WAGGLERZ: start a movement
This entry has been selected as a finalist in the
The Power of Us: Re-Imagine Media competition.
Project Street Address
2710 Melendy Drive
Project Postal/Zip Code
Will you launch your idea as a business or non-profit?
Web site (url)
Name Your Project
WAGGLERZ: start a movement
Describe Your Idea
What is your idea? What makes it innovative? Why is it important?
Wagglerz is a web based public utility that enables anyone to go online and create a micro-campaign. New media empowers individuals to do at a small or ‘micro’ scale what only large institutions once could. Wagglerz is founded on the premise that this phenomenon will extend to collective action, from micro-campaigns to full-scale movements. Most people only associate campaigns with politics or non-profits, but our vision is that any active internet user can start a micro-campaign, fostering collective action for any common cause be it a cleaner neighborhood, improved healthcare or group discounts on groceries from the local supermarket. With Wagglerz anyone, from a computer or smart-phone, can manage an action-oriented campaign mobilizing their friends & family or a wider network of supporters to take action towards a concrete goal they are passionate about and that requires a sufficiently large group to trigger change. The actions can be large or miniscule, online or offline. Wagglerz is a new collective action management software system inspired by the success of the Obama/McCain’s web-based campaign management software and many of the Open-source softwares but accessible to everybody.
Wagglerz’ key innovation is the simple functionality that allows separately organized campaigns to ‘friend’ or ‘merge’ with each other. Wagglerz is a campaign networking website. It lets anyone establish a campaign online and then connect with other campaigns, facilitating collaboration and scale uncommon in today’s formal citizen sector. Example: with hardly more than a click of a mouse two unrelated youth micro-campaigns, both picking-up neighborhood garbage, find each other on Wagglerz and merge. With scale comes momentum (i.e. press attention); with momentum comes more scale, a virtuous circle leading towards social change. Without the rigidity of formal institutions, mergers are much more likely to occur. Wagglerz amplifies the way real movements have always occurred.
What will be the impact of your idea?
What is the impact of the civil rights movement? A women empowerment group? A youth initiative to clean up their neighborhood? Or countless other more personal micro-campaigns e.g. people coming together to procure type-O blood for a dying crash victim?
In today’s environment, with the huge social and environmental problems in front of us, a collective action tool like Wagglerz will play a very important role to increase civic participation and catalyze systemic change. What inhibits people from becoming change-makers? By dramatically lowering the costs of entry and the coordination costs implicit in collective action, Wagglerz has the potential to increase civic participation throughout the world by an order of magnitude. Most people believe they have to start a non-profit in order to foster change. A free, web-based application that helps individuals move from concept (often outrage) to organization to action in a matter of minutes will unleash the activist urge that festers within almost everyone. Furthermore, Wagglerz will dramatically help speed up the pace of social change by making it much easier for change-makers to connect and collaborate with each other.
Assuming Wagglerz achieves the wide adoption characteristic of other successful new media utilities, our target impact after four years is massive.
-2,000 movements – greater than 100K activists
-3 million mergers
-10 million campaigns
-200 million registered activists
-2 billion completed actions
This Entry is about (Issues)
People: We are looking for ideas from people who can make them happen.
In 2002, Lloyd Nimetz founded an Online Giving Market called HelpArgentina that promotes citizen philanthropy and volunteerism in the country. He directed the organization in Buenos Aires for 4 years and remains intimately involved as President. Lloyd has worked for Ashoka, Endeavor, Prosper and the IDB. He recently completed an MBA from Stanford where he focused on entrepreneurship, global management and was co-president of the social venture club.
Hitesh Parashar is a computer science engineer with 12 years experience working with Fortune 500 companies and startup tech companies in varied general management and engineering roles. He has an MBA from Berkeley where he focused on digital media and technology entrepreneurship.
Hitesh and Lloyd share the same values and entrepreneurial passion. They complement each other well: Lloyd has more direct social start-up experience and Hitesh more technology experience and computer engineering training. They have worked together for the last 1.5 years in Latin America, India and the US. Last year, they raised an initial grant from Sequoia, a Sand Hill venture capitalist, for a social business they planned to launch in India. This endeavor strengthened their resolve to work together.
Lloyd and Hitesh will co-create the website with the support of Silicon Valley programmers and designers. Upon public release, Lloyd will be the CEO with a more external focus, and Hitesh the COO with a more internal operational orientation.
How much will it cost to launch your idea?
Lloyd has experience developing sustainable social enterprises. He bootstrapped HelpArgentina for three years during the Argentine financial crisis. Today it is a financially self-sustaining $300K enterprise with 8 FTE supported by self-generating revenues, individual donors and foundation grants (Ford Fdn, World Bank and OSI). Lloyd and Hitesh have concluded that scale is best achieved for Wagglerz using the hybrid business model and raising private funding.
We estimate a $200K, $700K and $900K operating budget over three years primarily for salary, rent and marketing. In first half of 2009 we plan to bootstrap and, mid-year, raise a first round of angel funding. We will raise venture money in 2010. We will offer equity to professionals to keep salaries low while attracting a world-class team, and we expect to utilize distressed office space available during this economic downturn.
Wagglerz’ sustainability and ability to attract financing hinges on its ability to develop a great web-product that gets early traction. Similar to most digital media and social networking enterprises, Wagglerz will focus initial efforts on achieving rapid user-adoption and draw revenues through several anticipated revenue sources: ‘premium software/services’, complementary products like campaign paraphernalia, membership dues transaction fees and advertising. Lloyd and Hitesh have both turned down and/or quit high paying jobs to commit themselves fully to this social venture.