Flare app crowdsources feedback on your next big idea

The Flare iOS app is a sort of 'Tinder for business ideas' that lets you swipe through concepts posted by others, and upload your own ideas to solicit early feedback before launching crowdfunding campaigns.

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Credit: Flare

If you think you have the next great business idea, you could launch a Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign. However, you need a video to show off your vision, and that means you probably need a prototype, or at least a concept that's at least mostly-baked.

Flare, a new, free iOS app from GoDaddy, is designed to let people or organizations post new business ideas that are still in conceptual phases. Some uncharitable types might call these ideas "half-baked," but you have to start somewhere. And sharing nascent business concepts on Flare could help solicit useful feedback.

Flare is also about checking out new business ideas from others. The app shows you three ideas, presented as cards. A swipe left lets you skip an idea, and the app then hides it from view and replaces it with another idea card. You can swipe right to "snooze" cards, presumably for saving or viewing again later. Flare is a kind of "Tinder for business ideas," thanks to all the swiping.

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You can tap a "heart" icon to follow an idea and show support. If an idea receives at least 10 followers within 24 hours, it remains active in the app, and the person who posted it can ask followers a set of yes-or-no questions.

Flare is packed with impractical, futuristic and altruistic ideas

So what kinds of ideas can you expect to see in Flare? Based on my experience, the gamut runs from impractical ("puppy rooms") to futuristic ("drone delivery landing pad") to altruistic (bags of supplies for the homeless). I saw an idea for an artificial intelligence plugin meant to "block racist comments from being seen while you're browsing the web" that would learn "to block sneaky racist comments more effectively." And I saw a "M.I.N.D. chip" designed to improve the memories of patients with dementia, Alzheimer's, or paralysis — an idea that's "very feasible," according to its originator.

Ye another idea in Flare is for a "tulip pillow." Yes ... a tulip pillow.

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Web surfers, Android users interested in Flare are out of luck

Flare is currently only available on iOS. There's no web version, though an Android app is expected soon. Given the limited audience (at least for now), it's unclear just how much interaction and feedback you receive when you post ideas. However, you can easily share concepts in the app on social media, and that could help find a wider audience.

Could someone steal a great idea posted on Flare? Absolutely. GoDaddy even addressed the potential problem on its Flare FAQ page: "In some cases, you may want to consider not sharing some technical details right away or filing a provisional patent to secure patent-pending status."

Flare is easy to use, and it is fun to flick through the various ideas within the app. It may even help you come up with a brilliant idea of your own.

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