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Old 08-12-2011, 08:29 AM   #2784
alkemical
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Radical Sharing Works: This Guy Lets the World Use His Starbucks Card for Free (UPDATED)



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Download this image to your phone, take it to Starbucks and scan it at the cash register: It'll get you a free coffee. It's part of a radical experiment in sharing that's teaching us something about mobile money in the process.

"It's been extremely uplifting," Jonathan Stark tells GOOD. About one month ago, Stark posted the barcode image for his personal Starbucks card online, for anyone to use. Surprisingly, it still has money on it.

Stark was researching broadcast mobile currency—how to transfer money or pay for goods with your phone. He wondered if he could share his Starbucks account just by sharing the image. "I thought, 'that's crazy that I can just show this online and everyone can use it.'"

On July 7th, he loaded $30 onto his card and posted the image for his friends to use. Within hours, the money turned into caffeine and prefab sandwiches. So Stark added another $50 and invited a few more friends to see if they liked paying for things with their phones, creating an informal user experience focus group.

But this time, the money didn't vanish. People started adding money as well as spending it.
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