It’s a problem people have been tackling for years: smart recommendations. We want help deciding what books we should read, what movies we should see, where we should shop and what we should eat. Yelp reviews are pitiful. The masses aren’t to be trusted. I tend to ask my friends, but considering their lackadaisical approach to emailing and text messaging, it’s pretty inefficient.

Stamped is a new iOS app that allows you to give your stamp of approval to things like restaurants, books, movies, music and TV shows. It’s intuitive, well-designed and will likely have some serious user traction. Stamped is the only NYC based consumer project funded by Google Ventures. In fact, it’s just one of only four NYC startups that Google supports in NYC. Stamped is also backed by Bain Capital Ventures.

The app was started by former Google employees Bart Stein and Robby Stein, along with Kevin Palms. Instagram Co-Founder and CEO Kevin Systrom is an advisor to Stamped, as is famed chef Mario Batali.

Screen shot 2011 11 21 at 3.29.59 PM Google only funds 1 consumer project in NYC. Its called Stamped.To use it: Simply sign up with your full name, email address, username and photo. Find friends on the app by connecting your Twitter, Facebook and scanning your address book. Follow celebs like advisor Mario Batali, Rolling Stones critic Peter Travers, fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff and the New York Magazine. Then choose or customize your stamp color. You have 100 stamps to start and you can earn more when your friends like what you recommend.

“Review sites are cluttered with recommendations from people you don’t know and don’t care about. We’re focused on quality – only the people you trust recommending only what they truly like best,” said Stamped co-founder and CEO Robby Stein. “Stamped is a simple, fast way to filter out the noise.”

Watch this video here for an overview of Stamped:

Stamped integrates with Google Places and includes built-in functionality with OpenTable, Amazon, iTunes and Fandango so you can immediately take action. You can search through categories like restaurants, books, movies/TV shows, music and miscellaneous. Once you find something you want to try, just add it to your “To-Do” list with the middle + button. “News” tells you when people start following you or when people have Liked or Stamped one of your Stamped recommendations. “People” tells you who you’re already connected with.

photo 13 520x780 Google only funds 1 consumer project in NYC. Its called Stamped.

Use the Earth icon at the top right to see Stamped recommendations nearby or search for specific locations. If Foursquare is like the Facebook of social networking, than is Stamped like Google+ as it offers a clean slate for recommendations that encompasses all things recommendable? Or will its verticals cause Stamped to become too overcrowded without a decent search feature (which it currently lacks)? Searching for “NYC Dinner” brings up 0 results.

photo 26 Google only funds 1 consumer project in NYC. Its called Stamped.

Stamped has been in private beta since September with a very small group of users who have provided feedback on product functionality and design. The main challenge Stamped will have is making sure the right tastemakers are using the app first. If it can accomplish that, Stamped will be a big hit.

Stamped