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PowerToExchange finding focus to launch

Here's a site where there's so much potential, a client willing to fund development of it right now or earlier, and we would get half of any money the site could make in the future.

This is a site that needs direction. Purpose. Personality.

I was originally hired (pre-Agaric!) to do another site called as the idea of the same person. LinkLocus could be rolled into PowerToExchange in the future.

I want to do a good job on this. There's some overlap between what PowerToExchange could be and what PWGD could be:

Being the only entrepreneur resource that emphasizes cooperatives and collectives, talks about social and economic justice, and provides true resources for being green could really put the site on another level. So I want to do that.

I really don't want to take his money without a credible plan for the site to make money. Abdee's latest idea is a good way to do that: we could have business plan competitions where the anyone who joins as a paying member can submit and vote on plans. Whoever wins gets the (basic-level) membership money for the year and everybody else becomes investors. The site could make a tiny bit of money off interest while this grows to levels that spinoffs can make money or there's just so much money that the interest means something.

And here's the latest from Dan and I in chat:

I3IVIIVI (12:44:24 PM): So power to exchange: what would it need for you to post something there? Even a crazy idea you hope someone else does? What would have to be the promise and image for Lefty to try to find funding/partners there? How do we divide these visually and functionally, or do we? Do we let people rate and tag slashdot style, so something can be highly rated as funny or as a good idea?
I3IVIIVI (1:05:17 PM): What would it take for us to ever want to pay money to PowerToExchange? Access to paid=serious members who want web development? Getting in on a business plan competition?
I3IVIIVI (1:06:44 PM): Is there any preference for a product or service you'd like to aggregate to make it happen?
Dan Hak (smoothblendz) (1:06:49 PM): I'm thinking
I3IVIIVI (1:08:25 PM): Would you want enough to bring a particular DJ to Boston, say - that would lead you to put up the ticket price on speculation? Tell your friends to do the same? If it doesn't happen you can get your money back?
I3IVIIVI (1:09:26 PM): Maybe let paid members put their membership toward this, one thing at a time. You become a $100/year member and you can just through your weight around trying to make things happen.
Dan Hak (smoothblendz) (1:10:05 PM): ooh
Dan Hak (smoothblendz) (1:10:13 PM): I like the idea of membership levels
Dan Hak (smoothblendz) (1:10:30 PM): unlock access control for $$$
Dan Hak (smoothblendz) (1:10:39 PM): but free still can do a lot
I3IVIIVI (1:13:53 PM): If I see a hierarchy of what I can do or not do per $ level I would be turned off. Even if I didn't know that I was being asked to pay for turning on built-in Drupal functionality ;-)
I3IVIIVI (1:15:32 PM): the only real value we can sell in that way I think is ... direct access to people who have also paid money. That can go by level. The value we are selling is "how serious is this person about their business?" -- indicated by how much they paid us!
Dan Hak (smoothblendz) (1:15:58 PM): let me think
Dan Hak (smoothblendz) (1:16:12 PM): there has to be something that people will pay for
I3IVIIVI (1:19:18 PM): Yeah, if you have any ideas for membership services that would be great


Comments needs help-- not just design, but a defining, focusing and projection of its vision. It's a good idea though: help would-be entrepreneurs find the other person or persons needed to make it possible to pursue their dreams. The client's latest brainstorm is to have members vote to invest in the best business plan that a member has. For my part, I have long been obsessed with the idea of aggregating wants and needs: if ten million people who want cell phone service that isn't extortionate and closed, couldn't we start our own network? That's an overly ambitious example, but there's a lot of room for regular people to become active players in the economy just as there's a desperate need for people to begin to drive politics. And more immediately there's lots we want to do around making it a resource for starting businesses with a unique focus on cooperative models, a rare focus on social justice and a more-common-but-not-often-done-well focus on environmental sustainability.

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