How did you come up with this idea of Pendo?
I did not. I look for solutions to problems. And a major problem of our time is that money has lost its value. Quite literally. For a fact, all the money in the world is based on nothing. And the value of nothing is worth 31 trillion USD in terms of global GDP according to the best Think Thanks on the planet. This claim requires some explanation but essentially the concept of money is melting away. People are left with all sorts of identity crises and anxieties as a result. I investigated a few rednecks who explore questions such as “what comes after capitalism?”, “how does a post-scarcity economy looks like”, “how to live in a world with infinite, free and clean energy” ,“do you want to be rich?”.
Pendo is the result of my exploration. It is an online platform that is being further developed is really just getting started. With a team of friends and students we are now developing a mobile application for the iPhone to answer the wishes of many members.
Why is Pendo necessary?
What Pendo allows you to do is to exchange what you need for what you have without using money. If you have a skill that I am looking for we have a deal. We agree on the amount of Pendos your service is worth and the platform does the rest. You earn Pendos that you can use to get something you need from another member of the Pendo platform. When I spend Pendos, I need to offer my services to another member to redeem the loss.
You might say now that money does the same thing. This is true. But you don’t create that money yourself. With Pendo every unit of account is created by the trading parties themselves. Money is created by central banks and lent to you against interest rates. So essentially Pendo makes you a central bank. It’s a bit like TouTube which turns you into a broadcaster or WordPress that transforms you into a publisher. Pendo transforms you into a financial service provider when all other major financial institutes are either bankrupt or closed down.
There are several alternative currencies in circulation, how is Pendo different?
There are millions of different alternative currencies in circulation. From a frequent air mile system to your loyalty points at CoffeeLovers. The main difference to all of them is that Pendo is application agnostic. This means that you can use Pendo to exchange everything with virtually anybody. We experiment with communities of 20 – 100 members.. Members have your own group on Pendo called Gultures. These groups consist of members who all have their own account, can receive and send Pendo and post their offers and needs on the group market places. The currency part is tricky.
Pendo is really more like a record of all debit/credit balances of all members and an engine that cancels them out. The work I as a Pendo user did for you cancels out the debit I accumulated from received a service from somebody else. Pendo is a tiny bit like a time-bank or local exchange trading networks (LETS) with the difference that Pendo is a service provider to groups that want to start their own time-bank or LETS like system. In addition Pendo offers these groups the ability to combine and trade across all members of the platform. We are still looking for a wrapper to make Pendo a viable business. If
anyone has ideas please share them with us! We award 5000 Pendos to everyone who has a great idea that also works. Bernard Lietaer is an internationally renowned advocate of monteary alternatives and ironically the man behind the Euro. Mr. Lietaer says that
Designed monetary systems parallel to conventional currencies eliminate social and environmental devastations while fabricating social happiness.
Do you think Pendo can do that? How?
Yes. But it is not like taking a pill and swallowing it. It requires active participation in a community of shared values. This also means that you are willing to surrender part of your private identity. If Pendo makes you a central bank, there is a trade off: transparency of all your transactions and full disclosure of your personal information to everyone who wants to trade with you. One of the strengths of private banks is their ability to keep customers transaction a secret.
The second concern is that you might have discovered that money is not a subject people talk about a lot. Do you know how much your friends earn? Or your parents? And what about strangers? This ties in with your earlier question about the necessities or requirements of using Pendo. Some of your most cherished beliefs and expectations do not readily apply to this concept.
Bernard Lietaer is a very prominent thinker and has a proven track record of his predictions becoming reality. If you look at the concept of time banking f.e. in England, it does indeed provide a viable solution to social problems. Bertrand Russell, a prominent philosopher of the 20th century, said after reading the famous Einstein papers on relativity
What is demanded is a change in our imaginative picture of the world.
This seems like something that Pendo requires as well.
Why do you think Pendo could create such an imaginary?
Pendo wants to create a great experience. We are talking here about a tool or online service that is not dissimilar to what your retail bank provides you in the form of a savings account or a payment account. Pendo is an exchange account and as such a financial instrument that besides its exotic features should be taken seriously. If you do so, it is a great tool that can complement your life style needs. As a service designer I am concerned with delivering an experience that allows you just that. And as every art student knows every effect is a function of the design.
Why should we use Pendo?
This is the one question I was waiting for. This is an easy sales pitch: If you want your wife to have bigger breasts and want to drive a BMW 3 yourself you should sign up on Pendo. I am not here to tell you why you should use it. We have a lots of fun working on it and believe the idea is beneficial for many people. And we are learning as a community of practice why people use it and how they want to use it.
Pendo is about enhancing your quality of life and reducing your expenditures. You can use it to exchange you talents and skills with people you trust and see what happens. You can use it as a complement to your existing payment methods. There is a guy who does my groceries every week for which I pay him with Pendo. I am still looking for somebody who shops for cloths.
How can people help you?
There are many ways to do so. First, you can sign up and put up an offer on the marketplace. Take a look what other people are offering and maybe you find something you like. We really depend on people’s feedback. So if you have some ideas on how to make Pendo could be improved let us know. Just send us a mail, tweet, Facebook message or whatever. We have open office hours every Friday at the Boschstraat 45. You can join the team and work as well. We need to get to know you a bit better and see how you can fit in. We find warm lunch very important, are used to work online a lot and are flexible. Just drop by on Fridays and we see how we can work together.