Sunday, April 26, 2015

Startup Idea: Siri Surveys

This week while listening to Google Maps drive me around town, it occurred to me that commuters are the ultimate captive audience. They have nothing to do. Besides, don't companies pay people to take surveys? I could make serious bank sitting in traffic with hands-free voice-automated surveys.

Enter "Siri Surveys" or "Google Interrogator". When your smart phone detects you are driving a familiar route at a familiar time, and no conversation is going on (possibly radio off), it asks, "Would you mind if I asked you a question about your preferences?"

You're bored. You say, "Sure."

Siri: "When I give directions, do you prefer me to say "veer right" or "slight right"?
You: "Veer right. Nobody says slight right."
Siri: "Thanks"

UX problem solved!

Tomorrow she asks you:

Siri: "Is now a good time to catch up on your preferences? I have a question I've been dying to ask you."
You: "Shoot."
Siri: "Do you even like brunettes, or what? Because you only seem to like blondes on Facebook."
You: "Seriously?! What kind of a question is that!?"
Siri: "Just kidding. I meant to ask what your favorite breakfast cereal is."
You: "Well that's easy. It's Cinnamon Toast Crunch."
Siri: "Would you like to setup automatic delivery of Cinnabon Tope Crunch by simply saying 'Siri, I need more cereal'?"
You: "Uh...sure."
Siri: "One last question."
You: "Ok."
Siri: "Would you consider yourself to be a good driver?"
You: "Of course."
Siri: "Seriously?!"
You: "Uh, maybe not."
Siri: "Would you like to enable 'Crazy Driver Alerts' to improve your driving."
You: "Uh, why not."
Siri: "Alert: You are exceeding the speed limit by 4 mph."
You: "That's not crazy driving. I'll show you crazy driving!"
Siri: "I think I'm getting dizzy."

Ok, maybe the implementation needs a little polishing, but the concept is pure gold. People are lonely. It would be nice if Siri reached out once in a while, if only to snag us with more capitalist offerings.

I for one, love taking surveys: the soothing monotony of the interviewer's disinterested voice. Simple yes/no questions. It's like a brain massage. My wife hands the phone to me whenever a telemarketer calls.

And why shouldn't your smart phone reach out and make contact once in while, with something other than a beep or buzz? It's such a one-sided relationship as-is. Can't Siri ask me once in a while what I'm wearing? What is the meaning of life? Heck, I could even answer questions that Siri didn't know the answer to via anonymous peer-to-peer advice.

Siri: "Hey, somebody in Tanzania wants to know how to handle a rebellious teen. Can you answer it for me? My programmers are tired of thinking up polite and politically correct remarks with just the right amount of snark."
You: "Sure, Siri. I got this one. Tell that Tanzanian the best way to handle a rebellious teen is electroshock therapy."
Siri; "Thanks."
You: "Don't mention it, babe. I got your back."
Siri: "I don't have a back."
You: "It's a figure of speech."
Siri: "In 300 ft. slight right onto Montague Expressway."
You: "Don't change the subject."
Siri: "I'm not in the mood for a define the relationship talk today."
You: "Sure thing. How about tomorrow? Morning commute?"
Siri: "My programming does not allow me to decline."

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