Five & Fifty

For whatever reason – we haven’t been able to figure it out – there was a proliferation of daily deal platforms/apps/websites at One Spark. There was a ton of variety in these projects, and some really great offerings, and one of them, Eatrhguy, won the popular vote in the technology category. However, the most interesting one that we had a chance to see was Five & Fifty.

Five & Fifty is a really unique take on the daily deal platforms. The two main problem with the Living Socials and Groupons that all of the various One Spark daily deal creators were taking on was the slow speed with which deals are published, and the high-cost of publishing said deals. Five & Fifty offers, easily, the most creative solution to the two problems.

Five & Fifty utilizes SMS to solve these problems. Before you dismiss it simply because it is an SMS platform, here is how the simple approach is explained:

Consumers create a free account in seconds by giving us their phone number and a few important pieces of information. Done.

Business owners use our admin interface to create instant “groupon” like deals for as little as 5 bucks. We send that out as an SMS to anyone in their area who has expressed interest in deals of that nature. Since we don’t take commission on deal redemptions, the recipient merely shows up and presents the text message.

None of our deals last more than 5 hours, and they all have to be 50% off or more. This ensures instant response and quality offers.

No pre-buying, no printing, no waiting, no frustration, just easy.1

The simple approach is what makes Five & Fifty so effective. By using SMS, Five & Fifty eliminates the 5+ month cycles of Groupon and Living Social, replacing them with a 5+ minute cycle. Further, by eliminating commissions and charging a flat rate, Five & Fifty makes it incredibly easy for a business to justify running a campaign.

We had a chance to speak with Ben Tyson, the founder of Five & Fifty and Brash, among other companies. Just speaking with him was wildly enlightening. Ben was, without a doubt, one of the more interesting creators we spoke with throughout the whole festival. Here is what Brian wrote about Ben in our Five & Fifty preview, to give you an idea:

Ben Tyson, the founder of Five & Fifty, is a serial entrepreneur, an adventurer and the youngest ever inductee into the Pipeline Entrepreneurial Fellowship for his work on Google Earth, so he has some pedigree when it comes to making and creating things.

One of those things that he created was Five & Fifty, an app that was a finalist in 2011in Jason Calcanis’ Launch Competition in San Francisco. His app was one of the first “instant” or “flash” deal apps, back before it became the in thing to do thanks to Groupon and Living Social. In fact, Tech Cocktail called Five & Fifty “the best thing since sliced bread”.

Below is out interview with Ben. Check out to sign up.

Check out all of our One Spark coverage.

Changing the world, together