Met up with Sean Treadway last night

Posted by Pelle June 29th, 2005 3 comments edit

It turns out that Sean Treadway lives a block or two away from me, so we met up for a couple of beers last night.

Great getting to know a fellow Rails coder and Entrepreneur .

StakeItOut preview: Asset Types and Web Services

Posted by Pelle June 28th, 2005 edit

I’m busy on the next release of StakeItOut, which will have some very cool features.

First of all look at this view of the portfolio:

This shows entries for 3 different asset types:

  • This blog
  • My E-Gold account
  • One of my backpack pages

The buttons beneath each one are various web services I have enabled for them.

You enable your web services by clicking on the “Edit Webservices” link, which takes you to this screen:

This lists all the web services currently available for your assets asset type. You can then enable them or disable them by clicking on the red or green led. If you enable them other members in your venture can use them.

Asset types

Asset Types are basically a way of typing URL’s. It could be a product page at Amazon, a web log, a backpack page or simple a web page. You will be able to define your own on this page:

Currently you will need to have a simple understanding of Regular expressions to define these, but I will create a wizard guiding people through it later. In your regular expression you can actually extract parameters from the URL, that you can name and use later in web service calls.

I am working on a web services editor right now, where you can go in and define your own web services, that you can keep private or hopefully share with the rest of us.

As I will be traveling to Estonia next weekend I expect I will have this up in about 2 weeks time. However I will try to get the Asset Type editing functionality live this week.

The cheap can sometimes be expensive

Posted by Pelle June 28th, 2005 edit

So when I bought my powerbook in March I decided to stick with the base 512mb. I figured how bad could it be? It’s not like I’m running any Java IDE’s or anything that normally sucks up memory.

Besides there is a magic tax write off limit I would hit here in Denmark if I didn’t upgrade the memory.

Well, when you have textmate, safari, firefox, newsfire, marsedit, yoursql, itunes as well as a webrick dev session open at the time on a 512 meg powerbook you find yourself doing a lot of swapping. It was a pain in the ass (I’m the boss here I do not need to insert **). Even the cool instant startup from sleep was taking ages.

So I did the right thing and ordered 512mb from Crucial so I could have it as part of this quarters VAT return. Finally got it yesterday and what a difference. I know everyone probably already knew this, but it is so much faster. The memory also was nearly 20 euro cheaper than it was when I looked at it in March. Actually my own memory might be wrong, but thats what I think anyway.

The four curves of want and get

Posted by Pelle June 27th, 2005 edit

Seth Godin has as good and short a description I’ve seen of the curves of product sales. The four curves of want and get

Basically curve A is what everyone wants but rarely gets, Curve B shows a spurt of early adopters then hardly anyone else. Curve C shows the most realistic success curve which we should generally speaking plan our finances around and finally curve D which is essentially the failure curve.

These things are very important for us bootstrappers as we we need to be able to plan our funding/finance accordingly. I think it is best to plan for C. Obviously if you plan for D, why start at all. This is why it is so bad to fund with your credit card, because unless you hit curve A, the credit card will kill you before success hits in curve C.

Curve B is interesting. Seth talks about this as what happens if you a fan group who all buy your stuff immediately. Then no one else does.

If I was to create a new payment system...

Posted by Pelle June 22nd, 2005 edit

There is a lot of buzz going on right now about payment systems. First with the huge credit card theft which was seriously just waiting to happen (and will happen again), secondly with Google’s new Payment System which could have the potential to be interesting.

This subject is dear to me as I have spent more than my fair share of time in the payment system business.

So if I was to do it again (and I probably cant stay out of it completely) I have some ideas about it.

First of all these are the things I and google should do:

Google have an opportunity to do many of these things. In particular the first point about the banking system.

The banks will do anything they can to kill your business as a payment system. Afterall they have had a near monopoly for years in handling payments electronically.

Even though they do NOT handle the majority of payments in the world. Most payments are still cash and are handled easily and simply without the interference of banks.

Google cashflows

Google has the advantage of a large source of revenue through Adwords as well as a major group of small business Adsense partners.

This means they have two huge internal sources of cashflow that aren’t currently integrated.

Step 1. Linking the cashflows together to create GoogleBux

Linking those together would be the first step in the puzzle. That would simplify their operation and costs greatly. All they would have to do is to add a simple book entry system to their Google Account system.

Step 2. Allowing transfers between members.

How to turn this into a payment system then? Simply allow people to transfer parts of their GoogleBux balance to other users.

Now we have a payment system with probably a huge circulation of funds within the system.

Step 3. Cutting the cord to the banks

They currently use the banks to receive payments via credit cards to pay for Adwords. They Adsense members using antiquated paper checks or electronic fund transfer if you are lucky enough to have a US bank account.

Personally I would rather be able to spend my adsense money on adwords or other services than wait a year for $100 check that my Danish bank will then charge me $30 do clear.

Also what if I could go transfer my 67 GoogleBux to a friend in exchange for 400 dkk cash.

Someone might even make a business out of it and charge a 2% markup on exchanges to the banking system. Thus outsourcing the integration with each countries banking system to the free market. Google would save tons of moneys, headaches and legal problems.

At Reboot I talked with Malthe Sigurdsson from Skype about this as a solution for them allowing people to buy Skype credits in strange places where people don’t have credit cards. He said that they would like to do something like this, but fraud is a huge issue.

I think though that the clever people at Skype and Google could probably come up with some clever technological solutions for this. Such as not mixing hard and soft money