Category Archives: e-Commerce

The Functionality of Square

In life, there are two types of things; necessities and luxuries. Those things we need vs. the things we want. Most social media sites and services fall into the latter, the luxuries/wants. We don’t NEED to tell the world what we’re doing at every second, nor do we even need to share pictures of our vacation with every person we’ve ever known. We do need to eat, sleep, produce, and consume…to a certain degree. The world would be a better place if we all consumed much less of everything, but that’s not the world we live in, therefore we do need commerce, which is why Square is coming at the digital and social world from a much more substantial and lasting angle. By simplifying the monetary exchange process, Square is redefining how we’ll make purchases (consumers) and accept payments (retailers), a core process from which an infinite number of revenue channels can be implemented, much wiser than the opposite route of creating necessity out of luxury.  Once this new way of payments becomes more prevalent and they start reaping the financial benefits of its licensing practice, it’ll be interesting to see who they monetize the app even further via advertising and partnerships.

Kickstarter getting businesses off the ground

What do you get when you combine online Groupon with venture capitol firms? You get Kickstarter, a funding platform for creative ideas. Companies pitch their idea via a profile and pitch video on Kickstarter’s site, and it’s up to the public to decide if they want to swap their cash for discounts and schwag. That is if a minimum amount of funding is met, similar to how Groupon has their assurance contract.

I love this service for so many reasons. One, it combines several different tools and services to create a new one; this seems to be how the most popular companies are getting off the ground. Their not recreating the wheel, but they’re finding a new way to use that tool. Hell, that’s why cloud computing is so genius. Why build your own platform when you can use an existing, just as functional service? Two, this service is helping get quality businesses off the ground where they may not have been able to had this service not existed. Three, it is leaving the judging for a business’s relevancy in the hands of the people who it will serve; the public. Why should the VC’s have all the say in what succeeds?

Any way, check out this example of a business that used the service and quickly met its minimum funding. Looks like these crazy cats will actually be able to feed the world some interesting microbrew.  (sorry for the lack of an embedded player.  Looks like WordPress doesn’t like iFrames)

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pipeworks/pipeworks-brewing-chicago-small-batches-big-beers/widget/video.html

SNAP social commerce

I’ve been really curious to see how the social world would properly meld with the local e-commerce world. Facebook doesn’t seem to have the answer to integrate geo-targeted business like Groupon, and vice versa with Groupon not grasping social. It’ll be interesting to see which of those two is the first the break into the others’ property.

In the meantime, a new service was just released today, SNAP, which seems like it has real promise to bridge social and local e-commerce. Check out the following video and see what you think for yourself. Do you think SNAP has the answer?

Better yet, which of the two big boys will swoop-in and grab SNAP before it becomes a player itself?