New Landing Page for HackUST project – IOU One

After thinking for a while, I decided to use “IOU One” as the new project name. I guess it should be a normal saying when someone do you a favor. I have made a landing page here: (cannot find a free domain to map it at this moment 🙁 )


The positioning, in simple term what is it?
A simple social game to record small debts / favors between friends. 60% is utility, 40% is social and gaming factors. it’s NOT a tool for recording.


The entry point:
Basically university students who will dine with friends very often. The tasks may be taking class attendance, sharing homework answers, submitting homework, etc.


How to get user on board (initial traction):
The poor debtors will be the initial trial users. If the creditor agree to resolve a small debt via IOU One. An agreement is set up. If the rich friend wants to get back a favor in certain way, she should install the mobile app. Following that will be the mechanism to get users to pay back instead of ignoring the debt.

  • Incentive to debtor: save money instead of returning cash
  • Incentive to creditor: get back an IOU rather than nothing. Save time for boring duties.


The carrot and stick (How to engage users):
A punishment and award mechanism should be included.

  • Punishment loop: debtors refuse or ignore tasks. He should be listed on a leader board (loser board?) under a period of time before expired. The purpose is to get him back to the system rather than expelling him.
  • Award loop: good debtors should have a good credit records. They are eligible to join paid / sponsored tasks.

A simple level system can indicate good and bad debtors, say number of tasks finish, failed and expired.


Possible Monetization Model
Few ways are possible.

  1. Advertising will be a feasible way. It can offer a good advertising channel for credit card companies, personal investment firms, etc.
  2. Paid / Sponsored Tasks. Companies can offer paid tasks for short term jobs, or even small tasks like filling survey, watching ad video, taking product samples, social media seeding, etc. Transaction fee can be charged.
  3. Social Lending. We got your credit evaluated by your friends. Why not try social lending or crowdfunding among your personal network?
  4. background checking tool of a person. With our data on hand, we can build a modeling technology to analyze users’ data, generating the credit score of a person. The technology (not user data) can be sold to banks / loans companies to reduce potential debtors’ background checking time. It’s another B2B monetization strategy.

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