Archive for the ‘event’ Category
Register at the site and have fun. I myself unfortunately won’t make it but other Tipit.to founders as well as many of the other usual suspects (and I hope some new faces) will be present.
If you like it and you would like to support us, you can go to the site pitchstorm.tv, register in the box on the upper right hand corner and after confirming your registration you can vote for us in the poll.
This Wednesday, I was at the Plugg.eu European startup conference. It was a joy to meet interesting new people and old friends alike at an event focused on the European startup experience.
It was interesting to hear from some of the VCs that they think there is a big market in the near future in small payments for online content. We think Tipit.to is excellently positioned to become a player in that market.
Last weekend at Barcamp Amsterdam, I did a retake on the Voluntary Economies talk Reinier already gave at Barcamp London. I changed the order somewhat, focused it on a couple of main threads and put in stories from my own life and experience. I think it turned out quite okay.
Here are the slides and a writeup of the points I covered. I’ll probably give this talk more often in one incarnation or another. It’s fun to give and I think the issues in it are only going to become more pertinent. Writeup below the slides…
Content is Free
A lot of content recently has become free, software applications, newspaper articles. A lot of these have found alternative ways to support their offering either by adding advertising or by partnering etc. This is nothing new, television has been mostly free because advertisers have been footing the bill.
Other content sources have become de facto free by the sharing enabled by digital copies and the internet. Music is one such industry where traditional institutions are struggling but a lot of musicians are finding empowerment and a potential to make money in this new reality. They do this not only by selling music but by managing their Tribe.
In many cases fans are excellent promoters and distributors of content, if you let them. They will manage to have everybody listen to a great CD they just discovered. And more and more musicians are showing breaking free and are showing themselves to be great cultivators of their fanbase.
Another source of value production is by individual amateurs contributing to a large whole, such as Wikipedia or tons of other crouwdsourced sites. In a lot of these sites it is a question how voluntary voluntary really is and where the ownership of the produced result lies and how the producers shoud be compensated.
There have been some established succesful cases (Threadless, Wikipedia) and other cases where a site built on the contribution of a large number of people has been sold by the founders and they have since struggled to find a suitable compensation model which cannot be gamed and which does not destoy the intrinsic motivation of the contributors.
Tipping is an uncertain and subjective enough way of compensating somebody that it cannot be taken for granted and is hard to game. Maybe tipping is a good way to distribute compensation in projects, such as this and maybe it isn’t? We could try it out, initial results are pretty positive.
(I don’t know myself yet, but this is a great topic to debate and to refine this thread for the future.)
Voluntary payment has been employed for ages in various circumstances. The money boxes at unmanned fruit stalls seem to work nicely but do note the lock on the box. A person not paying for his fruit would be annoying, a person taking all the money from the box would be somewhat more annoying. Abuse is still possible and if it becomes widespread enough, the system as a whole breaks down.
It does seem to work quite nicely in a series of settings:
- the bagle guy from Freakonomics
- Terra Bite as one of a series of coffee shops that employ a pay as you like tab
- a series of Weinereien in Friedrichshain, Berlin where you can pay what you think you’ve drunk
- some freelancers in the Netherlands have begun to contract on a ‘pay as much as you think I’m worth’ basis
And just to think where this trend ultimately might lead, the story ‘Maneki Neko’ from Bruce Sterling’s collection ‘A good old-fashioned future’, paints a picture of a system where an operator-in-the-sky driven barter economy takes care of its participants. The system Sterling describes can happen in a world where there are so many connections and information and a smart system to make it work.
Before we completely automate this, creating a culture where everybody pays as much as they can and feel they should, could be one of the fairest (subjectively fair if nothing else) distributor of wealth thusfar. It’s an interesting thought experiment.
Free does not change everything, it has been around for a long time. Free combined with voluntary payment in the current conditions makes a lot of interesting things possible of which we are seeing only the beginning.
So an abundance of information and content makes that paying up front is no longer attractive. If you ask money for your information, news, software application, people will either find a free way to get at it or find alternatives which are fact free.
Given this abundance, it makes sense to first build your fame and then make money off of that. Giving away stuff is a better way to get famous, than to charge money for it especially when the stuff is nearly completely free.
Setting payment at voluntary levels or creating a large amount of price discrimination in another way makes a lot of sense. Different people have radically different budgets and perceptions of value, one price does not easily cater to all of them and probably makes you miss out on money.
Anyway with Tipit.to we plan to provide a part of the infrastructure necessary for voluntary payment for all sorts of online content. Join us and we’ll see how it goes.
I gave a small pitch presentation at a Holland Open event for the breakthrough project of 2008.
There were some other great presenters (like OpenStreetMap) and Tipit was selected as one of the breakthrough projects. We got a lot of positive responses from the audience afterwards, which was great.
As mentioned earlier, Reinier had presented a presentation on Voluntary Economies on the last Barcamp London. It’s nice to see that the video of that presentation is up courtesy of Consuming Experience.
We will improve the presentation further but it already serves as a nice overview of some of the ideas that are the foundation of Tipit.to.
Merry Christmas, one and all.
We are thrilled to see that Chris Anderson’s next book “Free” is addressing the same topic we have been occupied with; we termed it Voluntary Economies. We believe abundance of information and connections are causing it to make sense to give stuff away and get paid in novel ways.
Financial testing is wrapping up and we think we may be able to go into soft launch before the end of the year. Those of you who have registered, can expect an early warning when we are ready.
Alper will be attending Software Social this Friday to close off the year with our startup friends.
This week the last bits of financial integration for Tipit.to were finished. This means that if everything goes according to plan, testing is the only thing that stands between us and launch.
This weekend Reinier is headed to Google’s London Headquarters for Barcamp London to learn, to talk about Tipit and to give a presentation on Voluntary Economies. We at Tipit.to believe that tipping and other forms of voluntary transactions are going to be very important in the near future.
That said we think we should be able to launch within the next 2-3 weeks. Expect a definitive announcement and invitations to a launch event soon.