How One Man’s Digital Platform is Changing the Face of Business with a Smile
Interviewed exclusively for Risen Magazine
Chances are, you’ve posted a bad review about a company or service online at least once. If you were treated unjustly by a local retailer or waited too long for your food at a restaurant, it’s easy to become an evangelist for their demise and turn away fellow patrons. But when you receive great service, do you alternately jump online and post about it? A start-up called Goodsnitch™ is shifting this norm as the “anti-Yelp.”
Just as negativity is contagious, positivity is too. Founded in 2012 in San Diego, California, Goodsnitch is contributing towards what has become the “Positivity Movement” and is making headway. With more than 100,000 people currently using the platform across the U.S., everyday heroes are being recognized and rewarded.
The philosophy at Goodsnitch is to “celebrate publicly and fix privately.” All good feedback is shared with the Goodsnitch community while the constructive criticism is private and delivered to the business, allowing them to fix problems.
Goodsnitch is different from sites like Yelp, Google Reviews and Angie’s List as it’s not about ratings. Instead of one group of consumers educating another, Goodsnitch focuses on facilitating a conversation between businesses and consumers.
“At its core, Goodsnitch is a way in 30 seconds for someone to do something for another human being,” said Rob Pace, founder and CEO of Goodsnitch. “Our data shows that 93 percent of the time people will give a positive review if it’s really easy to do. Fifty percent of the time it will be a shout-out to a specific person by name.”
For many years, Pace worked as a senior partner for the leading global investment firm, Goldman Sachs, on Wall Street. He left the corporate world in 2007 as a successful businessman and became a chairman for the Salvation Army, which inspired him to create a start-up that gives back to the community.
On Wall Street, Pace would always ask his clients, “Do you have a great team and are you listening to your customers?” This was the basis for Goodsnitch.
“During my time at Goldman Sachs, I would mentor people and tell them to look for a career that was an intersection of their strength and passion,” explained Pace. “I worked with hundreds of business leaders in strategy. I have a passion for encouragement. I grew up in a tiny town in Oregon in a very depressed area with about a 50 percent unemployment rate. I saw the need for hope while growing up in this environment and that’s when I became passionate about making a difference.”
Anyone can download the Goodsnitch app and start “snitching” right away. If you’ve had a great experience at any organization, anywhere, you can call someone out and recognize them. If you call them out by name, they are entered into the “Heromaker” daily drawing.
Our goal is to encourage one million people on the front lines like teachers, bellhops, baristas and cashiers.
“Positive people recognize other human beings. They have good attitudes, they are proactive and aren’t just responders,” said Pace. “Our goal is to encourage one million people on the front lines like teachers, bellhops, baristas and cashiers. My son, who is a busser right now, analyzes whether he had a good day or not by if a customer or co-worker was nice to him. I want everyone to feel that recognition. One positive word can fuel someone for months!”
Business owners can get access to all of their feedback for free. Yoga 6 in Carlsbad, California, passes around the positive comments from Goodsnitch in their staff meetings. They do this to not only create an encouraging environment, but also to use it as an exercise in listening to what the customer values.
Every day, Goodsnitch hosts a “Heromakers” drawing. Judges pick one everyday hero and the heromaker who gave them the shout-out, and the winners get to split $1,000. Pace has seen people’s lives changed because of this generous gift.
“A hero isn’t just someone who rescues someone from a burning building. A hero can be someone who gets up every day and chooses to do a good job and to serve their friends and colleagues. And it’s not because they have to, but because they want to. It’s in their DNA.”
One example is Kailani, from Rubio’s restaurant in Encinitas, California, who was overwhelmed when she heard that she had won. When she got the call, she clocked out and broke down in tears. She was paying all her bills herself and couldn’t afford to go to the prom. All her friends were going and she was so excited to be given a five hundred dollar check, and she could afford to go.
Another recent hero is Bobby from Oregon who worked for the Habitat for Humanity thrift store. He couldn’t afford to fly to see his dying aunt until he got the call that he had won five hundred dollars.
“God really uses this platform to make miracles happen. It’s such a blessing to be a part of,” related Pace. Goodsnitch is for more than just retailers — any organization from churches, schools and towns are on the list, even local politicians are snitching.
In the small town of Albany, Oregon, where the population is around 50,000, there are currently 3,000 positive comments, over 2,200 shout-outs and 787 heroes. Even the mayor of Albany, Sharon Konopa, uses it. She sifts through the heroes and congratulates a few on her Facebook page every day. Pace calls places like Albany, “positivity hot spots.” He believes that the more you focus on the positive, the more it will become second nature. It can completely transform the way you approach daily life.
“A friend of mine, Tim Oitzman, the CEO of Greystone Advisors, noticed a difference in his life after he started looking for the positive,” Pace explained. As a business person constantly on the road, it is very easy to get stuck dwelling on the negative. Looking for the positive changed his whole demeanor. Now he’s looking for people’s nametags or for a name on a receipt when he’s out, so he can have a chance to “snitch” on them. It’s the cheapest therapy in the world. It changes you.”
Pace’s platform not only provides positivity therapy, but also good business sense. One of the largest issues facing U.S. businesses today is the retention of talent. The war for talent is a $50 billion business and turnover can be over 20 percent of the cost of a business. More than ever, good employees are worth their weight in gold. Retaining a team is a top priority for CEOs and Goodsnitch is playing into this need.
“It’s important to really understand what the customer is thinking,” added Pace. “There are a lot of places that don’t get the feedback they need. It’s not a coincidence as a strategist that I am working here. It’s truly a good mission, but it’s also very important. Doing ‘good’ in the world is impacting businesses more than ever before. Customers are getting smarter. You can’t fake it any more. A consumer’s perception is their reality. Therefore, better your reality. We call that the ‘inside-out’ approach.”
According to Goodsnitch’s express feedback results, if someone recommends a business or service to a friend and mentions someone who works there by name, the likelihood that the friend will try the service goes up by 10 percent. This is a huge piece of the pie as businesses are usually fighting for the one percent.
“People often say how impersonal technology is, but this is a way we are using the power of technology for good,” Pace said. “I think businesses are just so busy in the old model. The light bulb hasn’t come on yet. I believe CEO should actually stand for Chief Encouragement Officer. Good leaders champion their people.”
Many large corporations have turned on that light bulb and jumped on board with what Goodsnitch is doing. Their clientele includes the Miami Dolphins, San Antonio Spurs, San Diego Padres and Dallas Cowboys.
“The Cowboys are on the board of the Salvation Army. They are actually a very generous team—not many people get to see that side of them. The Spurs are all about community. They have the same core values as Goodsnitch,” added Pace.
Though Pace gets to watch and see communities help one another through this platform, he isn’t just an observer—he is also a daily snitcher. He knows that it’s a choice to get in either a positive or negative spiral, so he is always looking for opportunities to bless someone. His faith has played a big role in the development of this platform. Stepping out of the corporate world and into entrepreneurship has allowed Pace to make more impact with his skills and gifts—the intersection of his strength and passion.
“I love the quote by St. Francis of Assisi: ‘Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words’” said Pace. “This app doesn’t say, ‘God Bless You!’ as you log out, but it’s allowing people to do good. To boil it down, this app is all about the greatest commandment: ‘Love Thy Neighbor’.”
For more information on becoming a Goodsnitch visit: