The Big Red Button

bttnI’m not exactly sure why I think this is cool, but I like products that bridge the gap between the intangible and tangible.

Today I read about something called “bttn,” a big red button that you can program to do…well, pretty much anything. Here are a few examples that SpringWise mentioned the bttn can do when pressed:

  • trigger an alert on your phone
  • count things (it’ll keep track of every time it’s pressed)
  • send out alerts when it’s not pressed, like if you want to keep tabs on an elderly relative

Those ideas sound relatively banal, but I feel like there’s a lot of potential for this. First, there’s something satisfying about pressing a big red button, especially if something happens when you press it. Second, you could have it trigger anything–a tweet, a photo (if you have the camera set up),

Here are a few of my ideas for bttn:

  • You could put it in a restaurant for people to press when they’re really happy with the service or to let their waiter know when they’re ready.
  • I feel like this would be good for “only use in case of emergency” situations, but preferably comical ones, like something that would happen in an Austin Powers movie.
  • It would also make for an interesting social experiment to put the bttn in a public place with a sign that said, “Don’t press the button” to see how many people would press the button.

Can you think of something fun you could do with a big red button?

4 thoughts on “The Big Red Button”

  1. I would’ve loved to have this for our Kickstarter launch party

    I might be misremembering this but I thought that Kickstarter originally had a virtual red button that you press to launch your campaign. I recall learning about this from Double Fine Adventure’s mega hit campaign, Broken Age.

    So when we asked our gaming buddies to join us for our campaign launch video, we expected a little more pizzazz. Instead we were greeted with a normal green button.

    We had two outtakes of me pressing the button and people cheering. The first time, I was met with a terms and conditions page. That was anticlimactic. People laughed and cheered anyway. The second time, we did end up launching the campaign but there was about 30 seconds of waiting for the page to load before we actually got confirmation. We filmed the whole thing but I was only able to use the beginning 16 seconds of it. The rest was everyone standing around wondering if it went through:

    • Allen: That video is awesome! It looks like you have a lot of supportive friends. I actually didn’t realize that Rise to Power was your game–congrats on the successful campaign!

      • Thanks! We’ve learned a lot from your wealth of articles and podcast interviews (Blue peg, Pink Peg and Funding the Dream). So a big thanks to you for being a mentor and an inspiration for aspiring project creators such as ourselves.


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