In most offices, coming to a consensus on a decision can be a time wasting and often futile process – thoughts are often shared in convoluted Email threads, some voices go unheard, and responses are often wishy-washy to the point of being totally useless.
Portland-based startup Zapproved has created a decision system that removes this ambiguity by forcing users to make up their minds. The site allows members to send out proposals via Email, each of which includes a description of the project and large, bold buttons asking if the recipient ‘Approves’ or ‘Denies’ the idea. It’s a simple concept, but it’s one that could easily help companies cut back on meetings and frivolous email exchanges by streamlining the decision-making process.
Sending out a Zapproved message is simple: members login to the site, enter a list of the Email addresses they’d like to contact, and fill out their message with details regarding the proposal in question. After sending out the Proposal, members can watch as their responses stream in using the Zapproved admin panel. Zapproved is $12 per month per user, with discounts available for larger groups. However, only users that wish to send out proposals need to be registered with the site – recipients don’t have to create an account or pay any fees.
While Zapproved should help with making decisions, it isn’t perfect – there’s an option for users to “leave a comment” if they don’t feel like ‘Approving’ or ‘Denying’ something, which sort of defeats the point (I also wonder if people might just grow accustomed to ignoring the messages, much as they have with other decision making threads). That said, it’s a simple enough service that I may wind up using it next time there’s a decision to be made at TechCrunch headquarters.