13 May 2013
Dear Cambridge students!
I’m writing to ask for your help! Since I graduated from King’s college in 2011, I’ve spent most of my time and resources working on an idea I had to try and encourage a gift culture through a web platform. I didn’t really know anything about web platforms, social networks, or gift economies, but the idea felt simple and positive, so I set out to try and do it. It turned out to be very complicated! But I met a lot of people who, inspired by the idea, wanted to help, and now there’s a growing group of wonderful people who have contributed to its development, often as a gift.
The idea came out of a conversation with a friend and went something like this: skills, time, and goodwill are abundant resources – everyone has something to give. So what if we were to build an online system that connected people’s wishes, with other’s skills, in the hope that, when the possibilities are made transparent, people might actually do things for each other for free. Imagine being connected to a network of people who are happy to help you.
The outcome of this is a social network, impossible.com, which we are about to launch. Before we launch publicly, I wanted to bring it back to where some of this thinking began, and open it first to Cambridge University. We have given our best in designing this platform, but we have likely got bits wrong. So here is my wish… that you try Impossible, try helping one another through it, and let us know how it feels. Which bits work, which bits we could improve. If you like the idea and want it to work beyond Cambridge, I’d love you to become part of our journey.
There is an app in the iTunes store, *impossible* (note the stars – we plan to change the name to impossible but that’s going to take a few weeks) that is available as of today(!) to download and access with an @cam.ac.uk email address. Or you can go to impossible.com to sign up from there…
And I’ll be in Cambridge this Wednesday, sitting under a rather special tree on King’s Parade, which – in the Japanese tradition – will take your wishes, and which – in the impossible tradition – we will seek to realize. You can also just come and speak to me about why I’m sitting under a tree!
Hope to see you there
PS good luck with your exams… I know this month isn’t easy… I hope impossible can be helpful.