Posted on Sunday, January 13th, 2013 by Masha Arbisman
How does a farmer count a herd of cows? With a Cowculator! How does a crowd guess a cow’s weight? Incorrectly! ” James Surowiecki’s book titled The Wisdom of Crowds tells the story of Sir Francis Galton who visited a livestock fair in 1906 and stumbled upon a contest where an ox’s weight needed to be guessed by the public. The outcome of the contest was that no person got the weight correctly, but the crowd’s average guess (mean) missed the ox’s weight by merely 1 pound(!)” Already interested, Daniel Scalosub, founder of various online start-ups, happened to hear a wonderful TED Talk where Lior Zeref brought an ox onstage and asked the audience to yet again guess its weight. What were the results? Out of 500 guesses, the lowest was 308lbs, the highest 800+, and the average was 1792. The ox actually weighted 1795. Coincidence? I think not! And neither did Scalosub. Fascinated by this concept, Scalosub, embarked on a new project that he calls Luvcow.
Luvcow is Daniel’s new baby: an experimental site that further explores crowd wisdom. Users come to the site to either post pictures and ask their own question or spend time answering the questions of others. I have to warn you, this is pretty addictive.
I came to the website expecting to spend maybe 15 minutes looking around to get a gist of what it does, and found myself answering questions for hours, committed to beating the crowd’s answers. The fact that I got to sign up with one click through my Facebook was even more of a reason to keep sitting and shamelessly waste time. On top of simply being addicted, it was also really great to see the real time responses of other users. In the top right corner of THEIR screen users can see what questions people answer at the exact second that they do. Not their answers of course, you’re not allowed to see those until you answer the same question. I got really excited when I saw my friend’s picture up in the corner 10 minutes after I sent her an invite through Facebook to Luvcow.
Daniel is an entreprenuer who in the past 10 years has built startups that include DMG,Bezecom, DSNR, and eType. Other than entreprenuership, he also works in advertising. Daniel says that he, “never had a chance to receive proper education, most of [his] experience is gained through reading books and the real world hands-on work.”
Luvcow is made possible by the crowd, so Daniel asks users to “send [their] comments, suggestions and rants so [that he] can make it better. Thanks!” With a site that is fully functioning, incredibly fun, and that incorporates your feedback, all that is left to do is explore for yourself!