Feb 19, 2001
ItsKarma.com uses p2p technology to bring online auctions into
BOSTON-ItsKarma.com, prepares to launch its new, socially conscious,
online marketplace. Through utilization of peer to peer (p2p) technology,
ItsKarma effectively decentralizes the online trading process, allowing
users to communicate directly by facilitating real-time negotiating
via on-line chats and off-line communication. Furthermore, transaction
fees may be waived if consumers choose to participate with various
not for profit partners.
Chicago based Dakota systems has been tasked with building a network
model utilizing the latest p2p technology for ItsKarma.com.
February 26, 2001
A virtual yardsale on your hard drive
BOSTON-The future of on-line auctions has arrived. Gone are the
days of the 3-5-10 day on-line auction process. itsKarma.com prepares
to launch a revolutionary virtual auction community. Utilizing the
latest p2p technology itsKarma allows users to post multiple listings
indefinitely from the comfort of their own PC's. By transferring
control of the posting process
into the hands of the end user, ItsKarma creates a network that
enables consumers to trade more freely with each other, without
the restrictions imposed by centralized, consumer to consumer web
March 5, 2001
ItsKarma gets "The Rat"
BOSTON-NHL Great and Stanley Cup winner joins board of Directors
of emerging itsKarma.com.- Ken Linseman, former Edmonton Oiler and
Stanley Cup Winner, known to fans affectionately as "The Rat"
joins the already impressive line-up of proven business and community
leaders at itsKarma.com-http://firstname.lastname@example.org/
NH CO. LAUNCHES NAPSTER-LIKE eBAY
Hampton NH - New Hampshire-based itsKarma.com has put a twist on
both eBay and Napster by combining the two business models into
what it hopes will become the world's largest flea market. Brothers
John and Patrick Meehan sparked the idea while building a web site
geared towards collectors. The never-launched collector's site,
was designed to work in unison with eBay. The new site, itsKarma,
has the ability to topple eBay, or so say the founders.
Like Napster, itsKarma employs peer to peer (P2P) technology to
connect users with one another. The same technology that allows
Napster users to search for and share music files will soon allow
itsKarma users to search for and offer items for sale. In simplest
terms, itsKarma enables a user to set up a permanent yard sale on
the hard drive of their computer.
This offers a unique advantage over eBay and other online auction
sites. Preparing an item for auction online involves a great deal
of upfront work in order to achieve a successful sale. Photographs
need to be taken and a detailed description must be written or your
item will most likely be passed over. Once your item is listed,
the auction gavel comes down on your item in three to ten days,
regardless of whether or not it sells. Often, the end result is
that you have done a lot of work and have nothing but a listing
fee to show for it.
Enter itsKarma, where you are allowed to list an item on the network
with very little effort, for as long as you like. For example, if
you have an old stingray bike in your cellar and you are unsure
if anybody would be interested in it, itsKarma allows you to list
it in seconds with a very brief description like, "Old Stingray
Bike", that's it! Once listed, it's on the network and can
generate interest before you have to schlep downstairs and do all
the dirty work. Conversely, if you decide to write a detailed description
and post photographs for your item, the itsKarma network promises
it will gain long term exposure.
Not satisfied with just turning the eBay model upside-down, the
brothers have given it a shake as well. Transaction fees will be
paid on the honor system and will be waived if users do a good deed.
So, instead of sending them ten bucks for helping you sell Uncle
Henry's old fishing pole, you can give blood or pick up trash in
the park or volunteer at the local food bank. The idea is to create
a mutual bond with its users in hopes of sparking the organic growth
of the network.
One final point of differentiation between itsKarma and current
online auction machines is the ability to post "wants"
on the system. For everyone trying to sell something, there are
just as many people who are looking for something. ItsKarma taps
into this largely ignored market segment by allowing users to post
their wants on the system as well. Before posting an item for sale,
members of the itsKarma network can search the wanted category for
that item and perhaps sell it immediately.
It will be a long road for itsKarma in its quest to unseat eBay
(or at least make them very nervous) but with the right tools, even
the mightiest can fall.
(You can contact John or Patrick Meehan at (603) 926-9401 or email
them at email@example.com).
Hampton, NH - Dot com this and dot com that
it used to irritate
me. Now I have my own dot com company with which to irritate others.
It won't be really annoying until Microsoft buys it for $500 million
dollars but first things first.
After having spent almost twenty years in the food service industry
making and selling dry cocktail mixes, I figured I was qualified
to challenge eBay in the multi-billion dollar consumer to consumer
flea market business. In our cocktail mix operation, we had an Apple
computer with a six inch screen for word processing and a pencil
and paper for accounting. Yep, definitely qualified, so put eBay
I first heard about the on line auction house from a bar manager
who went to flea markets and yard sales on weekends and peddled
his wares on eBay. This was in 1997, long before the general public
had heard about it. He claimed to be making more on eBay than in
his real job. Fast forward about 18 months. I had been collecting
Hawaiiana for about 5 years and decided to try my luck on the now,
very well known eBay. My first item was listed with the help of
an eight-year old. Okay, so I didn't help him at all. It sold. Bang,
just like that. Over the next few months, I bought and sold numerous
things on eBay and began to think of what was missing. My first
idea was to concentrate collectors on a web site that would be called
Wanted By Collector. On the site you would, as a collector of something,
register with us so that sellers could look at our site before they
listed something on eBay and see if a collector was interested.
Collectors pay more, hence a potential eBay item might not make
it to eBay. Great idea! We grind it out
beg for more money. We raise enough to get a working
prototype. Then came Napster.
Like it or not, Napster has changed the face of the music industry.
By allowing Napster members to exchange MP3 music files (songs)
amongst themselves for free, they essentially eliminated the need
to purchase the music. Napster has a slight problem; their service
may be illegal. For many people, including myself, Napster was the
first exposure to something called "peer to peer" computing.
On Napster, you search for a song by title, the results come in,
you click on the song and it downloads from a Napster member who
has the song, directly from their computer to yours (peer to peer).
Now, I'd raised the money and had actually started spending money
for development of the Wanted By Collector concept when I got run
over by the Napster bus. I began to think that this peer to peer
approach could be the best way to buy and sell things on the Internet.
Moreover, I thought that the Napster approach could eventually put
Wanted By Collector out of business and give eBay a run for its
A rather uncomfortable meeting with investors followed. "Ahh
the money you gave me for my idea
I'd like to spend it on a different one". Once presented, it
was well received and a new company was born called itsKarma. In
its simplest form, itsKarma is a permanent yard sale that you erect
on your computer. With our help, you post items similarly to the
way you do it on eBay, but the listings last until the item is sold.
There is no listing fee: you pay only upon successfully completed
ItsKarma is my day job. I moonlight at a couple of restaurants
that I co-own with a friend. Our restaurants are socially conscious
organizations that raise money for good causes in the community
and beyond. It got me to thinking that if we could use a restaurant
business to do good things for the community, imagine what we could
do on the World Wide Web. My brother and I decided that we would
sacrifice some of our commissions if you, as a successful user of
the itsKarma network, did a good deed. Wouldn't it be great that
instead of paying your credit card bill, you could mow your elderly
neighbor's lawn and it would count? We place a lot of stock in the
inherent goodness of people. Our users will be encouraged to step
outside of their normal routines and do something positive for an
individual, society or mother earth.
Well, we currently have an informational web site up at itsKarma.com.
The prototype is being de-bugged into a release version that should
be available in about three months. Using a car analogy: we currently
have something that looks like a car but only from a distance. More
like a car-shaped piece of cardboard propped up on two by fours.
The release version will be like a car that will have difficulty
going up hills if too many people get in. "That's okay"
say the developers, "we'll just throw another engine in at
$20,000 a pop".
So far, the experience has been interesting to say the least. If
I'd had a film crew following me around, I would have enough sitcoms
in the bag for full syndication.
I just got off the phone with someone who may very well invest
in my company. He didn't know it when he was brushing his teeth
this morning or he probably would have gone back to bed. Our pre-launch
logo should be a panhandler's tin cup.
Thankfully, for our investor's, I'm focused on product launch,
income and profitability. This is a holdover from my crazy day's
running a business that actually had to make a profit or you didn't
eat. So if you see me on the street corner, with a pile of pencils
for sale, I may not have lost everything, it may just be the latest
guerilla marketing campaign for itsKarma.com.