Archive for April, 2006

Library search

April 27, 2006

We’re pleased to say that there is now a search box to the library page. This makes it easy to find if someone has a copy of the “Da Vinci Code” you can borrow, or where all your “Miyazaki DVD” movies are.

Front page of the Seattle Times Business & Technology section

April 24, 2006

BillMonk Seattle TimesKim Peterson's profile of BillMonk is on the front page of the Seattle Times Business and Technology section today. Check out the article online

Small things can get people upset in bill-paying situations, Oberoi said. "Often it doesn't have to do with the money, but feeling like you're being taken for granted," he said. "With BillMonk it's just clear. People know."

BillMonk Library – beta

April 14, 2006

I owe you $20.53… and I’m borrowing discs 1 and 2 of “Invader Zim.”

We’re proud to introduce a whole new side to BillMonk: the lending library. Skip the headache of remembering who has your stuff and which stuff you’re borrowing. Just sign in, click on “check-out,” and tell us the thing you’re lending and to whom. When you look to see where you stand with your friends, checked-out stuff shows up along with monetary debts.

As your stuff is checked-out and returned, your personal collection grows. What makes the library so powerful is that people can choose to share their collections with friends. Want to read a new book, play a different video game, or watch a movie? Browse your friends’ stuff! People who know each other form ad-hoc community lending libraries.

Adding items to your library is easy. You can either search for it in Amazon.com’s catalog or you can describe it yourself. The nice thing about adding items via Amazon is that you get lots of additional information like CD track listings, a product description, and more.

What if something is lost or never returned? No problem, you can sell it as a BillMonk debt!

When we first launched BillMonk, our goal was make borrowing and lending money between friends easy. But we realized, why stop at money? BillMonk’s goal should be to make all borrowing between friends easy. For this reason, we now offer two closely related features, BillMonk Money and BillMonk Library, together on the BillMonk site.

The BillMonk Library has been a fairly covert operation since it so radically changes the look and purpose of BillMonk. It also required a bit more work and caffeine than we anticipated, but we’re well pleased with the results.

That said, the library is new and very much in beta. We will continue to hammer it into shape in the weeks to come. Some of the additional features we are considering include:

  • Product search
  • Post comment about your stuff
  • Cell phone SMS library interface
    • Check-out and add items on the go
    • About to buy something? Search to see if a friend already has it
  • Item picture upload

As always, we prioritize based on your feedback. It’s great when you tell us what you need – in fact, the reason the library happened is that so many of you asked for it.

The BillMonk Library does not diminish the importance of BillMonk Money. Of all our tasks, the #1 priority is providing online payments.

So without further delay, head over to BillMonk.com, enjoy the new scenery on the front page, and take the tour to learn about what’s new!

Lax Conference on Entrepreneurship

April 3, 2006

Chuck flew out to Philadelphia this weekend to speak at the Swarthmore College Lax Conference on Entrepreneurship. It was a great opportunity for alumni entrepreneurs in fields ranging from entertainment to finance to tech, and graduating classes spanning 1954 to 2000, to share their thoughts on being entrepreneurs with undergraduates, recent alumni, and themselves.

Chuck managed the neat trick of both introducing BillMonk to the many attenders and also corrupting undergraduate minds with his talk Quit your Job: Be an Entrepreneur! True to the college's heritage, the conference put particular focus on the issues of social responsibilty and the business cultures that encourage and reward innovation. It provided an excellent forum to voice the questions people had about how companies change popular culture and vice versa, and the motivations (other than fabulous wealth *cough*) that drive people to innovate and take on the risks of starting their own companies.

Chuck also used this weekend as an opportunity to see old friends in the area. During the revelry on the town that followed, BillMonk was used no fewer than five times.

Money Magazine

April 2, 2006

We’re in glossy print! Flip to page 44a (yes, 44a is after page 44) of the April 2006 issue of Money magazine and read the nice section about BillMonk (The Best of Blogs from the Financial Front, by George Mannes).