Home Second Life Co-founder’s New Project CoffeeandPower: Exchange Virtual Currency for Real-World Tasks

Second Life Co-founder’s New Project CoffeeandPower: Exchange Virtual Currency for Real-World Tasks

CoffeeandPower, the latest project from Second Life co-founder Philip Rosedale has launched in test-mode in the San Francisco area. The service describes itself as a “sort of live version of Craigslist.”

There have been a number of startups take aim at Craiglist as of late. That’s no surprise, really. The UI is wretched, there’s no social sharing component, and there’s no mobile Website and no mobile app. There’s definitely room for disruption here, right?

That’s what CoffeeandPower hopes to do with its open-ended, online marketplace. The site lets you buy and sell small goods and services from others, based on your geolocation. CoffeeandPower calls these “missions” and lets you post on the site something you want or something you’re willing to do. So far, missions on the site including an offer to teach you how to run barefoot and an offer (from Philip Rosedale himself) to give some startup advice.

That concept has had a trial run, of sorts, within Rosedale’s other startup project LoveMachine as a way for developers to bid on tasks that need to be done. And CoffeeandPower sounds somewhat similar to the real-time service offered by Zaarly, which also opened to the public today.

There are a couple of key differences however.

First, CoffeeandPower utilizes a virtual currency. Users who sign up and give their cellphone numbers so they can receive SMS updates are automatically seeded with C$20 to get started. C$ is exchanged when goods are bought and sold. More can be purchased (at an exchange rate of US$0.75 for C$1) and users will be able to “cash out” as well. As many of the transactions on the site might be quite small, the virtual currency will help minimize transaction fees for every exchange. In other words, you can earn from C$ and then buy things on from other users without any fees.

Second, CoffeeandPower really emphasizes the community around this marketplace. That’s not a surprise when you think of Philip Rosedale’s work in creating the virtual world Second Life and its online community and economy. Users will be able to chat with each other, both in a public timeline and in private messaging and video chat.

Rosedale stresses the importance of creating a “highly connected early community of content creators,” something that SecondLife did quite successfully. There are other aspects of the virtual world that have influenced the design of CoffeeandPower, Rosedale says. It’s a

“place where people can create new and unique value for each other. So choices like using live public chat to let everyone ‘near’ each other easily talk – that comes right from SL. Also that it needs to be fun, crazy, quirky – again these are the ways things like this get started. Gotta get some basic parts in place and then get out of the way and let people do strange and beautiful things with it. We bet there will be a much larger and different range of things people will do with CoffeeandPower than anyone (including us) can initially imagine – just like Second Life.”

Rosedale co-founded Second Life in 1999. He stepped down as CEO in 2008, although he did take the reigns of the company again briefly last year as an interim CEO.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.