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Would You Want Budist.ru To Wake You Up?

  • <p><strong>DAY 1: MUSICAL MORNING</strong><br />
Oh, no--it’s electro-inspired iPad tinkerings! Budist.ru records calls so users can rate them, so my caller (assigned randomly to me through the system) clearly played to the crowd.</p>
  • <p><strong>DAY 2: LOCATION SCOUT</strong><br />
Today’s caller thought he was waking me up midafternoon Russia time. A global version of Budist.ru should make it clear who’s where.</p>
  • <p><strong>DAY 3: SMOOTH OPERATOR</strong><br />
Cool it, lover boy. The site’s founder says matchmaking isn’t his goal, but every caller I got was male—and eager to keep chatting. Get too fresh, though, and they’ll be kicked off the site.</p>
  • 01 /03

    DAY 1: MUSICAL MORNING
    Oh, no--it’s electro-inspired iPad tinkerings! Budist.ru records calls so users can rate them, so my caller (assigned randomly to me through the system) clearly played to the crowd.

  • 02 /03

    DAY 2: LOCATION SCOUT
    Today’s caller thought he was waking me up midafternoon Russia time. A global version of Budist.ru should make it clear who’s where.

  • 03 /03

    DAY 3: SMOOTH OPERATOR
    Cool it, lover boy. The site’s founder says matchmaking isn’t his goal, but every caller I got was male—and eager to keep chatting. Get too fresh, though, and they’ll be kicked off the site.

GE used it to solve flight delays. AOL used it to inventory web video. Now the Russian site Budist.ru is crowdsourcing... wake-up calls? Yes: Sign up for a day and a time, and the service will assign one of its more than 500,000 users to call and wake you up. English and Spanish versions are coming later this year, but Russian-speaking (New York–based) writer Julia Kaganskiy took it for an early spin.

[Illustration by Ward Sutton]

A version of this article appeared in the April 2013 issue of Fast Company magazine.