After years of planning and prototyping, and months of hard development work, the Paperight site I’ve always wanted is finally live – see http://paperight.com. There are still a ton of features and refinements in development, but we have here the world’s first instant-delivery print-rights marketplace for copy shops.
Previous versions of the site, from prototypes in 2009 to the beta we built last year, were missing key features that I believe are crucial to the ecosystem we’re trying to enable:
- Documents have to be watermarked and delivered instantly, so that copy shops can print for customers while they wait.
- Outlets have to be able to top up an account in advance.
- Outlets have to be able to work in the currency of their choice, wherever they are in the world.
- The site has to be lightning fast and easy to use.
We’ve achieved that now, and I’m really happy about it.
There’s been a team of people that have made it happen, some of whom were involved in the early stages years ago. And even though this is only the beginning of the journey, I’m going to single some of them out for special thanks, in roughly chronological order of involvement:
- Michelle Matthews, without whom nothing interesting happens in my head.
- My team at Electric Book Works, especially Sukeena Palekar, Silma Parker and Lara Aucamp, who trustingly let me spend precious resources on a non-revenue-generating side project for three years.
- Norman Hooper, co-founder and former CTO at EBW, who built early prototypes and proofs of concept, and my co-founder and CTO at trc.me, which will soon be another key feature of Paperight and a great service in its own right.
- Eve Gray, Steve Kromberg and Ruth Andrews of Creative R&D, who hooked us up with seed funding from an IDRC project in 2009.
- Dave Woods, chief editor of the EBW Healthcare series and co-founder of the Perinatal Education Trust, whose grant funding in 2010 enabled us to plan, test and build critical pieces of the technology and business-model puzzle.
- The team at the Shuttleworth Foundation – Helen, Karien, Karen, Wendy – whose support financial, logistical, emotional and social have made so much possible over the last nine months. And my fellow Fellows there, who are a constant inspiration and hard acts to follow.
- My incredible team at Paperight, Tarryn, Nick, Zimkita, Yazeed and Zukisani (in order of appearance), who’re happy to run up stairs with me. (And alumni Anna Malczyk and Michal Blaszczyk.)
- The super-sharp team at Realm Digital – Wesley, Murray, Shaine and Ellie in particular – who make web-development seem almost easy, even when it’s happening in the middle of the night.
Of course, it’s early to roll the credits, and there are many others who’ve contributed over the years. But on a milestone day, I’m thinking of you all.