Stamped Up

Why rate it when you can stamp it? 

When deciding what Thai restaurant to check out, do we really care whether “katklaws347” gave a restaurant three spoons or four stars? Of course not, we turn to friends who are more than happy to say, “Go here, not there.”

That same idea has inspired a team of former Google employees to create Stamped, an app that allows users to “stamp” restaurants, movies, books and music with a seal of approval and share them with other friends. Each stamp is a five star recommendation, so stamps are meant only for the best of the best.

The Stamped team definitely picked up on a few things from their time at Google. “We learned to focus on the user and that philosophy carried over,” co-founder Bart Stein says. The app also cashes in on celebrity exposure with what they call “profile taste makers,” including stamps from Mario Batali, Michael Kors, Rebecca Minkoff and Rolling Stone movie critic Peter Travers.

Above all else, Stamped simplifies the user-rating and restaurant selection process. This is great because we don't get out of bed for every subpar cheeseburger on the block. We demand excellence.