August 2014. My wife and I were sitting and drinking coffee in Bryant Park. We were talking about our friend's upcoming birthday. Even though she a was good friend of ours, we didn't know what to buy her for her birthday. We wanted to give her something that she needed. We believe people should always get gifts they want, rather than surprise gifts that they will never use. During the year, my wife and I make each other a list of things we need, and that's what get each other for our birthdays and holidays. Everybody's happy!
My wife wished that there would be an app that would allow you to just look up what other people need. Even if there was one like that out there, our friend wasn’t using it. Neither were we. Actually, none of our friends were using such a thing. There had to be a reason why...
So we looked at all the apps in the App Store. There were a few simple Christmas/Wish Lists or wedding register kind of apps but we couldn't find anything interesting. None of them were well designed nor universal for any occasion.
We already knew that finding the perfect gift could be a headache. We were even more shocked when we read a study which showed that 75% of Americans don't like the gifts they receive! That means the majority of gifts are never used; they are exchanged, sold or passed along. That's not only a waste of billions of dollars-- a waste of a tremendous amount of time on shopping-- but this also causes so much stress. Stress for the gift givers, receivers and stores.
We saw a need to develop this kind of app. We saw the opportunity to improve this whole broken system of giving and receiving gifts. We invited our good friends to participate in this project. They are creative minds and have more technical experience than us. They loved the whole concept so we started brainstorming what the app should look like. We thought about the app as a cross between the traditional wish list and Instagram. An Instagram for gifts!
We have a friend who is a teacher. Every year for Christmas, he receives ties and coffee from his friends and students . The problem is that he doesn't drink coffee and he already has hundreds of ties. However, he likes to read and watch movies. When it comes to getting gifts, he has said that all he wants are magazine and Netflix subscriptions. How can he suggest to his family and friends what he really wants without hurting their feelings?
We thought, "what if he could create his own wish list that others could see instantly? And at the same time, what if he could make his gift private, or be able to share it only with a particular person/groups of people?" It's important to be able to add gifts quickly and efficiently. People don't like complicated applications. My friend, the teacher, can add gifts from any store and create lists for any occasion: holidays, birthdays, weddings, baby showers, BBQs - anything. When his friends come to his house for dinner, they will know what kind of wine to bring him. The hash tag system makes it a convenient way to find items and It can even serve as inspiration for future wish lists.
We asked ourselves, "what if the gift you want to receive is really expensive?" Let's say you love good coffee and you just have to have the newest $1500 espresso machine on the market. Unless you have a rich uncle, It's not likely that you will get this kind of gift.
So we thought, "what if all of your family & friends, let's say 30 people, will each chip in $50?" So we designed the “chip in” feature. You can just simply contribute (send money via paypal) towards a more valuable gift. We thought about situations when your family may be spread out all over the country, or you may need to give a last minute gift. It's incredibly convenient. And it's always nicer to get one big gift that you really want or can't afford to buy yourself, than several throw-away gifts. Once you get that special espresso machine you can tag your friends, thank them, and tell them how grateful you are for your dream gift.
So that's Giftbuster. We believe your gift should always be a hit - not a bust! We believe this app will make giving and receiving gifts a breeze. We have spent over a year developing Giftbuster. We have poured our passion and heart into helping more people give and get the perfect gift. We have also self-funded it. Giftbuster is available on all Iphone, IPad and Android. There is a small fee of $0.99 for using the chip in feature - the convenient way of gifting. We would like gift givers to think of it like paying for the gift-wrap to their gift!
We hope that users will love Giftbuster as much as we do. That's our story. Share yours with us. We would love to hear about your experience using GiftBuster.