Press releases

Feb 19, 2001 uses p2p technology to bring online auctions into your home, 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

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. 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 sites.

March 5, 2001

ItsKarma gets "The Rat"

BOSTON-NHL Great and Stanley Cup winner joins board of Directors of emerging 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



Hampton NH - New Hampshire-based 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



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 on notice.

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…business plan…patent…beg for money…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 money.

A rather uncomfortable meeting with investors followed. "Ahh…excuse me but…the money you gave me for my idea…ahh…well 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 transactions.

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 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

-John Meehan

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