If it’s true that the best entrepreneurs don’t start companies, but rather create categories, then the creator of VidFall, Joel Robinson, is a friggin’ genius. He’s taken the concepts of video advertising, crowdsourcing, and online auctions, and meshed them together into a hybrid that is unique, original, and oddly coherent.
Just what is VidFall?
It’s an online auction website for goods, services, and travel, where prices fall as users watch sponsored videos. Each time a user views a video advertisement on the website, VidFall takes the money that advertisers pay in and then applies it towards a discount for one item, thus decreasing the price that you would pay if you wanted to buy it from a store.
“On an individual level, if I’m just watching an ad, getting a few pennies here or there, that’s really not even worth my time,” said Robinson in a recent interview with LehighValleyLive.com. “So, I thought, why not get a big group of people together, combine all this revenue, and actually do something worthwhile with it?”
Essentially, you’re working with your fellow VidFall users and competing against them at the same time. The more users there are watching videos, the faster prices fall; but the first person who decides to Buy Now gets the entire group discount.
Items offered will vary, but some examples include iPhones, gift cards, and luxurious vacations. VidFall will also use charity auctions as a means of supplying donations to worthwhile causes all over the world.
“What we hope to do is find a veteran who will be getting married soon and pay for his or her honeymoon with crowd-sourced video ad revenue,” he continued. “You’re paying for it with your time, and that money is going toward a really good cause.”
Robinson, a student entrepreneur at Lehigh University, tapped his professors and friends for months for feedback on the idea. Through these efforts, he eventually landed a financier in Wasabi Ventures.
“My experience with Wasabi Ventures is really a testament to how random the world can be and how important it is to meet new people and make new connections,” Robinson said. “I met a student at another school while visiting a friend, and in our conversation he mentioned he was working at a venture capital firm. The next morning, I immediately sent him an email saying my interest, and he set me up within a week.”
We can definitely see this being a strapped college student’s dream come true. Heck, if people actually participate in that blasted Bing Rewards program where you can search things like “ajfjdsf;j;sadjfljsdfj;ldas;ljfasdlfj;lasf” and get credit towards a $5 Amazon gift card every few months, then why not? Thumbs up, guys!
The first phase of launch is complete and “phase two,” whatever that means, will begin on March 10 per the VidFall Twitter page (@vidfall).
If you want to get signed up early, just log on to vidfall.com and follow the instructions.
Check out the demonstration video here: