5 out of 5 shouldn’t be the minimum

Everything has an online mostly anonymous rating system these days. Restaurants, Doctors, Auto Repair, rideshare drivers. Everything. I like the idea of knowing other people’s impressions about stuff, but the way we use the systems is completely broken.

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Anything less than a 4.7 rating and this Lyft driver faces deactivation

When we use these systems, we’re expected to give anything that doesn’t fall short of expectations a perfect 5 star rating. This means there’s no real way to recognize the truly exceptional.

In my perfect world 3 stars would be “met expectations”. 4 stars is a bit better, 2 could use improvement. 5 stars would be reserved for those few and far between awesome experiences. 1 star and someone’s gotta talk.

Even better, what if we all graded on a curve?

What we need is a rating system that says “this one was better or worse than that one”. Was this ride better than your last one? Was this the worst meal you’ve ever had? Did that doctor finally solve the thing all the other ones (whom you gave 5 stars) couldn’t?

It seems like it would be trivial to apply the curves from large numbers of people to derive a star or point based rating. This one was in the middle of everyone’s pack? 3 stars. That’s fine, you’ll get a decent meal / ride / whatever.

See a 5 star restaurant that’s based on a curve? Get in that 3 star ride share and head on over!

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