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A platform where people can win money/prizes by performing ridiculous challenges set by the sponsor

Image credit: Scene from Taskmaster UK, Channel 4

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Spook Louw
Spook Louw Jan 12, 2022
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A platform where users can put up a bounty to be won by anyone who completes the task in the most entertaining/creative way.
Why?
  • It would be entertaining for both the sponsor and the participants.
  • It could provide quick bonus income for winners.
  • It would be a good way for users to constantly challenge themselves to think creatively.
How it works
Based on a combination of the social media platform TikTok, the gameshow Taskmaster and platforms for freelancers like Freelancer.com, this app would have two basic functions: Posting a challenge and viewing existing challenges.
The challenges
Users would only be able to see the bounty and the title of the challenge before opening it. Once opened your time will start (time limits to be set by the sponsor) and you will not be able to reattempt a challenge from your device. By adding time constraints contestants will have to be creative and use whatever they have to complete the challenge. The entire process will be filmed, so, the app will start filming as soon as you open a challenge.
Winning
The person or company sponsoring the task will pick a winner. The bounty will be held in escrow from the beginning to ensure that a winner is picked.
Videos
The videos will be uploaded by the app automatically when the time runs out, once a winner is chosen the app will delete all submission videos apart from the winning one which will remain visible on the sponsor's profile.
Examples
Challenges are meant to be for entertainment purposes only, so while they need to be creatively challenging, they do not necessarily have to have a purpose.
Examples of tasks would be Build the highest tower using only material found in the room you are currently in (if you're outside, anything you can find outside). You have 1 hour. or Read the following paragraph, changing your accent at the beginning of each new sentence. You have 15 minutes.
Getting companies involved might provide larger bounties, which could be paid from their advertising budget. Imagine Coca Cola posting a challenge like Sing the best lovesong to a glass of Coke, you have 30 minutes to prepare, then 1 attempt to record or Recreate a scene from your favourite movie, with a can of Coke playing the leading role, you have 1 hour to prepare before filming will begin.
This could be a very entertaining way to keep yourself or a group of friends occupied while also providing an opportunity to make some extra money.
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Creative contributions

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Danny Weir
Danny Weir Jan 15, 2022
What an excellent idea! With the way our younger generation is currently moulding society (even my mum is addicted to TikTok) I can see this idea taking off like one of Elon's rockets! It would without doubt create an engaging and entertaining platform that I could see creating serious amounts of money for sponsors and participants alike.
Do you think it should be its own standalone app? or maybe to piggyback on another up such as TikTok? There have obviously been several challenges on social media platforms over the past decade or so that have created a real stir, but they have often been quite short-lived. Do you believe that the different types of challenges and sponsors will be able to maintain an active audience for a longer period?
One thing I will say is that I can imagine that TikTok, Instagram, Twitter etc. have thrown around similar ideas to this and haven't yet bitten the bullet and launched something. If this is something that was gonna work as a small, independent start-up then you'd have to be the first to the market and have some major players on board (such as Coca-Cola) in order to survive against those big dogs.
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Spook Louw
Spook Louw11 days ago
Combining it with an existing platform would definitely be less risky and easier, it would however compromise some of the core characteristics of the original idea. The only way I can imagine it working on another platform is if it was added as a new feature, in which case it would still need to be built from scratch.
Connecting it with existing models such as hashtags for instance would mean that the time constraints and therefore the spontaneity of the solutions and ideas (an integral factor in my opinion) would be lost.
Also, I believe that the big social media brands would not be able to execute the idea as it was originally proposed because they tend not to want to take part in any transactions made on their sites. When a competition is run on Instagram or Facebook, for instance, Facebook and Instagram have nothing to do with the competition, they don't ensure it and they are not liable if anything goes wrong. For the platform I am suggesting, the app would work like a freelance platform, taking the money from the sponsor and holding it in escrow until a winner is picked. Facebook would not be able to do that at this time.
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General comments

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Darryl Koh Yuan Jie
Darryl Koh Yuan Jie13 days ago
You mentioned that the main purpose would be creative challenges that do not necessarily require a purpose. I would suggest the opposite however, meaning to say the challenges should be creative but it would be better for there to be some form of purpose to it even if it is a minor one. This is because if you want companies to sponsor you, you must be able to bring something to the table, eg through sponsoring advertising their products and also ensure that viewers have a reason to watch or join the challenges. A great case in point would be Mr Beast from youtube who has many crazy challenge videos that seemingly do not have any real purpose except for the fun of it. However, companies sponsor him because:
  1. He is famous enough at the moment.
  2. He stills mentions or thank his sponsors in his videos(Some of his prizes are the company's products itself, eg phones, cars etc thus marketing the company itself)
You need an answer when companies ask, "Why should I sponsor your platform?" Therefore, I suggest challenges that give company a reason to sponsor. For example, users can create a challenge to come up with the most interesting food or drinks using coke as an ingredient. This would be more interesting that simply singing to a bottle of coke. Users would be much more interested to come up with different combinations and compete to create the best one. For simpler videos, it can be something like lip sync to this song or act to this movie scene and the most compelling one will be the winner. The songs and movies receive attention from users, thus boosting sales and viewership. In fact, such trends are actually prevalent on TikTok right now and it definitely can be used as reference. I like the idea of invoking creativity and allowing users to make some money on the side but I think in order for it to be feasible, such factors have to be taken into consideration!
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Spook Louw
Spook Louw11 days ago
Darryl Koh Yuan Jie I think your reasoning is solid, especially from a business perspective. I think this is a perfect illustration of why any new business should ensure they have well-defined goals. In order to make the prizes attractive, you would need business sponsors, in which case using an existing platform might be more effective (as mentioned in an earlier comment) and it would be sensible to have the challenges be relevant in order to attract sponsors.
But as soon as the challenges become too specified they essentially become freelance jobs, not fun challenges. When challenging someone to come up with a recipe for something, for example, it would be better to simply pay someone a set amount of money to focus on the job over a longer period of time. I don't think such an app would be able to compete against opportunities to make real money.
So I think the goal of the app needs to be focused more on being a fun boredom buster rather than a platform for job opportunities. If, for instance, Google sponsors a competition to design a special anniversary logo, where the winner gets $10 000, I'm not entering because I'm not a designer and I obviously know that real designers will be investing time to do their best work, so I stand no chance. If, however, Google sponsors 100 challenges throughout the year, two challenges per week, each with a short time limit, I might be more inclined to take a shot, as I know it's a competition between amateurs and there are factors like time and what the specific challenge is that might work in my favour.
In such instances, I don't think the tasks need to have relevance or purpose, Google will get the return on their investment simply by having their logo on the challenge page if enough people participate. So I think the challenge would be to make it as inviting and easy as possible for people to participate, rather than trying to make sure all entries are of high quality.
I think, if such an app were to work, it would be because people are willing to sponsor their own $5 or $10 challenges in return for the entertainment they get from the entries and the thrill of being able to pick a winner. If this process becomes popular enough big companies will follow.
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Darryl Koh Yuan Jie
Darryl Koh Yuan Jie9 days ago
Spook Louw Ahh I see, actually I agree with your second paragraph. I guess it is sort of a balance that has to be implemented regarding the type of activities the app advocates for. Perhaps, one way to go about it would be to have a wide variety of activities that focuses on different aspects of the industry. For example, there can be activities that evoke artistic freedom and creation(like the example you mentioned regarding designing of a logo), there can also be activities that encourage engineering(no matter how small the feat). Thus, people who are passionate or are skilled in certain areas are able to put them to good use.
Regarding your last paragraph, you are absolutely right! My sentiments are that I am unsure if many are willing to sponsor their own money for such challenges however. On apps like TikTok, challenges usually do not cost anything. Pretty much the entire platform is free, anyone can create anything.
Personally, if I were to ask myself would I watch someone building the highest tower with only materials in my room, I would probably not be that interested. However, it might be interesting to others. Having a category of sorts could also help ensure the app is concise and that the user experience is to the point!
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JN
J. Nikola15 days ago
Cool idea, but, based on my experience with newcomers in the world of videos, Youtube is the mother, and is very hard to compete with it. People and companies started a challenge where I decided to participate many times, and every time the video ended on Youtube.
Therefore, what do you think about starting a dedicated Youtube account where you post the explanation videos for the challenges based on the sponsor's wishes? Then you link the participant's videos of these challenges, the winner gets chosen and paid by the sponsor, and you earn money by clicks and views. The problem would be to get the sponsors to use your account instead of theirs. Additional motivation could be that the winner would be awarded 50% by the sponsor's bounty and 50% by the video earnings.
The other option is better categorization of videos on Youtube. What if there was a "challenge" category that gathers all the videos with a certain hashtag or a title by using a strong AI? That way you could post or find/browse all the challenges and apply them by linking your video to it. Would it be similar enough to your idea or do you think the new platform would do it better?
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Spook Louw
Spook Louw14 days ago
J. Nikola I try to take the emphasis off the actual videos for this very reason, the goal of the app is to be a platform for creative challenges, not a video repository, that's why I mentioned, all attempts except the winner gets deleted.
You could simply do it via a dedicated YouTube channel or even just by using certain hashtags on Instagram or TikTok, but one of the most important elements of the challenge will then be lost, namely time constraints. Asking people to post their attempts on a third party platform gives them time to plan their submission which takes a lot of the creativity away.
I completely understand and agree with your concerns, but for this to work optimally I believe it would have to run off its own platform.
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