John Legend looks to take on Yelp and Google Reviews with his first foray into tech – a travel and food review app ‘It’s Good’ . . . where no negative reviews are allowed

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Musician John Legend has announced his plans to launch It’s Good, a social app that supplies users with personalized food and travel recommendations – and doesn’t leave any room for negativity.

Unlike platforms like Yelp, where users can leave a star rating, Legend’s app – which he co-founded with director and photographer Mike Rosenthal – only allows recommendations.

‘It’s actually not even built for negative comments,’ Legend said, appearing The Wall Street Journal’s Tech Live conference on Monday. ‘Either you recommend it or you don’t.

‘And actually that’s what you wanna know about a restaurant. Not whether it’s a three or four, but whether or not if they were going out, they would recommend that kind of place to you.’

He said the app is designed to ‘celebrate the places we love and excited enough about to share.’ 

The app's new website says users can find personalized food and travel recommendations

The app’s new website says users can find personalized food and travel recommendations 

Legend is set to launch It's Good alongside entrepreneur Mike Rosenthal

Legend is set to launch It’s Good alongside entrepreneur Mike Rosenthal

The musician says the platform is designed to 'celebrate the places we love and excited enough about to share'

The musician says the platform is designed to ‘celebrate the places we love and excited enough about to share’

The founding team includes product and design leadership from Meghan Raab, formerly of Snap, and Kevin Auerbach, formerly of Apple. 

It’s Good launched in March with a select group of users and is currently invite-only – but prospective users have the option to join a waitlist online.

The app delivers recommendations from users’ own social circles, as well as from critics, celebrities and influencers. 

Legend says it was designed to fill an existing need.

He and Rosenthal devised the idea four years ago, inspired by their own attempts to share travel experiences with friends. They sorted out details over Zoom calls during the pandemic.

‘Over the past few years, we have started relying on the opinions of strangers on Yelp, Trip Advisor or Google Reviews,’ a press release for the app reads.

‘These strangers may not have similar taste to us, may not give authentic reviews… and may even be a bot. Instead of following thousands of strangers, why not follow the few people whose taste you most respect and admire?’

This sense of intimacy is a key selling point, but Legend acknowledged the drawbacks. 

When asked how users would know if celebrities were getting paid for endorsements, he said they would ‘have to decide based on who you follow.’

The singer likened the platform to Instagram, where ‘you have to trust that the person you’re following is being sincere and genuine in what they’re saying and you build that trust over time.’

'Either you recommend it or you don¿t,' says Legend

‘Either you recommend it or you don’t,’ says Legend 

It's Good launched in March with a select group of users and is currently invite-only

It’s Good launched in March with a select group of users and is currently invite-only

Prospective users have the option to join a waitlist online

Prospective users have the option to join a waitlist online

The app delivers recommendations from users¿ own social circles, as well as from critics, celebrities and influencers

The app delivers recommendations from users’ own social circles, as well as from critics, celebrities and influencers

The first batch of users included celebrity chef David Chang and actress-slash-businesswoman Jessica Alba, as well as NBA player Harrison Barnes and actress Minka Kelly.

Lightspeed Venture Partners, a Silicon Valley venture firm that made an early bet on Snapchat, is leading the company’s $5million seed round.

The firm has backed other entertainers who made the jump into entrepreneurship including Alba with Honest Co. and Gwyneth Paltrow with Goop.

It’s Good is launching at a difficult time in Silicon Valley, as startups struggle to cut costs amid a larger pullback in funding. 

While they are currently focused on growth rather than revenue, Rosenthal said the app could eventually make money from partnerships with hospitality and food companies or take a cut of bookings made through the app.

It’s Good is far from Legend’s first foray into tech.

The musician has previously collaborated with platforms including meditation app Headspace and Google Assistant, where he lent his voice as a cameo.

In February of last year, Legend announced that he would be serving as the cofounder and chief impact officer of OurSoung, an NFT platform with an emphasis on minting music as NFTs.

He also founded a skin-care line called Loved01 and LVE, a wine brand.

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