With the world on the internet constantly growing, it is no surprise that businesses like Buy Your Friend a Drink.com are attempting to bridge the gap between the World Wide Web and the real world.
Buy Your Friend a Drink allows you to purchase drink vouchers for your online friends, or fellow telecommuters which can be redeemed for tangible beverages at businesses in their community.
The idea of Buy Your Friend a Drink, is that your friends and co-workers don't have to live near you in order to share a cocktail. Is "let me buy you a drink" not one of the most common phrases uttered when an individual has cause to celebrate or when overcoming a negative circumstance? Until recently, location was a factor that inhibited people from being able to follow through on these promises. With Buy Your Friend a Drink, rain checks and promises of future get-togethers are no longer required.
The process is quite simple really, if you want to purchase a beverage for a loved one, just fill out the Buy a Drink page (confirming that the recipient is over 21 years old, since it is a US based service) and enter their current email address or cell phone number. You select how much money you'd like to give to your friend, therefore determining just how many of their favorite cocktails they'll get on your dime, and an email or text message notifies the person that a drink has been bought for them. Or, if the recipient prefers, you can have an old fashioned gift card sent via snail mail.
Once your friend has received the notification that you have purchased them a drink using the Buy Your Friend a Drink website, they can logon to find participating bars and restaurants in their neighborhood and then simply present the text message/email/gift card when they place their drink order.
The idea in itself is not totally unique, but there is one crucial factor that sets them apart; the drinks are real. Various social networking sites, like Facebook, allow users to send each other drinks. These however, appear in the form of a graphic that reside on the recipient's profile page and are not for actual consumption. I'd much rather receive the real thing!
The founder and CEO of Buy Your Friend a Drink, Steven Cohn, proves that age is not a limitation when it comes to achieving business success. His idea was born not long after graduating from business school in 2005 and his team has since been expanded with the incorporation of other young professionals.
With the number of online communities and organizations growing on the internet every single day; ranging from social networking, to education and even business networks, business concepts that bring together the real world with the WWW are a trend that won't be disappearing anytime soon.
So entrepreneurs, you'd better hurry up and find your niche in this rapidly growing industry. How can you help people connect their online activities with their external lives?