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BetaBait launches, seeking to connect entrepreneurs with early adopters

Posted by Scott Kirsner  December 14, 2011 10:02 AM

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Launching this week is BetaBait, a new service that wants to link entrepreneurs building new Web sites and mobile apps with users who'll take them for a spin.

The goal, says co-founder Cody Barbierri, is to attract both users who will offer feedback on the early version of a product, and those who will spread the word about a product that's ready for prime-time. "We talk about those two groups as 'testers,' who want to give feedback and talk about new features and functions they'd like to see, and 'users,' who just want to use something in their daily lives," says Barbierri. (He's based in Bridgeport, CT, but his day job is as a social media manager for a Portsmouth, NH-based digital marketing agency called Piehead.) Barbierri's co-founder and CTO is Rory Thompson.

BetaBait plans to send out a daily e-mail listing new sites and apps in different categories, like "business" or "family." "You'll have a brief description of each, a URL to the Web site, and contact info for the developer," says Barbierri. Developers will have their products listed in the BetaBait e-mail for 30 days, he says.

While Barbierri is thinking about a variety of business models to support BetaBait (including advertising in the daily e-mails), it's a side project for now, and "everything is totally free," he says. "We want to build up users and start-ups and drive adoption and usage."

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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