Posts Tagged ‘True Identity’

Three days to go. As the year is about to end, it’s time to look back and learn from this year.

Jobita – Market Place for Jobs

Year 2009 was the launch year of Jobita, formerly known as Tikitagi. Late March we launched the prototype of the service. Jobita is an Internet tool for local service professionals (and those who want to become those) as well any individual to market their skills and manage the assignments. For consumers Jobita is the easiest way to find qualified doer for any task at hand, either at home, at the office or for example on the boat.

It was a great learning experience, later also leading to concept called “gasellizer” – more efficient way of producing software with outsourced resources.

Already in January I wrote about using True Identity instead of pseudonyms. We are proud to announce that Jobita.fi is the first of its kind to truly support True Identities. Jobita is working together with NorthId on this. It’s called “Nettihenkkarit” in Finnish, loosely translated as “Online Identity Card”.

End of October we launched the totally rewritten version of Jobita, initially only in Finnish language. During the first two months of existence, the number of members and posts increased rapidly.

Creating Software as it always Should Have Been Done

Software Industry is relatively new as industry. Therefore it is no surprise that it is still facing many fundamental challenges, such as understanding the customer problem and turning that into a successful business. Together with few other people from the industry we worked on a concept called “Gasellizer”. One of the observations was that managing the specification process is still a major headache for most of the developers, and no, Agile methodology as such is not an answer for this. It’s more question of “User Defined Features” or uDef’s as we call them. Simply put, there is a need for recording, and managing as the needs evolve throughout the process, the users’ need with their own words.

One way of approaching the problem is learning from the movie industry’s way of operation.

And it is always great to learn from those who have already done it in real life (lessons learned from Mårten Mickos, ex-CEO of MySQL).

Entrepreneur is the Most Critical Resource

This discussion is going on all the time: “there is not enough money for the start-ups”. That is absolutely true. In order learn a bit more about the actual problem, I tweeted and blogged about a simple question “Which one of the following is the most critical and the least supplied resource: ideas, entrepreneurs or money?”.

As was to be expected, there was a lot of support for the answer of “money is the missing link”. However, the poll made revealed that the majority of the people thought actually that we do not have (good/experience/etc) entrepreneurs to implement those ideas. Nobody claimed that we would not have enough ideas. I am 100% of the same opinion, we don’t have enough entrepreneurs. As many of the supporting organizations and tools fail to understand this most fundamental question, also many of the solutions (no matter how well-meaning) do not touch and help the actual problem.

Simply put: as long as we do not have enough those entrepreneurs who will use the money available to build succesful and brave enough success stories, we will not have successful software companies. Period.

Crowdfunding is the Modern Way of Raising Funding

Okay, in the previous chapter I claimed that the most critical missing resource is the “entrepreneur”. It does not mean that getting funding would be easy, not at all.

Raising money for an idea or early stage start-up never has been, nor will be, very easy.

There is, however, always the possibility of looking for new solutions for the problem. One of the hottest ideas right now is “crowdfunding“. I wrote a small article about that in August. According to the polls made, this kind of funding is well received by both entrepreneurs and investors.

There is a new exciting company working on the concept of crowdfunding, GrowthOS. If you are member of LinkedIn, you can apply for GrowthOS group. Check out also an interesting opportunity to get a really high quality video pitches for your company.

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Most web sites use pseudonyms for identifying the user. This makes sense in many cases where it is more important to allow freedom of speech and anonymity instead of exposing who the person really is.

On the other hand, in many services it makes more sense to use the real name of the user. For example, in Facebook you use your real name. It makes sense, how would you otherwise recognize who your friends are? Of course it is really easy to fake a name in Facebook, but that’s another story.

There are many other services which currently use pseudonyms even though I think they actually should use real user names, or True Identity as I call it. For example any site where you are supposed to hire somebody to do a task for you, for example to clean your house. Do you really trust a person behind the pseudonym if you have no way to make sure who he or she is until you meet the person? These services typically say this is the way to offer privacy for the user. In a way that’s true, but maybe the whole concept should still be other way around?

Using the real name of the person does not mean it has to visible for whole world. It could be visible only for the registered users, others would only see for example the first name. Using real names creates more trust between the users and minimizes risk for misuse or for example inappropriate feedback. Giving unjustified feedback, for example, behind a pseudonym is quite easy and calls for resolution processes to be used by the service provider. Using your real name, on the other hand, means that you would not do anything that you would not do in the real world.

How do you prove then that the name given is the real name of the person? Luckily there are number of emerging new services which help you to certify person’s real name. For example NorthID from Finland and myid.is from France offer or are planning to offer such services. A web site using real names of the users can tell all the other users that the real identity of a person is known, even in cases where it is not automatically shown for the others. This kind of electronic certificate can be shown for example only when the a transaction is to be completed and it’s time to check the ID’s.

I see many other uses for services using True Identity, certified by a trustful third party and integrated to a service that all the users feel confident and safe.

Do you agree?

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