Something kind-of amazing just happened.
Unglue.it is a really cool site, that I'd never heard of until Amazon decided to stop processing payments for them. Think Kickstarter for freeing out-of print books. They get people to create a wishlist of books they'd like to see released as Creative Commons licensed DRM-free ebooks. They then talk to the authors and publishers of the books people want to find out how much money it would take to "unglue" them. Then they crowdsource that amount.
Cool as that is, it's not the amazing bit. The amazing bit is what happened next.
Having read of their plight, and pondered their coolness, I started thinking about alternatives. Dwolla is a similarly cool service that aims to replace PayPal and Credit Cards with something that doesn't screw everyone involved. They've already started to change the way banks do business with each other, and I've got really high hopes for them. At the moment they don't do the kind of delayed payments that crowdfunding sites need, but there's a lot of money to be made by payment processors who can help crowdfunding sites manage their pledges, so I figured that Dwolla had probably been thinking about this.
How amazing would it be if projects didn't have to give up 5% of their crowdfunded revenue to a payment processor? Dwolla only charges $0.25 per transaction, and only on ones over $10. I really wish I could chose to pay with Dwolla on the projects I help out on Kickstarter. And, while Unglue.it is still fairly small, it'd be great press. "Dwolla enters the crowfunding scene by helping to free out-of-print books." Sounds good to me.
So I sent a little tweet pondering the connection...
masukomi: I'm wondering if @dwolla wouldn't be able to help @unglueit out with their current problems with Amazon payments. http://blog.unglue.it/2012/08/09/ope…
And that's where the amazing began. Ben Milne (bpmilne) is the founder of Dwolla, and while I didn't directly message him, he's (unsurprisingly) watching the @dwolla stream.
bpmilne: @masukomi @dwolla @unglueit sure - drop us a line.
unglueit: @bpmilne Emailed you via contact form on your web site.
unglueit: @bpmilne Will do. @masukomi @dwolla
bpmilne: @unglueit @masukomi <> @ajt
ajt: @bpmilne @unglueit @masukomi Hey- email me at [censored] and/or API@dwolla.com happy to help! :)
bpmilne: @ajt @unglueit @masukomi connected- i love the internet.
I couldn't agree more.
I hope it works out for them. I'd love to see Unglue.it succeed, and I'd love to see more places start letting me use Dwolla to pay them.