Tuesday 1 July 2014
Politics and Business Management student Matt Mahmoudi came to QMUL from Denmark in September 2013. In October 2013 he launched Politics Made Public – an online contributor-based magazine aimed at raising public awareness of global politics in an approachable way. After completing his first year at QMUL, Matt took part in 3 Day Startup with a new project - favourful, an app that challenges the way people use social networks:
“The idea for favourful came about last summer, when I saw a status update on Facebook asking for a bike repair in exchange for a pint!
favourful challenges the way we use our social networks through communities. It accomplishes this through a favour-exchange based on your primary network, making it more interconnected, social and real, and it does this through a mobile app.
You ask for a favour, such as help moving house or fixing a bike, by posting a picture of the problem on the app. You’ll also have to offer a token in return (some other form of favour, such as dinner, coffee, or movie tickets), which a user can claim through accepting to carrying out your favour for you, whatever it might be.
Upon completion of the favour, an image of this will be posted to favourful by the asker, and a point-score in the form of a ‘kudo’ will be given to the helper. This way, other users can check the reliability and social standing of any one user on the favourful network.
The idea plays on the lack of a platform for the exchange of favours between friends. It’s similar to Fiverr and Task Rabbit, but instead of using the sharing economy, it uses the gift economy; in this way, you won’t actually have to pay a penny for the favours you ask, but those who have committed to carry out the favour still have a commitment to do so. This is ensured through our emphasis on accountability.
We also ensure that you only deal with your immediate network as a start, for example the QMUL network on Facebook, to prevent problems with strangers or fraud.
At this point I’m in touch with StudentUpstarts and a mentor from the tech industry, and am looking to focus my entry-strategy further. We are also looking for an objective-c and web developer, to help us prep the app for its launch in the autumn.”