I Dare You to Read This

I don’t post business or website ideas on this blog as often as I used to, but I’m in the mood to do that today.

Today, for some odd reason, I was thinking about dares. I’m the guy in Truth or Dare who will always accept truth over dare…I’ll tell you anything. Really. But dare me to do something mildly silly and I’ll back down.

But dares are still fun. Not nasty, crass dares, but clever, funny dares (the same rules apply to April Fool’s Day pranks).

The problem is, dares can be expensive. Maybe you dare your friend to go make a fool out of himself, and his response is, “I’ll do it if you give me $50.” Of course you’re not going to give him $50 for a silly little dare.

That’s where crowdsourcing comes in. I’m talking about the Kickstarter model that I idolize. This is how it would work:

1. You think of a crazy dare for a friend. You want Sally Q. to start a pillow fight out of nowhere at girl’s night. So you go to DareStarter.com, type in Sally’s e-mail address, along with the dare.

2. Sally gets the e-mail. She can reject the dare outright, or she can accept the dare for a monetary amount of her choice.

3. An e-mail is sent to you with Sally’s acceptance. It’s then your job to forward the link to all your friends who know Sally who might be willing to chip in a few bucks to see Sally do the dare. When they go to DareStarter.com, they see something like this:

The site puts all pledges in reserve (credit cards are not charged at the point of pledge) so that if the goal isn’t met, nobody gets charged.

As you can see, there’s also an incentive to pledge–you get a photo or whatever other creative rewards you think of.

4. Last, when the goal is realized, the dare is accomplished, and the photo is taken, the person who completed the dare has the option of posting a photo or video of the dare to DareStarter.com. If they do, they get a reward–maybe a few dollars to pledge in the future themselves. That person also gets the $50 they asked for, of course, perhaps minus a small percentage to cover fees for the website.

What do you think? What would you dare your friends to do?

12 thoughts on “I Dare You to Read This”

  1. Interesting site… I am not sure I would ever use it. My last dare was for someone to eat sushi… and it was no fun, cuzz she liked it! (I like it too, but it’s fun to see the faces when they don’t!)

    These days, I would have to do something mean to my mommy friends… like dare them to go 24 hours without checking their email… or taking the kids to school/store/church in a bathrobe 😉

    Yah, I live the crazy life.

  2. I’m still amazed that there are people out there who don’t like sushi. I think I’ve just been eating it for so long that it tastes normal (and delicious) to me, but I guess it’s very new to someone to eat raw fish for the first time.

    Going to church (or anywhere, really) in a bathrobe would be awesome. I’d dare people to do that.

  3. Legit Big Picture question: When does a dare become a bet? Is it the reciprocation of money? ‘If I do, I get the money, if I don’t, I have to give you money.” Because this may basically become a Gambling site, that those get sticky.

    Practically speaking though, there would need to be an agreed upon validation method for the dare. ‘Janey will be at girls night, accomplishment of the dare to be determined by Janey.’ And who holds the money? Darestarter, the daregiver, or each contributor?

    And why doe sthis image look like an Iphone App?

    • That’s a good point–this is essential a bet. But it’s not gambling. With gambling, you’re taking a chance, a chance that you might lose. There’s none of that here. DareStarter holds the funds until the goal is met and the dare is accomplished. If the goal isn’t met, no one’s credit card is charged.

      It does look a little bit like an iPhone app, doesn’t it? But go look at KickStarter–I essentially took it from their site.

  4. I think it would be a hit with the younger crowd. My teens are always daring each other to do things like swallow a tablespoon of cinnamon or drink a cup of vinegar. They get their ideas from other kids daring their friends and posting the videos on youtube. Mine owe each other hundreds of dollars that, obviously, will never be paid. So, hey, go for it! Targeting this crowd makes marketing easy, too.

  5. This idea reminds me of Silent Library. It is a show where contestants do weird tasks in a quiet library to win some cold, hard cash. The only way to increase the amount of money in the pot is to do them without making too much noise, hence the name of the show is Silent Library.


    I think your site idea would even be more awesome if it already has a list of wacky ideas to dare someone to do.


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