ARS: The First Double-Blind Feedback Platform

Dear friend,

I’m currently building a pitch deck for ARS, and wanted to use this opportunity to reflect on what ARS is, why ARS is different, and why we need ARS.

1. The first double-blind feedback platform

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Why is ARS different from Facebook or Instagram?


ARS is the first double-blind feedback platform.

Now– what does that even mean?

2. Double-Blind

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Both the artists (people who upload to as well as the critics (individuals who give critiques/keep-ditch feedback) are blind.

  1. The artists don’t know who the critics are.
  2. The critics don’t know who the artists are.

Now this is useful– because we are less likely to fall victim to the ‘halo effect‘ bias.

For example:

  1. If the artist knows that the critic is a famous critic, the artist’s judgement of the critique will be skewed.
  2. Similarly, if the critic knows who the artist is, the critic’s judgement of the artist’s work will be skewed.

So this is the benefit of the ‘double blind‘ concept (mostly known in academic circles for research papers, as well as medical studies):

Both the artist and the critic will judge more ‘objectively’, with less bias.

3. Is objective feedback even possible?

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I don’t believe objective feedback in photography or art exists. All feedback is just personal opinion.

Now– that doesn’t mean that “subjective” feedback isn’t valuable. Subjective feedback is still very valuable. As my best friend Kanye West says:

“I’m not afraid that they’re going to say something, I’m afraid they’re going to say nothing.

The worst thing as an artist is to get NO feedback on your pictures. For myself, I want my pictures to make an impression or an impact on my viewer– whether positive or negative. For example, I would rather have 100 people really really hate my picture, and feel strongly about it– rather than to have 50 people feel “mildly amused” by my picture.

4. Detaching your ego

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This is also why ARS is so innovative:

You detach your ego from your picture/artwork.

When you upload your picture to, the feedback you get from critics isn’t directed towards you. It is directed towards the picture you shot.

In other words,

When someone says they don’t like your picture, they aren’t saying they don’t like you. They are just saying they don’t like the picture.

Now the problem is that many of us tie our ego with our pictures. We treat our pictures like our babies, and as everyone knows– parents do not ‘objectively’ judge their children as beautiful or ugly. Even an ugly baby is beautiful in their parent’s eyes (mom goggles).

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ARS is the first platform which detaches the ego of the photographer-artist from their artwork. Because it is all anonymous. We are judging a picture by its own merit; rather than the merit of the photographer.

5. How ARS is different from Instagram or Facebook

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Instagram or Facebook is a popularity contest, which is run by algorithms which are ultimately tailored for advertisers — not for you.

ARS is different, because it supports the under-dog. Even if you are a newbie photographer, whenever you upload a picture to, your picture will be equally distributed to the ARS community, and you will get as many votes/critiques on your pictures as much as the most popular ARS photographer.

The problem with Instagram:

The number of likes and comments you get on a picture is contingent on how many followers you have, not how good you are as a photographer.

6. Why do you use social media?

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Currently social media is just a way to show off, or look popular. There is no social media platform which allows you to actually improve as a photographer or visual artist.

If you really want honest feedback and critique, there is literally no other platform which exists on the internet which exists, besides ARS.

So a simple question to ask you friend:

When you upload a photo to social media– what do you really want? Do you want a pat on the back? Do you want more exposure for your pictures? Do you want fame, money, power, or influence? What do you really want?

If you want to improve your photography, and to study your pictures more objectively (based on real and honest feedback from other photographers), upload it to

7. Imagine: The Future of ARS

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To give a taste or a vision of what can be possible with ARS in the future, imagine, being able to employ a ‘double blind’ feedback algorithm or platform that can be applied to all domains of knowledge-production, such as education, healthcare, law, politics, science, and technology.

Imagine: teachers could get honest feedback and critique on certain lesson plans from the ‘sub-ARS’ education community. Or a politician can ‘beta test’ their political propositions on the ‘sub-ARS’ political community, to figure out what people really think of their policies (and the people giving the feedback won’t be biased by knowing who the politician is). Or a technology entrepreneur can pitch a new idea they have to the ‘sub-ARS’ technology community, to receive valuable and honest feedback on how others really think how good their idea is.

8. How to create a million jobs

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My theory:

We have so much cognitive surplus which is being under-utilized. What if we could harness all of that cognitive surplus in the world for good?

I want ARS to be the Uber of feedback. What if you could pay ‘commissioned critiques’ — to utilize the cognitive power (brainpower) of individuals, and pay them money to do so? is already doing this — you essentially pay (very important and busy people) money ($1-$100) to gain access to their time, mind, and insights. For example, I shot Ben Horowitz a message on, and if he responds (hasn’t responded yet), I will pay $100 USD for the privilege to get a response from him.

What if we could do something similar with ARS? What if we could pay photographers and ‘legit’ critics to give us (very very) constructive, empowering, and useful feedback on our photos– for just $1 USD?

Imagine if we just took 1 million photographers (who waste their time on Instagram), and paid them money instead– to give constructive feedback and critiques on the photographs of others?

What if a photographer could earn $100 a day, just by spending 4 hours a day typing out constructive feedback for other photographers?

What if we had 1 million photographers earning $100 USD a day — generating $100 million dollars of economic value everyday — time which would otherwise be squandered on Facebook or Instagram? And what if ARS could capture 10% of that value, making $10 million dollars of revenue a day?

I’m crazy. If you’re crazy and would like to invest in art, or figure out how you can help us succeed in our mission, shoot us an email at

Learn more: ARS BETA PRESS KIT >