Have you ever used Tinder? I’ll admit that I did my share of swiping, if you promise not to judge 😉 What I’ve found in my one week experiment is that, for me, it somewhat dehumanizes people – you se pictures of different men or women and short descriptions, and then swipe right if you find them interesting, or throw them to the left if they’re not something you’re interested in having.
While it’s a really handy app that suits the busy life style of the digital generation, in a way, it turns people into things you either want or have no need for at all.
Apparently, someone had a very similair idea about this service and turned it into a pretty cool startup!
You Have A Match!
Swapp Me (holding onto the domain getswapp.me) is still under construction, but its premise is simple. Instead of making a profile for your self, you make it for things you don’t need any more and would like to swap. Through Tinder-like interface, you can swipe through the things other users submitted, that are in the same price range as the item you want to swap, and you swipe left and right to find things you’d like in exchange.
Just like in Tinder, when someone “likes” you back – your product, in this case – you are matched and can chat to seal the deal and discuss the details of the exchange.
It’s simple, straight-forward, and uses a well known principle to solve a problem we all have – a clutter of things we don’t need, and an ever present desire for things we don’t have. And that, kids, is how you make a startup.
Bringing The Barter Back
It’s also innovating a very traditional practice of barter – this was, after all, the basis of economy before money became the medium of exchange.
Barter is a system of exchange by which goods or services are directly exchanged for other goods or services without using a medium of exchange, such as money.
Some have claimed that barter is no longer a viable option in a modern world. In Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science, Charles Wheelan wrote:
In a basic agricultural society, it’s easy enough to swap five chickens for a new dress or to pay a schoolteacher with a goat and three sacks of rice. Barter works less well in a more advanced economy. The logistical challenges of using chickens to buy books on Amazon.com would be formidable.
Well, apparently, the idea of barter in digital age is not that far fetched!