** Tues. Mobile Payment w/ @TheLevelUp, Thurs. Co-Creation w/ @quirky

Every quarter I get more and more interested in how payment works on the web, but more importantly, how it works through mobile devices. Again, like we talked about Thursday, these devices are “always near and always dear”. If they’ve already become our cameras, our calendars, and our computers it makes sense that they would become our change purses as well (probably tried a little too hard to keep the alliterative “c” going there, c’est la vie.)

The big three mobile payment apps have been historically (as in the last couple of years) Google Wallet, the LevelUp and Square. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of them from my hometown paper, the Boston Globe.

Smartphone as a spending tool

Also from Boston is a start-up with some heavy hitting financial backing, LevelUp. Here’s a short video about how it works for merchants:

Inside LevelUp

Here’s a press release from late last year announcing their ability to turn any website or app into a place for e-commerce transaction.

LevelUp Launches Connected Apps

The interesting thing, from my perspective about how the LevelUp works is that it combines payment with a loyalty program, kind of like my favorite app from Starbucks. How’re they doing?

What is SBUX Brewing For Mobile Payments?

(And don’t worry, they totally just fixed that bug that left your password out in plain text.)


As I mentioned before, another big player in mobile payment is Square founded by Jack Dorsey, one of the creators of this thing called “Twitter”. (Read the article, and watch the video.)

Jack Dorsey is Dreamy

I think I mentioned this article before but there was a recent, lengthy profile of Dorsey in the “New Yorker”, that is definitely worth reading. Here is a link:

Jack Dorsey is Dreamy II

I think an interesting thing to consider is how would the experience of creating Twitter help in the development of a mobile payment solution?

Finally, I’d like you to consider bitcoin, a “virtual currency”, which apparently the Winklevii have some connection to (seriously). What is it?

Businessweek – Bitcoin May Be the Global Economy’s Last Safe Haven

CBC report on Bitcoin

(Speaking of CBC, their Olympics coverage is awesome.)

And last year the world’s first bitcoin ATM was unveiled up the road in Vancouver.

Bitcoin ATM in Vancouver

And I re-tweeted this from Stephen, but if you want to learn more about Bitcoins check out this podcast.

What do you think the future has in store for bitcoin? Are we all going to be paid in bitcoins soon? Why does it make sense that one of the first non-virtual businesses to accept bitcoins is a yoga studio in Vancouver? Much to ponder.

During the second half of class, we’re going to do a videochat from Boston with Christina Fagan, another former student of mine from Skidmore who has worked for the LevelUp for the last year to get an insider’s take on the world of mobile payment.

On Thursday we’re going to talk about one of my favorite, often overlooked parts of digital marketing, product co-creation. Those of you who took 380 with me (looking at you, @lmsires)  know that I love to harp on the concept of market orientation vs. product orientation. Market orientation is looking at consumer needs and creating products that fill those needs. Product orientation is building a product and hoping to find the market for it. As you can guess, successful companies are usually market oriented ones.

Market orientation fits nicely with the concept of product co-creation since who is better telling you what customers want, than, you know, customers? And digital technology from the web to Big Data makes this much, much easier than it ever was before.

Co-creation isn’t a new concept, per se. Here’s an article I found describing the concept all the way back in 1999.

Co-Creation: A New Source of Value

Here is an academic research article from the Journal of Service Research. After reading it, you should describe in your blog what are the factors the encourage and inhibit co-creation.

Consumer Cocreation in NPD – Journal of Service Research

The cool thing about the JSR article is how the authors identify all the different steps along the NPD path that consumers can be used. Furthering that thought, here is an article from WIRED from 2006 about the “Rise of Crowdsourcing”.

The Rise of Crowdsourcing 

Are you guys familiar with Quirky and Kickstarter? How are they part of the product co-creation movement?


Flint & Tinder’s Kickstarter Success – Business Insider

To learn more about Quirky, we’re going to talk to WWU Alumni Graham Blache and Steven Walker. Very exciting!

That should be enough for this week. Since it’s a long weekend, I didn’t want you to get bored so I assigned some extra readings.

See you Tuesday.

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