrastructure paved the way for the car. Electrical infrastructure ushered in the modern era of household convenience. Radio infrastructure allowed us to create wonderful things like the mobile phone. We need a new infrastructure now, but as seen in the Karma Cup, Champion Cup and many others, the product won’t be physical.

The product of this new infrastructure needs to be massive behaviour change.

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