Draw a triangle. Put Shark Tank, Kickstarter and the Make-A-Wish Foundation each at a corner. Somewhere in the middle of all that is aGreatDay.TV, a just-launched hybrid website with TV plans that mixes philanthropy, corporate marketing, social-media savvy and crowd-sourced competition to, as co-founder and Executive Client Director Patrik Gustafsson puts it, “help people accomplish their dreams.”
Of course, it’s those dreamers and their dreams that make this Swedish-backed/Los Angeles-based project interesting to an online audience. The past few years, people online have increasingly shown they’ll chip in on all kinds of compelling projects, whether it’s turning San Francisco into Batkid’s Gotham, getting a Veronica Mars movie made or just backing a cool piece of tech.
With aGreatDay, participants will post their dream on the site, talking about the thing they want to create or achieve. It could be seeing a long-lost relative halfway across the country, making a documentary, or building a health clinic in Nigeria. As with Kickstarter, the more compelling the dream, and the more video and images and other material talking about that dream, the better the chances it will draw the support of site visitors.
“The dream is important but the motivation behind the dream is so much more,” said co-founder/CEO Mikael Flodell, whose company has raised $2.5 million in launch capital from Swedish investors.
But, and this is the constant question facing these emerging online companies, how do you monetize, especially a business devoted to helping people achieve their (sometimes crazy, or at least wildly unrealistic) dreams?
Gustafsson and Flodell say they’ve devised several ways to do it, in part using a virtual currency they’re calling Hearts. The most straightforward way involves a company sponsoring either a specific person’s dream or holding a competition to pick which entrant has the most compelling dream. In a case like this, the person whose dream collects the most Hearts from online supporters wins the competition and the cash.
Individual visitors can buy their own supply of Hearts to spread around (at 10 cents a Heart). aGreatDay will create its own ad-backed online programs, such as the just-unveiled The Impossible Dream, that can run on the site, on YouTube and elsewhere. Finally, of course, those web shows can transition to traditional television as a reality show or format.
“We will have content that traditional broadcasters will like,” Flodell said. “We can monetize it on YouTube as well.”
In trial runs, the company recruited people to create their own dream posts, and attracted hundreds of submissions, Flodell said. At a recent event in Los Angeles, aGreatDay showcased 30 finalists for The Impossible Dream. Visually striking short videos shot over two days featured each person talking about their dream. They’ll be competing for $100,000 in prize money to realize dreams that range from making the U.S. National Over-75 Basketball Team, to cutting an album 50 years after their last one, to creating an artist’s studio.
“It was amazing to see how people just bloomed talking about their dreams,” Flodell said. “I was overwhelmed. I felt the stories that came in were amazing.”
The site fully launches for all comers, both those with dreams and those who would vote on them, on Nov. 14.