Posted by Toby Daniels on Tuesday, 1 June 2010
We’re very proud and privileged to be working with a number of incredibly smart and creative folks, who are helping us bring the important message behind the betacup challenge to the masses.
Each of these pieces are designed to raise awareness around the issue and drive people towards the Jovoto contest to rate and review ideas ahead of the June 15th deadline, where the winning ideas will be chosen and awarded $20,000 in prize money. Please take a few minutes to check out, absorb and share their incredible work and also take a moment to review the ideas submitted to the betacup challenge contest.
Coffee. Delicious coffee. It’s fueled the creation of many artistic works for centuries. It’s also fueling the creation of this challenge. (Pause for a sip) One might also say that coffee has fueled the creation of Threadless itself! From early mornings to long nights, it’s always there to comfort us and keep us chuggin’. It’s time to give back, my jittery friends.
Our friends at Betacup are coffee lovers, too, but they want to reduce the number of non-recyclable cups that are thrown away every year. And so in conjunction with their Drink-In Week and idea submission contest, we’re happy to add some sweetener. In addition to the awesome Threadless loot, they’ve rounded Starbucks up to provide a $1000 gift card and a sweet recycled tumbler! You better love coffee.. a LOT!
Created by Good Day Monsters in partnership with Denuo, and Waveplant Studios
At The Betacup, we think saving the world can start with something small. Like, say, your morning coffee. You know, that white paper non-recycleable thingie with the plastic lid and wasteful cardboard wrap around it. Yeah, that. Well, (together with Denuo, Good Day Monsters) we created something to help change all that. It’s a little something that will serve as both a reminder about every cup’s wastefulness every second, and an opportunity to create change. To make a better cup. All by starting small. With something like, say, your screensaver. Or as we like to call it, The Worldsaver.
About the creators:
Threadless is a community-centered online apparel store run by skinnyCorp of Chicago, Illinois, since 2000.
Denuo instigates, invents, and inspires new forms of creativity to solve the marketing challenges of modern marketplaces. They also love the betacup – their website even says so.
Good Day Monsters crushes digital projects 24 hours a day, from Chicago and Bangkok by night, to build killer websites, applications, and motion graphics.
The original music for 60 Seconds To Save The World was written and performed by Waveplant Studios. Run by Joel Corelitz, this personal brand is one of the top audio houses as picked by Motionographer.
Posted by Toby Daniels on Monday, 12 April 2010
How are we doing after 1 week?
+ 65 ideas
+ over 300 comments
+ almost 30,000 views of ideas
+ almost 1,000 registrations to submit ideas
But how good are the ideas?
Here are some good examples:
+ new behavior – these ideas explore ways to encourage behavior to reduce or eliminate the use of paper cups.
I personally believe this last category is where the best solutions will be found (I’m not a juror, but I will be voting with everyone else for the community prizes).
One of the big changes in recycling is the cost of tracking. For example barcode scanners are ubiquitous, so barcodes can be used to track and reward reuse. In fact the cup (or the lid) can become the more valuable kind of plastic (the kind you buy stuff with).
Going one step further, loyalty card programs result in interesting data for segmenting customers for selling more stuff, but they can also be used to cause better behavior.
Beyond the ideas, we’re excited to see how the process unfolds
Because submissions are public some interesting things are happening.
+ comments – feedback is already resulting in iterations, so we think some of the submitters are benefitting and enjoying the feedback
+ teaming up – it has happend once already and there seem to be some discussions already (this is how the netflix prize was won, so this is interesting, for sure).
+ juror expert feedback – we have already seen some of the jurors weigh in with their particular expertise, so we’re looking forward to seeing how this helps submitters to identify and address prospective issues with their submissions.
We’ve just started, so why not submit an idea or encourage other people to check out the betacup challenge.
Posted by Toby Daniels on Thursday, 1 April 2010
In case you’re not familiar, the betacup’s goal is find the best ideas to reduce paper cup consumption and help bring these ideas to life. Below is some more background on the initiative and a detailed task definition, which outlines how to approach the contest and specifically what to think about in regard to your submission.
Help reduce waste from coffee-to-go paper cups and come up with sustainable solutions!
The betacup challenge was founded in May 2009 by Toby Daniels and Colaboratorie Mutopo in an effort to reduce the 58 billion paper coffee cups go to waste each year. (More details on the thebetacup.com).
The project began when Toby brought up some ideas he had for a more convenient reusable cup. As the team discussed the issue, they realized the betacup might be an ideal project for a larger creative community because there seemed to be many ways to address the issue.
betacup teamed up with sponsors Starbucks, Core77, Denuo and Good Day Monsters to seek your help because they believe this is an issue that impacts so many people and that many of us may have already thought about as we go about our coffee drinking each day.
In this contest, the betacup invites you to submit ideas, but also to comment on and rate others’ ideas, and engage in discussions with other community members and contest jurors. The jury is made up of the betacup’s board of advisors and will offer professional feedback and guidance throughout the contest.
There are two prizes: A prize awarded by the jury after the contest closes (jury prize
$10.000), and community awarded prize money for the top 5 ideas as rated by the community ($2.000)
The betacup is a Public Contest, which means as you submit your ideas, they will be visible to non-community members and people can Sign Up to comment and rate. This feedback process will help make ideas even better, so you are encouraged to submit ideas early to benefit from the feedback and improve your ideas.
Don’t have an idea? No problem, you can still help out by offering feedback to others.
- Behavior changing
- People aged 18 to 50
- Consume multiple cups of coffee per day, away from home
- Convenience driven
- Living consciously
- Living in the city & in the suburbs
There are no mandatory requirements in terms of visualization or format of your submission, but keep in mind that a clear, appealing presentation and precise written description of your idea helps the community and jurors understand and rate it appropriately.
Entries will be judged on a variety of qualities, including how they reduce waste, what resources they require, new or existing capabilities for implementation, and the overall user experience.
Posted by Toby Daniels on Monday, 15 March 2010
On April 1 we are officially launching an online contest to engage creative thinkers in solving the disposable cup waste problem through open collaboration.
We are especially excited to announce that Starbucks Coffee Company is sponsoring the contest as part of its aim to serve 100 percent of its hand-crafted beverages in reusable or recyclable cups by 2015.
“Finding effective solutions to the disposable cup waste problem will be a challenge – a good solution will need to include product design, communications and incentives to change consumer behavior, and work within service and recycling infrastructures,” said Shaun Abrahamson from Colaboratorie Mutopo, a group of mass collaboration specialists who co-founded the betacup. “We think this is an ideal task to present to a large global community of coffee drinkers, many of whom have likely thought about this issue and possible solutions.
The contest will take place on the betacup’s partner platform jovoto.com, a leading mass collaboration community for innovators and creatives. Anyone can submit an idea on how to reduce paper cup consumption and promote adoption of environmentally-friendly alternatives. Ideas will be open to the public for discussion, and community members and jurors will be able to provide feedback, allowing collaborators to refine and update their submissions through June 15, when the contest comes to a close.
Starbucks has provided $20,000 in cash prizes to be awarded for the most innovative ideas. The participant who submits the best idea, determined by an expert panel, will receive a $10,000 cash prize. In addition, participants whose ideas are among the top five selected by the community of collaborators will each be awarded a $2,000 cash prize.
“Given the complexity of the disposable cup waste issue, we need a broad range of stakeholders to become involved in finding solutions. In addition to working with local municipal governments, materials suppliers and cup manufacturers to improve recycling infrastructures, we believe in harnessing the creativity of environmentally conscious individuals to identify new alternatives,” said Jim Hanna, Starbucks director of Environmental Impact. “We’re looking forward to seeing how people respond to the challenge.
We have also secured Core77 as media partner. Core77 is a New York-based design network supporting the global design community through online services, resources, and inspiration. We are thrilled to bring this opportunity to the professional designers, design students, and design enthusiasts in our community, and believe that an extraordinary number of inspired and innovative solutions will emerge,” said Allan Chochinov, Editor in chief of Core77.com.
The project is further supported by Denuo, an innovations unit of Publicis Groupe. Denuo will provide communications strategy and community management expertise to the project. To sign up to the betacup and receive notification when submissions go live, go to: http://www.jovoto.com/signup/betacup
Posted by Toby Daniels on Thursday, 3 December 2009
As you are probably aware, we’re on a deadline here. As the headline of this blog clearly states, unless we reach our goal of $20,000 in pledges by December 31st we will not be successful in funding the betacup prize fund.
So far we have raised $3.5k in pledges, which is 17.5% towards our target, however we only have 28 days left before the deadline.
Here are a few ways you can help us reach our goal:
1. Tweet about the campaign and share the following link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tobyd/fund-the-betacup-prize
2. Add the following to your email signature:
Hate disposable cups? Be part of the solution:
3. Copy and past the following embed code and add the campaign widget to your site:
<a href=’http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tobyd/fund-the-betacup-prize’><img border=’0′ src=’http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tobyd/fund-the-betacup-prize/widget/card.jpg’ /></a>
4. Write a blog post about the campaign:
Our friends at Tiny Choices very kindly posted a great article about the betacup and our campaign here:
5. Help us expand our network:
Who else should we be talking to? Are there sites that we should approach or brands that would be interested in supporting our initiative?
6. Make your personal pledge:
Finally and most importantly we would love for you or your company to make a contribution to the campaign. $20 or more will get you a commemorative betacup and $200 will secure your place at the awards ceremony in New York City in 2010. If you pledge $2,000 you will be listed as an official sponsor and also be invited to join the judging panel for the design contest.
Here’s the link again, in case you need it: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tobyd/fund-the-betacup-prize
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this and thanks in advance for your ongoing support!
P.S My colleagues at betacup tell me that if we don’t reach our goal by December 31st then I will lose control of my Facebook status for the whole of January 1st. As you can imagine this could have dire consequences for me and my squeeky clean image!
Posted by Toby Daniels on Saturday, 28 November 2009
Thanks again to all of our supporters and also to everyone who joined the Kickstarter campaign since the last update.
Things are moving along nicely, but we have still have a very long way to go. Securing the prize for the design contest is crucial, especially if we want to attract the best design teams from around the world to help us find a solution to the paper cup problem.
From now on we’re going to ask each of you to help support the initiative by doing one simple thing to help bring awareness to the project.
Today, we’d love for you to add the following copy and link to your email signatures, to drive awareness and to encourage your friends and coworkers to get involved.
Hate disposable cups? Be part of the solution:
Thanks so much for you support!
Toby & the betacup team
Posted by Toby Daniels on Friday, 13 November 2009
I wanted to share a comment from one of our Kickstarter Campaign backers. bLaKtivist comment below touches on one of the main challenges of redesigning the reusable coffee cup.
“‘I’m curious to know what your thoughts are of the “I am not a paper cup” design by DCI.
While interesting because it visually mimicks the cup that you are trying to replace, it still doesn’t seem to be as functional as one might like. I used to work in a store that sold these items, and we got frequent complaints that they leaked. [Spillage is NO FUN.] But I think more importantly, these cups are also ceramic, which doesn’t make it very durable for folks constantly on the move.”
Our view is that the “I Am Not A Paper Cup” is an interesting concept. If nothing else it raises awareness around the problem, and that’s a good thing. But it doesn’t solve the bigger issue that we are looking to address, and that our Kickstarter friend also points out. Designing something that is both practical and convenient as well as desirable in the consumers mind is what we really need to focus on.
What do you think? What other parameters should we be thinking about when creating the design brief?
Posted by Toby Daniels on Monday, 9 November 2009
Here at betacup HQ, we love design and we especially love coming across design ideas like this that address large scale environmental challenges.
We were told about Vapur via a good friend and advisor to the betacup, Ryan Fix and we absolutely love it.
According to their website Vapur is the most portable refillable water bottle on the planet. And by making tap water more portable, they hope to make bottled water obsolete.
What we like about their approach is that they have created a product that is both sexy and desirable, as well as functional and convenient.
From their website:
“Unlike rigid water bottles, Vapur is completely collapsible. This means it goes more places and fits in tighter spaces than any other bottle. Whether you are hiking the trails, passing through airport security or visiting the museum with your family, Vapur makes water infinitely portable.”
What do you think? What would the coffee carrying equivalent look like?
Hopefully when we enter into the design phase of the betacup, we’ll see ideas as innovative and exciting as Vapur.
Posted by Toby Daniels on Wednesday, 16 September 2009
“Dear readers, if you don’t drink from a reusable cup, what’s stopping you from making the switch?”
This question was asked of Planet Green’s reader’s in this post. In the piece, they make some compelling arguments as to why consumers should consider switching to reusable coffee cups:
“Take all the people who read this magazine, then persuade them to sip their morning coffee from a travel mug for one week. Result: Enough trees to fill two football fields will be spared the ax. Can’t commit to a week? Switching to reusable cups for just one day will save as much energy as using 1,000 gallons of gasoline.”
But regardless of how compelling these arguments are, consumers are not switching, at least not in large numbers.
We’d like to pose another question. Why?
We feel that one possible answer to this question is that it is simply not convenient.
One of the problems reusable cups is that they do not fit within a consumers existing routine. If they’re commuting to work by car or public transport, or they’re rushing between meetings, a bulky mug, that requires cleaning, is not an attractive option, regardless of their desires to be eco-friendly.
While this is not excusable, it is understandable. Eco-options, must be both sustainable and convenient, otherwise they will only ever appeal to the committed few.
Posted by Toby Daniels on Wednesday, 5 August 2009
Following the exciting brainstorming around the betacup at Overlap last weekend, our team has created a survey to better understand the practices of coffee drinking. If you’re a coffee (or tea!) drinker and have a moment to complete it, please do! (This has also been cross-posted on Mechanical Turk to get a wider diversity of responses, so ignore any confirmation code you see at the end.)
Thank you in advance!