[fc-discuss] Financial Cryptography Update: Startups, Free Banking, Gift cards

iang@iang.org iang@iang.org
Thu, 2 Feb 2006 11:22:19 +0000 (GMT)

((( Financial Cryptography Update: Startups, Free Banking, Gift cards )))

                           February 02, 2006




Pelle points at Guy who writes on The Art of Bootstrapping.  For those
who've done lots of startups the pain will be quite familiar.  And for
those who appreciated GP, Guy's #3 might resonate:

Ship, then test. I can feel the comments coming in already: How can you
recommend shipping stuff that isn't perfect? Blah blah blah. ”Perfect“
is the enemy of ”good enough.“ When your product or service is ”good
enough,“ get it out because cash flows when you start shipping. Besides
perfection doesn't necessarily come with time--more unwanted features
do. By shipping, you'll also learn what your customers truly want you
to fix. It's definitely a tradeoff: your reputation versus cash flow,
so you can't ship pure crap. But you can't wait for perfection either.
(Nota bene: life science companies, please ignore this recommendation.)

Nick points to Lawrence White - of Scottish free banking fame - who
notes that the free banking influence is being kept in the Federal
Reserve Board by the nomination of Randy Kroszner, a noted austrian


Brief reminder:  Retiring Chairman Greenspan, also known as Sir Alan in
the anglo world, is the greatest friend that free banking and gold ever
had.  It was under his influence that the Federal Reserve declined to
regulate gold as money, and thus left the scene open for the
development of the DGCs.  That holiday is now over.

On the question of new / old money forms other than gold, there is an
increasing use of gift exchange in the US.  A survey by accenture found

More than four out of five survey respondents (82 percent) said they
gave or received gift cards this holiday season, and two-thirds (66
percent) said they both gave and received them. The vast majority (81
percent) of respondents said they have already used their gift cards,
almost half (43 percent) said they planned to spend their gift cards
within one month of receiving them, and nearly two-thirds (63 percent)
said they planned to spend the entire value of their gift cards in a
single store visit.
The growing popularity of gift cards has introduced a secondary market
in which consumers can buy and sell the cards at a discount. Just 13
percent of survey respondents, however, were aware of the opportunity
to purchase pre-owned, discounted gift cards. Even fewer respondents (9
percent) were aware of the opportunity to sell gift cards for cash.

No news yet on what discount the sold-on cards move for.  Nor on use of
phone cards as money.

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