99designs is a great site for startups and small businesses – for just a few hundred dollars, you can launch a design contest for a logo, WordPress template, PowerPoint deck, signage, and more. Graphic designers around the world compete to win, you provide feedback, and after seven days, you pick a winner.

Here at PickFu, we crowdsourced our own logo using 99designs. Once the contest began, however, something became clear: even though receiving over 350 designs was valuable from a cost perspective, choosing a winner among them all was beyond overwhelming.

“We’re programmers, not designers,” said Justin Chen, PickFu co-founder. “Other than my own visceral reaction, it was hard to judge the value of all the colors, typefaces, and icons.” Continue reading

A short while ago, I wrote about Twitter’s new polling feature. I was excited when the feature was rolled out to me so I could try it myself.

Now, I’m not the world’s biggest Twitter user. I’m certainly no celebrity. But I’ve been active on Twitter for over five years and at the time of this writing, I have 423 followers. (Want to boost my ego and add to the total? Follow me @kimkohatsu!) My 400+ users are comprised of professional contacts, brands I’ve mentioned or contacted via Twitter, and some friends and family. According to a 2012 study (the latest I could find), the average Twitter user has 208 followers. I’ve got over twice as many — not bad, right?Continue reading

PickFu is a great way to discover pain points. With holiday travel season upon us, one PickFu pollster wanted to know what users’ biggest frustration was when it came to travel sites – finding the cheapest price, or the fact that the information isn’t all in one place. Interestingly, the results were tied, which could mean that people are just frustrated all around! That’s when respondent comments become handy and insightful, not to mention the ability to broaden the respondent pool.

What would you say is your biggest beef with travel websites? Do you agree with what the respondents said?

Last week, Twitter announced it was rolling out a feature that enabled users to create polls. Polling isn’t totally new on Twitter; brands sometimes would tally retweets, favorites, or hashtag instances as informal votes. With this new feature, however, Twitter users can compose a poll, present two options, and get an answer.

It’s a fun idea. Some sample questions Twitter used were, “Did the ref make the right call?” and “What should I name my dog?”

But when it comes to business ideas, there’s some very distinct differences between Twitter and PickFu that you should consider. Continue reading

Today, the New York Times Magazine asked its readers the following question:

42% of respondents said yes, 30% said no, and 28% weren’t sure.

So we decided to poll 200 PickFu respondents to see how our results matched up. We did not, however, offer a “Not Sure” option, because… well, make up your mind.

See the results!

“What the hell’s wrong with my cover?”

Temple Williams reacted as most of us would at the suggestion he test the cover of his self-published book Warrior Patient.

But Williams, who has worked at several ad agencies and Reader’s Digest, knows that polling is powerful. “I hate it when [polls] tell me I’m wrong,” he wrote to us. “But it’s even worse to get the project wrong because of the power of self-deception.”Continue reading