This or That

Tap your social community to help make decisions; from where to eat, who to date, what to do...

What's the big idea?

This or That (ToT) is a social application that allows users to login with existing social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare. Pinterest), to help make decisions; from where to eat, what to wear, whom to date, what to do…all in real time.  The application is an image based simple polling tool that brings friends, trusted decisions makers, and total strangers together to help you make decisions on the frivolous or major moments in your life.  ToT is not intended to be a stand-alone social media platform, but a plugin to many existing while also creating an independent audience.

Describe the nearest player in your field.

Facebook polling applications have come and gone, and the biggest reason they didn’t have staying power, is that they don’t support an easy interface for the mobile user, and the results were not tapping a large enough audience (beyond just your friends).

How are you different from that player?

Tot combines social audiences and drives one of its own.  By leveraging several online communities, and creating one for ToT users, we are able to drive fast, more reliable results for the user.  ToT takes the best elements of several existing social sites to drive a powerful tool for the user.

How's the world different with your idea in it?

We live in a world where social media has become a key driver.  The social landscape continues to change and new platforms continue to emerge.  ToT allows you to tap your close friends, acquaintances and strangers to help you make decisions.

Why are you the one to run with this idea?

Jon – Entrepreneur with success in 3 startup companies in the digital space, and managed digital media (Including social media) for a top 25 retailer. Tim – Director of media both traditional/digital for a top 25 retailer. Currently bringing his expertise to Michigan’s largest online news website.

There have been 14 replies to this page

  1. Shrineil Patel

    It’s a social polling cloud of sorts…what’s not to like?

  2. Brian Pugh

    Love the idea! It would be nice to get instant feedback from all sorts of people when I’m trying to decide what to do and can’t land on a decision. I can see the benifit to the user, but as a business how would you make money and be sustainable for the long haul?

  3. Frank Gorman

    Finally a way for the indecisive to get some answers. Love it!

  4. Jon Dodge


    Thank you for the great feedback!
    Brian - Like many social sites, the primary focus is on building traffic and a marketplace of activity.  Sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest were all focused on the user in mind first and foremost.  I see three key opportunities for ToT to drive revenue.
    1. Site/Application traffic can drive an advertising model.  Because many questions can and will be category driven, we can drive relevant advertising for the brands involved.
    2. Like many other social sites, brands can build audiences and ask questions.  Consumer insights is a billion dollar industry, and giving brands an opportunity to tab into their audiences, or build their audiences will provide very valuable insight.  Brands could target customer profiles, or questions asked by users of ToT.
    3. Possible exit strategy of being acquired.  When building a marketplace, big online entities are happy to shell out big dollars to acquire.
    This is all very conceptual, but there are several opportunities to monetize this concept.

  5. Tim Bennink

    Very cool guys. I see a lot of benefit here.

  6. Bryan Richards

    Great idea guys for us who have a hard time sometimes deciding what to do or where to eat at the last minute

  7. Amber Douglas Vanderslice

    I like this idea!

  8. Yvette Mayfield

    I’m starting to note questions now.  I now it hasn’t launched yet, but it will and I will be ready!  I’m also thinking of ways as a Entrepreneur myself how I can usethis app. You know alot of different people that do different and know alot of things. This app could get that: this or that question answered in seconds… You know the one do I buy this or this one? What would my buddy, co-worker, friend of friend do? Exciting stuff. :)

  9. Will Vanden Breul

    I like this idea but have a few reservations.

    1) I like the idea of instant feedback, but until you gain a large enough user base, I’m afraid real time questions like the “Should I order the burger or salad” from your screencap above won’t be answered fast enough. It’d be great to get advice like that, especially say at a food truck you’ve never been to before but your friends have, but if it takes 15 or 20 minutes for somebody to see your question and respond, it’s going to be too late because you’ve already ordered. That being said I can see instant, or lets say sub 5 minute feedback, being useful in a number of situations, like at a movie theater for example. Just something to think about.

    2) “Should I date Jeff or Jeremy?” Probably a question most women ask their girlfriends, and it’d be cool if her friends who didn’t live nearby could be linked to info/pictures about Jeff and Jeremy, but this also brings up a host of legal and privacy concerns.

    3) You mention leveraging the power of several online communities. I think this makes sense. And a lot of the questions are going to be more easily answered by displaying/linking to outside data on the web such as yelp for restaurant reviews, facebook, ect. This means you’ll likely be incorporating a number of different API’s from other social media companies. This isn’t a problem per se, just means you have to be aware about how all these TOS agreements affect your commercialization model.

    4) Like I said I think this sounds like a great idea and it also seems like you have the experience and passion to make it a reality. Best of luck.

  10. Jon Dodge


    Will - First, thank you very much for reviewing our idea.  These are some great questions and points that we’ve had to work through when building out the user experience.
    1. Instant feedback is absolutely critical to the success of the concept.  Your point on response timing is going to be key in driving users and keeping them.  This is why it is critical for ToT to integrate with other existing social platforms while we build our own user base.  This will allow the user to tab responses from “Friends”, “Followers”, “Pinned”, “Likes”, and complete strangers.  The user will have controls over what audiences get tabbed, and this will ultimately determine response times.
    2. We are not allowing anything to happen that doesn’t or couldn’t already happen in existing social networks.  Privacy is always a huge concern and focus when it comes to social networking.  I haven’t researched all of the legal implications, but feel confident we can provide an experience that is legal and protects our users.
    3. Lucky for us, many social networks encourage linking to their sites as it ultimately drives more users to them.  This being said, the API integrations are pretty much turn-key, and the TOS are templated for what data can and cannot be shared.  Facebook and Twitter will be the easiest, and Pinterest will require some custom development. There are hundreds of existing commercialized models that link to existing social networks. 

    Again, thanks for asking the questions as Im glad it gives me an excuse to provide more information around how we plan to operate.

  11. Erik Loehfelm

    Check out the iOS app called Thumb. I believe this would be your closest competition and it’s been out for awhile. Build yours better, faster, stronger ;)

    Good luck!

  12. Jon Dodge


    Nice heads up Erik!  I hadn’t heard of it or used it.  Ive downloaded and started to use the app and the response times are quick.  I do feel that the app is extremely well developed and have a very nice user interface, but there are some critical components missing.  The bulk of the responses are from strangers from all over the country.  The challenge will be to localize as much as possible, and to tap a network of people you know and trust in addition to total strangers.  We will certainly have our work cut out for us.

  13. Elizabeth Wilson

    This is a fun idea. I can’t wait to see it in action.

  14. Reda Jaber

    There is a similar app out there called “This or That” (, so I’d recommend changing the name.

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This idea was funded by public endorsement on July 12, 2012. Since then...

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