Category Archives: Life in the Cloud

‘Venmo’ App at the Core of the “Future of the Wallet”

Welcome to Mozy’s App Profile, where we introduce new programs seeking to improve the way we live and socialize. This week, Mozy takes a look at Venmo, an app that enables users to quickly and seamlessly exchange money with each other.

Vennmo Mobile PaymentsThere have been a lot of exciting advances in mobile payment options, especially in the retail and commerce industries.

For instance, Square Wallet enables users to setup house accounts with their favorite stores. Then, using its GPS technology, users don’t even have to take out their phone to make a purchase (they just have to tell the cashier their name).

With a similar pre-setup account, Uber, a GPS tracking taxi service, removes the payment process entirely from the experience, instead focusing on locating a taxi and then (optional) rating the driver.

There are many other prime examples of advancing this credit card-free atmosphere—except for a person-to-person exchange. And that’s where Venmo comes into play. While PayPal is more tailored for interacting with people you do not know or trust (i.e. eBay sellers), Venmo enables users to quickly and seamlessly exchange money with each other.

But what is also unique about Venmo is that it makes payment social.

“Every payment includes a personal note explaining the social context behind the payment,” said Venmo co-founder Andrew Kortina. “People can share these payment notes with their friends, creating a news feed of all the things your friends are doing together when they happen to pay each other back: going to lunch with colleagues, splitting dinner or drinks, attending concerts, taking trips, or just sending friends money for their birthdays.”

The Venmo iPhone and Android apps also connect your phone with your bank, debit or credit card, and you can instantly send money to anyone for free. When you receive money, you can withdraw it to your bank account overnight.

Even though Venmo is more or less the first of its kind, that hasn’t stopped Kortina from thinking even further down the line.

“We’re continuing to improve [the person-to-person] experience, but now also expanding to other types of payments,” said Kortina. “For example, Venmo Touch allows you to pay with one touch inside different apps on your mobile device, so you don’t have to constantly re-type your credit card details.”

While Venmo replaces a lot of transactions that might previously have used cash, it also may enable new spending behaviors. For example, next time you want to send a friend who’s home sick $5 for chicken soup, your smartphone makes possible what wasn’t possible with cash.

 

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Top Apps for Back to School 2013

Schoolboy With Digital Tablet Sitting At Desk In Classroom“We are heading towards a paperless classroom,” says Sherry Maysonave, a former educator and author of the children’s e-book series EggMania: Where’s the Egg In Exactly (for the iPad). Maysonave has become an expert in technology in the classroom and emphasizes the benefits for both teachers and students. “Digital media offer children a whole new way to learn. Some people mistakenly think of ebooks as digital pacifiers when, in fact, they’re actually vitamins for the brain and can open up whole new stimulating worlds for children,” she said.

According to Maysonave there are now more educational apps than ever before. Many are for students, but there are also several for teachers and parents. Whether it’s helping to boost a child’s reading skills, make a teacher more organized, or helping parents stay in the loop, digital technology is adding several new tools for education.

Here is a look at some of the best apps for the upcoming school year:

iHomework

Students can manage everything they do inside and outside of the classroom with the iHomework app. Quickly enter homework assignments, course and teacher information, important tasks, and reading in a fun, intuitive, and convenient way. Keep up-to-date with school work, grades, to-dos, teacher’s information (create a contact list of all teachers!), and almost everything else you need during the school year. Set reminders so you never miss assignments or tasks. This ultimate school organizer is available for iPhone/iPod touch, iPad, or Mac ($1.99).

Remind101

Remind101 gives teachers a way to use text messaging to connect with students and parents. The free app, which is used by more than 200,000 teachers, allows teachers to send a message to a single student, group of students, or whole class, without displaying any phone numbers. It’s an easy way to communicate outside of the classroom without risking privacy issues on either side.

gFlash+ Flashcards & Tests

Available for both iOS and Android (free with upgrades available for varying fees), gFlash+ is a handy and innovative learning tool for students of all ages to create digital notecards. Its goal is simple: make studying easy and fun. Its integration with Google Docs allows users to create and share flash cards easily and on the go. gFlash+ allows users to create, download, and edit flashcards in any subject they would like. In-app purchases are also available and allow students to upload flashcards with information on specific tests (SATs for example) and subjects.

TeacherKit

The ultimate app for helping teachers get organized, TeacherKit helps instructors avoid piles of paperwork and combine all notes and grades into one simple digital system. With TeacherKit teachers can take attendance, keep a gradebook, maintain a seating chart, compile notes on student behavior, and even upload student ID photos. It’s truly an all-in-one app for instructors of all grade levels. And best of all, it’s free.

Pencils, Words & Kids

Pencils, Words & Kids (PWK) is a creative writing app that helps teachers and students with the creative writing process — specifically, to make it more fun and get the school year started right. PWK ($4.99) is based on the premise that writing is like weightlifting: every repetition makes you stronger. PWK has 203 inspiring photo prompts and 81 entries of kids writing, original artwork, and inspiring scenes. The photos show what real writing looks like and will fuel brainstorming for stories, essays and poems. Reading is emphasized as part of the PWK creative writing process, so the app includes commentary from authors and writers on the books that inspired them to write.

My Words

This is an app that makes life easier on special-needs children who are non-verbal. Created by the mother of an autistic son, My Words ($9.99) facilitates communication for people with a wide spectrum of special needs by allowing users to simply tap a word in order to play it audibly. Users can create custom word lists in which each word is associated with a sound and a picture. My Words has also been used by people who are trying to learn a new language.

Make your (or somebody else’s) side projects happen via Sideprojectors

SideProjectorsIf you’re a creative type, you may have an endless list of world-changing projects that you have brainstormed, blueprinted and prototyped.

If you’re a businessperson, you are probably capable of executing and growing great projects, but are short on things-to-build.

If you fit into either category, you’re soon-to-be in luck.

SideProjectors, formerly a tiny community of creatives and moonlighters who showcased things they were working on or had worked on, is developing a marketplace to buy and sell side projects.

The revamped site is to-be-launched, and promises to be a dead-simple solution for finding “someone who can potentially take over your projects. Alternatively, if you are looking for interesting projects that others have paused on, SideProjectors would be a great place to discover them.”

Keeping side projects alive

Instead of quitting a languishing side project entirely — it’s always difficult to let go — put it up for sale so you can live vicariously through its success or watch it burn in flames knowing at least someone tried.

The entrepreneurial-minded no longer have to start from scratch and can move on from the wannabe stage, ridding themselves of the excuse, “If only I had a great idea…”

Of course, not every side project will become a full-blown business that will launch you into the Wall Street Journal. Many are destined to fail. Some will evolve into completely new ideas.

Side projects are good, but startups are better

Side projects allow creators and developers to build things for fun and feed their entrepreneurial spirits. But there is a caveat: turning a side project into a successful business requires a committed entrepreneur.

David Hauser, founder of Grasshopper writes, “The biggest problem with side projects is that the lack of commitment dilutes the startup talent pool, hurts the side project or startup, and in turn kills great startups from succeeding. If you’re looking to start a business, take some time to consider whether or not you’re ready to be all in.”

That’s where the SideProjectors marketplace intends to help. Not only can it help vet ideas, it can also find that committed entrepreneur that good projects need.

Sign up for an early invitation into the SideProjectors community at its website.

 

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Chirpify: A Social Media Wallet

Welcome to Mozy’s App Profile, where we introduce some of the new programs seeking the way we live and work. This week, Chirpify makes buying on social media easy.

The prestige of carrying cash is for the Baby Boomers generation. Credit cards are convenient for swiping inperson, but aren’t always the most seamless option while shopping online. And while PayPal is the most secure online payment form, the tool itself simply hasn’t kept up with the infrastructure of new social media.

A recent study by Experian indicates that Americans now spend an average of sixteen minutes per hour on social media websites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Chirpify hopes to be the new way to click and buy on these platforms.

Chirpify has developed an integrated, in-stream technology that would enable users to buy, sell, raise money, or even donate simply. Unlike competitors Ribbon or Soldsie, with Chirpify, all users have to do to purchase an item is reply with “buy” or a “like,” and the funds are instantly withdrawn from your account (which can be linked to PayPal). There’s no email confirmation barrier or off-site voyages–it’s all streamlined.

The on-the-fly ease of Chirpify makes it an instant marriage for small business owners who actively market their products online. In fact, that’s how Chris Teso, the founder and CEO of Chirpify, found his inspiration to create the payment tool.

“The impetus for Chirpify came from spending many years in the advertising industry.,”said Teso, whose Oregon-based company currently employs just around a dozen people. “Working with big brands, I saw again and again that their advertising was limited to creating ‘awareness’ or ‘engagement’ — which they hoped would eventually lead to a conversion or transaction — but there was no way to connect the dots directly. I built Chirpify to give that advertising a way convert instantly, in the moment, wherever it lives.”

The approach is already being adopted by the billion-dollar sports and music industries.

Back in February, Tim McGraw, who has sold more than 40 million albums, began to integrate Chirpify technology onto his Facebook page to boost the sales of his latest release. To date, Chirpify has also partnered with Adidas, Green Day, Lil Wayne, and Snoop Dogg. And the Portland Trailblazers, Timbers, and Thorns–all professional sports franchises in Chirpify’s hometown–also decided to utilize Chirpify to integrate an untapped medium to interact with fans. .

“The Portland Timbers and Thorns [for instance] have been offering their fans exclusive experiences via social channels — such as VIP passes to pre-game warm-ups and post-game autographs — using Chirpify as a direct social response platform,” Teso said. “It’s mainly a way for them to thank and reward their fans, but also to establish Facebook and Twitter as a two-way channels for more than just cheering on the team.”

Chirpify is free to use for buyers, but sellers incur slight fees. For the “basic” account, sellers incur a 5% (of the purchase) plus $.30 fee. The basic account also enables sellers to place their item or product on Chirpify’s “social storefront” web site.

If you plan on using Chirpify a little more often, the site offers an “Enterprise” account too. Enterprise sellers get a discounted 2.9% (plus $.30) fee, as well as a flurry of tools. These additional tools include promo/coupon codes, giveaways, e-commerce integration, umbrella accounts, priority support, real-time data, branded registration, account direction, and promoted listings.

With Chirpify adding upwards of 300 new users every day, and boasting a 5% conversion rate, the company is steadily building a new atmosphere of e-commerce. Assuming all the security intangibles are sorted out, it wouldn’t be surprising to witness a huge influx of clothes, electronics, and other big industries jumping on the Chirpify bandwagon to make online retail that much more seamless for prospective customers.

 

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Sketchfab Has a [3D] Vision for How Models Should Be Displayed Online

Welcome to Mozy’s App Profile, where we introduce some of the new programs seeking the way we live and work. This week, Sketchfab recreates a 3D world on a 2D screen..

Despite the amazing technological advancements you’ve seen in your life, the images on your computer and smartphone can’t fully replicate the three-dimensional world around you.

Sketchfab is trying to change that. The New York-based startup has a vision to create a website where designers can properly showcase their 3D model work as it should be–with height, width, and depth.

“There are major web platforms for each media format,” said Alban Denoyel, CEO of Sketchfab. “YouTube [is] for videos, Slideshare [is] for slides, and Soundcloud [is] for music. Sketchfab [wants] to become the online home for 3D files.”

Unlike artist video reels, where viewers only get a limited, awkward taste of an artist’s work, Sketchfab enables viewers (and prospective clients) to fully experience all of the finer graphic details–like zooming in and out, into and around every nook and cranny of the model. Sketchfab’s Sony PS4 model, for instance, provides users with a unique view of the new gaming hardware.

“3D models are incredibly engaging, and do exactly what the internet does best–convey information,” said Denoyel. “They display levels of detail that you either can’t get from a photograph, or would need multiple photographs to convey. And [3D models] give the user full control of how they take that information in, as opposed to photo and video, whose point of view has been decided on by someone other than the user.”

Sketchfab also provides users with the ability to make on-the-fly stylistic edits with the “Toolbox.” Users can choose between a shadeless or original render, as well as transforming it into a wire-frame style in either white, grey, black, or blue.

The model platform also takes 27 different 3D formats, has exporters available for most major software platforms, and each model has its own embed code. The latter means, from a social standpoint, that Sketchfab makes sharing simple. Linking or embedding a 3D model is as elementary as a YouTube link.

And there doesn’t seem to be much competition, either.

“There were many attempts to do a web-based 3D viewer before,” Denoyel noted. “But all of them required plugins, which is a no-go today.”

Considering the ease and seamlessness of the platform, the appeal of Sketchfab is universal–and has a lot of long-term potential.

While the company is still exploring various revenue models, Denoyel’s eyes are on capturing the market. “The absolute focus is to be the number one community for 3D designers on the web” he said. “Because you can make 3D models of anything, [...] 3D models will become an integral part of media in general, as well e-commerce and brand marketing, amongst other verticals [like the tech world]. Imagine going to Amazon.com, and instead of needing to click through 10 different photos to get an idea of what a product looked like, you could instead fully interact with a life-like 3D model.”

Even though Sketchfab is still in its infancy, the site is quickly becoming popular. In fact, Sketchfab’s 3D model of the new Sony PS4 received more views than Sony’s official trailer–and in just five days, the model haseclipsed the 430K view mark.

As exciting as Sketchfab’s initial success has been, the future of 3D model technology might revolutionize the types of media online users share.

“3D scanning technology will be built into smartphones, which means anyone will be able to create a 3D model,” said Denoyel. “And [users] are going to want to share their creations–the same way people want to share their photos and videos. [...]”

Denoyel thinks “that’s a pretty good place to be.”

 

 

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Three Vital Tech Tools for Self-Published Authors

Tech tools for self publishing authorsAdvancements in technology have opened up the literary world for hopeful authors. Not too long ago, the only way for writers to get their work published and distributed was with the help of big-name publishing houses. Thanks to the Internet and a variety of tools, self-publishing is now a popular and easy method for individuals to market and sell their books to the masses.

Based on discussions with some authors who have successfully self-published, there are several tech services that make the process easy. Here are the top three they mentioned:

1. Online Self-Publishing Platforms: One of the very first thing someone who wants to self publish has to find is a website that will do the printing, publishing, and distribution for them. CreateSpace and LuLu are two of the largest. Both offer “print on demand” services, which means that books are printed only when someone orders a copy, so neither the author nor the publisher is responsible for unsold inventory.

“One of the greatest benefits of publishing now is print on demand,” explains Jed Diamond, PhD, author of several books focused on helping men live long and well. Jed is the founder of the website Men Alive, and has been self publishing since the 1980s. His most recent book is MenAlive: Stop Killer Stress with SimpleEnergy Healing Tools. “In 1983 I had to buy 2,000 books to get the price per book down to a price that anyone would buy.” Diamond said. ”Now I can literally have one book printed when I need it and the price is not only reasonable, but you can actually make a decent profit.”

2. Social Media: When authors go through the big publishing houses,they get the support of a marketing team to help promote their book. When self-publishing, most authors have to do the selling themselves. Perhaps the best free way to get exposure these days is through social media. Sites like Twitter, Linked In, Google +, and the app Goodreads all allow writers to reach out to potential readers.

Bonnie Nordling is a children’s writer who is currently working on self-publishing her first book series about the time-traveling teddy bear Sir Teddy Bertie. Nordling is fairly new to the industry, and without the backing of a publishing company she had to work on getting attention through social media. ”Social media has helped me finally feel like an ‘author’ because I am linked to other authors and am constantly reading tweets and messages from people in the same industry,” Nordling said. “You get to learn about your competition, but the trick is to not let it intimidate you. Social media is fun and when ‘work’ is fun, then it is even more likely to pay off.”

3. Cloud/Data Backup: Authors don’t write a book in one sitting (at least not most of them). It takes time and effort. It takes several drafts and edits. So what happens if someone is three-quarters finished with their newest book and their computer crashes? That’s where cloud and data backup services come into play. By having their writing backed up somewhere other than their computer, a crash or accidental deletion becomes much less disastrous.

“My computer only had to scare me once with that blue screen of death before I started to back up on the cloud every time,” says Dr. LeslieBeth Wish, self-published author of several self-help books for women and love, including the upcoming Adventures of Almost Smart Cookie. “Using cloud technology also frees up your computer space, which is often needed for authors.”

Conclusion

Diamond, Nordling, and Wish all agree that online publishing sites, cloud, and social media are extremely important for authors who want to self-publish. The beauty of self-publishing is that it allows anyone to write a book and get it published. However, in order for it to actually be purchased and read, authors have to do a little more than just ink their stories.

 

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Crowdsourcing a Job Online: 3 Tactics on the Cutting Edge

Crowdsourcing a job onlineThe in-house project has become an online event. Global crowdsourcing has arrived.

If it’s been a while since you’ve checked in on the state of online crowdsourcing, you may remember it as a realm mostly dominated by graphic-design competitions. But these days, the new frontier for the competitive crowdsourced project includes building mobile apps, websites, architecture, and engineering.

What does crowdsourcing promise however? And how can small-business owners best take advantage of the professionals who’ll respond to a job once it’s posted at one of the many online platforms that serve as networks for these projects?

To find some answers, we turn to one expert in the industry, and break out a trio of tips to bring your crowdsourced-project dreams a whole lot closer to coming true.

Resources on the Cutting Edge: Crowdsourcing for SMBs

“More and more businesses are turning to crowdsourcing to build their infrastructure and complete jobs online, removing the often prohibitive barrier of hiring full time,” said Nikki Parker, a regional director at Freelancer.com. “For many, however, the growing world of crowdsourcing is uncharted territory — until you complete your first job, it can appear quite daunting.”

Here are three key steps to keep in mind as you plan your first crowdsourcing project:

1. Have a Solid Plan and a Clear Project Brief: Before you post a job to a freelance community, it’s vital that you have a clear idea about what your project is and what needs to be done. Refining your brief and running it under the eyes of some friendly freelancers, offline at first, will help you to set ensure a solid foundation when you take the posting live. This dramatically increases the chances that your work will be executed to your exact requirements. Your freelancers will, of course, have some suggestions and opinions of their own, so collaborate with them and make the most of hiring an expert.

2. Get to Know the Candidates: Each freelancer has his or her own expertise, skill sets, and work habits. It’s important to establish what those elements entail before working together with any individual or team. Choose your freelancer(s) based on his or her advertised skills, work experience, and customer feedback — don’t rely solely on their hourly rate or bidding price.

3. Be Upfront with Payment Details: Set up a third-party payment process to protect your business (and provide security for the freelancers you hire). Consider milestone payments — which work in a way similar to an escrow service. With milestones in place, money will only be released once the work has been successfully completed, each step along the way. On both ends of the relationship, transparency and security in payment processes is paramount — it goes a long way toward ensuring that you get the most out of crowdsourcing your job online.

 

One thing should become clear as you consider the above tips, Parker said: “Whilst global crowdsourcing is a relatively new tool for doing business, the tips and tactics for making it a success remain in essence the same as how we have always done business.”

That’s an encouraging note. It means that although the way technology is changing project bids, bringing them to the cutting edge, your already proven skills are still crucial to success — identifying strong candidates and bringing in talent that creates a product well representing your business. New tools, longstanding best practices —  for small-business owners the two combine for a more powerful way to get the next job done.

App Profile: Power People’s Presence Aims to Recycle Old Mobile Apple Products into Home Security Hardware

Welcome to Mozy’s App Profile, where we introduce some of the new programs seeking the way we live and work. This week, a Presence breathes new life into old Apple products.

Presence AppThe public’s decade-plus enrapture with Apple products has left millions of old iPods, iPhones, and even iPads sequestered to dusty drawers and closets everywhere. Yes, these products–in their heyday–were expensive and awesome, but now that they’ve been supplanted by a new generation of the product, they’re more or less useless. Instead of letting them collect dust, or worse, giving them away to someone who would actually use it, Presence by People Power, has an alternative suggestion: turn it into a remote, home security camera.

Turning a seemingly defunct mobile Apple product into a security system might appear to be an odd hack, but Presence’s inspiration actually exposes the commonplace, expensive hurdles involved in securing our homes.

“My mom’s house was burglarized twice last year. The thieves took her jewelry, laptop, and some cash, but even worse, they took away her belief that she was safe in her own home,” said Gene Wang, CEO of Power People. “After the second break-in, I helped my mom buy a security system, which cost us about $1,800 upfront, plus $48 per month.”The installation wasn’t just expensive, it was time consuming. “I watched as the installer took 1.5 days getting the system working and thought: There must be a better, cheaper, simpler way to make people feel safe in their homes.”

With Presence, Wang believes he can offer people an inexpensive (free, in fact) alternative to a usually expensive problem. Unlike most home security systems, Presence can be “installed” with a free download via the iPhone app store.

Some of the key features of Presence includes:
- A camera with two-way audio and video
- Motion detection with notifications
- Seamless dispatching of video clips to your personal email
- Security and privacy controls
- A variety of “if-then” rules
- Home and away mode
- Front or back camera remote control
- Multiple cameras per account
- How-to videos as well as online help

And while the competition is deep, Presence has one substantial advantage: it’s free. On the big brand end, companies like AT&T and Comcast have entered the home security market with Digital Life and Xfinity Home, respectively. But unlike Presence, the services are not free (i.e. setup charges and monthly fees), and involve heavy installation. Wang also mentioned startups like SmartThings and LogMeIn, as well as other small companies like Nest and Dropcam–however, again, their services are not free.

In regards to what to classify Presence as, Wang prefers to call it a “platform”–not an app. The CEO created a developer portal to the site, which offers the platform’s API so that developers can add their own hardware and software creations.

“By making Presence a ‘platform’ instead of just an app, we’re going to do far more to bring the ‘Internet of Everything’ to everyone.”

To download the free Presence platform application, visit the iTunes Store.

 

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HIPAA to Healthcare Professionals: Get On the Cloud

HIPAA to Healthcare Professionals - Get On the CloudAs the healthcare industry goes digital, the mountains of paper documents are becoming weightless records stored in the cloud. This change is beneficial to both doctors and patients alike, helping to save time and money, and making processes much simpler. While many healthcare providers have embraced the digital changeover, some are still lagging behind. Now Congress is making sure they get on board.

Driving the migration of records to the cloud are two laws, HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) omnibus and ARRA (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act). According to Scott Good of Forbes, “by 2015, all medical professionals with access to patient records must utilize electronic medical and health records (EMR and EHR), or face penalties.”

Moving medical records to the cloud isn’t just about compliance. It’s also opening up new opportunities to care for patients.

Matthew Toohey is a pediatrician for a private practice in Pennsylvania and the co-founder of the website PediatricianNextDoor.com, which provides information on medicine and parenting. Toohey began his career with a practice that did not use digital records and has now moved on to one that does.

“This is a whole new frontier. It’s all new to the industry and it’s evolving so fast,” Toohey said of electronic medical records (EMR) and cloud-based services. “It can change the whole makeup of how people practice medicine. You can have all of your patient records on an iPad and access if from anywhere. Cloud-based services can eliminate a lot of headaches.”

Toohey said another benefit of healthcare going digital is that it’s much easier for doctors to fill prescriptions because they can do it with the click of a button rather than having to call it in. Also, several practices are now able to provide “patient portals” which allow patients to access their records from their home computers.

As far as why some healthcare providers have been reluctant to switch to EMR and cloud computing, Toohey believes it could be due to security concerns or simply a lack of knowledge about the benefits.

HIPAA is taking security concerns into account, however, by creating a 10-point checklist to determine if a cloud provider is is up to its standards. Some of the requirements include specific security procedures, encryption of data, regular monitoring, disaster recovery, and more.

Note: Mozy can help businesses become HIPAA compliant. Get more information here.

 

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New ‘Bondsy’ App Aims to Create Trade Marketplace / Social Network Hybrid

The Bondsy AppGrowing up, many people had hobbies focused on collecting, whether it was stickers, sports cards, pogs, or even Beanie Babies. But arguably the most important aspect of a hobby was the ability swing trades with friends. The objective, of course, was to acquire a coveted collectible– the thrill was in the hunt.

The new app Bondsy is the grown-up version of this. The iPhone app is a unique, user-friendly marketplace-meets-social -network that enables users to list unwanted items (e.g. a pair of pink headphones) to a trusted environment of interested people.

There doesn’t appear to be much competition either. Craigslist, the internet’s reigning place to quickly (and cheaply) pawn off unwanted goods, is often too seedy for even the most genuine transaction. And while Facebook’s “Marketplace” is certainly a more friendly online community, any “available items” status would inevitably get lost in the mix with the incessant influx of Buzz Feed links, funny cat videos, and ex-girlfriends’ tropical vacation photo albums.

The app itself is simple to use. To get started, a user just needs to snap a photo, write a caption, and add one or more price tags. Price tags are completely free form, allowing users to ask for whatever they might want (not just money). In addition, users can also set different price tags for friends, and even friends of friends.

But perhaps the most interesting feature of Bondsy is its “trade” option. While people can use Bondsy to sell items, the app encourages users to make a trade. To help facilitate this, users can create a list of “wanted” items as a potential return. This truly brings everyone’s childhood full circle in the mobile age.

Bondsy’s origin only adds to the genuine nature of the transaction-based social network. Diego Zambrano, the co-founder of Bondsy, accidentally came up with the app idea out of personal necessity.

“In 2007, I was moving from Brazil to New York and I didn’t want to bring anything with me. So when I decided to get rid of all my stuff, I had an insight. There were a lot of marketplaces out there, but I wanted to offer my things to my friends first. So, I came up with a hack.”

Zambrano used Flickr to upload photos of his unwanted items, and then emailed all his friends a link to it. However, instead of responding to his email, Zambrano noticed that people were directly commenting on the photos. At that moment, he knew he had created a new social experience.

The proud co-founder believes that Bondsy will be a success since users are naturally more comfortable transacting with friends, but also because there are more layers to the app than people think.

“You stumble upon things you might need and want, but didn’t know it. You can get to know more about your friends and their taste. It sparks conversations.”

 

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