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Cause Marketing Our Thanks

Starting today you can use the We&Co smartphone app to thank firefighters, police officers and other first responders who distinguished themselves by their bravery, sacrifice and service during the attacks of 9/11 ten years ago in partnership with The New York Says Thank You Foundation. The goal is to generate 10,000 ‘thanks’ through the We&Co app.

We&Co is a location-based mobile app in the vein of Foursquare or Yelp. Only instead of rallying to sites to collect badges or grade meals, We&Co helps you to rate favorite service providers: a barista, stylist, bartender, waitress, and the like.

We&Co takes the emphasis off the place and puts it on the people. It’s the anti-Groupon, We&Co co-founder Jared Malan told Good, because instead of being drawn by discount prices people will come to establishments for outstanding service.

Service providers end up with their own ratings, which has the potential to become a kind of social currency. For that reason We&Co puts off a European vibe to me. In many countries of Europe being a waiter is professional career that comes with a commensurate salary. In the United States most people waiting tables aren’t professionals, they’re students (or 'actors,' as the cliché goes) working for tips.

The app, which is draws on Foursquare’s API, is free at the We&Co website or at the App Store. We&Co’s business model is based on local advertising dollars and aggregating and selling the collected data.

The New York Says Thank You Foundation commemorates the many acts of service that was visited upon New Yorkers and New York in the wake of 9/11 by sending out volunteers from New York and elsewhere to help communities recovering from their own disasters. Its “business model” is based on the heart-warming pay it forward model.

The match between We&Co and The New York Says Thank You Foundation, both of which are all about thanks, is just terrific. No doubt my friend (and distant cousin) Ryan Jones, another Me&Co co-founder, had some hand in making that match.

Remember that adage, popular a few years back, that in the information economy a company’s greatest assets walk out the door every night? Originally that meant engineers and developers and the like.

With its unique take on thanking people, We&Co has the potential show how true that is for the service economy too.

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