Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Favorboard - Startup Profile - I Don't Get It?

Another startup sort of spammed me last night. I'm not sure why I got an email from FavorBoard? I definitely didn't sign up for anything so now I'm wondering where they got my email address.

Anyway, might as well let you know what I think about them. They aim to make it easy for students to "find help with class, organize a study group, get a ride to class, get help solving your computer issues, meet your classmates, and more...all from students on your campus!"

I've always thought there needed to be a more social way to facilitate interaction between classmates. At Haas, we used Google Groups to provide a group email that students could subscribe to - that way you could blast your message out to your class. And it was easy for the rest of the class to either listen or ignore what was coming. And it worked.

With FavorBoard - I think they're overestimating the idea that people want to actively help out other students. People will help, but I don't think most students are going to spend time searching for tasks they can assist with. If you simply get an email digest at the end of the day, well, what advantage does it have over Google Groups? Or what advantage does it have over a Facebook group or something like that?

I guess it comes down to this. I don't get their value ad. And, why limit it to just posting favors? Why not create a more specialized class social network or something to actually help a class become more cohesive?


Anonymous said...

A common misunderstanding is that by this method a hypothesis can be proven or tested. Generally a hypothesis is used to make predictions that can be tested by observing the outcome of an experiment. If the outcome is inconsistent with the hypothesis, then the hypothesis is rejected. However, if the outcome is consistent with the hypothesis, the experiment is said to support the hypothesis. This careful language is used because research papers recognize that alternative hypotheses may also be consistent with the observations. In this sense, a hypothesis can never be proven, but rather only supported by surviving rounds of scientific testing and, eventually, becoming widely thought of as true (or better, predictive), but this is not the same as it having been proven. A useful hypothesis allows prediction and within the accuracy of observation of the time, the prediction will be verified. As the accuracy of observation improves with time, the hypothesis may no longer provide an accurate prediction. In this case a new hypothesis will arise to challenge the old, and to the extent that the new hypothesis makes more accurate predictions than the old, the new will supplant it.

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