Well. Damn.


Back in April, I posted my grand idea for a Drink Transfer Protocol, a way for geographically remote people to owe each other a drink. It wasn’t a perfect idea, certainly, but it was a fun idea to think about. Apparently I shouldn’t have posted it on the blog, but instead to the patent office, because someone else thought it was a good idea, too.

Starbucks.

Today they announced Tweet-a-Coffee. They’re a logical company for the idea. It immediately solved the two biggest problems I identified: needed a network of locations participating and deciding on a defined value for “a drink.” Starbucks is international, and the coffee being tweeted is actually a five dollar gift card.

There is a downside, it requires both the sender and recipient to give a lot of personal information to Starbucks for the purpose of completing the transaction. It’s simultaneously a way to move five dollar gift cards, which might not get used, and collect customer information. Delicious, delicious customer information, the currency of the new internet.

Still. Damn. Woulda been nice to get this to market somehow before a big conglomerate came up with the same idea.

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