Wednesday, September 14, 2011

First Commercial Use of FairPay Revenue Strategy -- Ennovent: Innovations for Sustainability

I am very pleased to report that ennovent has become the first commercial venture to undertake use of the FairPay pricing system, a radically new approach to pricing digital offerings (see sidebar).

Ennovent began the public soft launch of its Global Network today, September 14.  Peter Scheuch, ennovent's managing director, contacted me in June saying "...we think that the FairPay model could be a great revenue model for us." He found the concept "very exciting."

[Update:  additional comments on ennovent's use of FairPay are in the October 11 press release.]

Ennovent is a very interesting startup, carving out a new role as an online global venture network that "...connects entrepreneurs, investors and experts..." (quoting from ennovent):
  • "Ennovent is a for-profit enterprise established to promote entrepreneurs, who advance disruptive innovations for sustainability at the base of the economic pyramid"
  • "We promote disruptive innovations, crowdsourced globally through our network, scaled locally in India by a multi-disciplinary team and partners and financed through our fund."
The appeal of FairPay to ennovent is that they face a pricing dilemma -- it is very hard for them to price their services.
  • They will support a wide variety of crowdsourcing requests for funding, support services, and full-time, temporary, or volunteer staffing. Given the very broad range of value that might result from satisfying such requests, and the similarly variable range of results, they had little clue as to how to decide on a fair price for each request. Request value could vary in terms as how well the request was satisfied and the number and quality of responses, as well as the requestor's ability to pay.  No matter what price was set, it would  be too low in many cases, or too high in many others.
  • As a for-profit service with strong ethical values, there seemed to be no good solution to setting fair prices -- until they learned of FairPay.
Peter saw how FairPay could relieve him of the impossible burden of setting the "right" price for such widely varying services, and instead apply an adaptive process to allow users to determine what price seemed fair to them, and to give ennovent the ability to judge and influence that through a user dialog. FairPay provided a structure for such dialog that could be responsive to extreme differences in value obtained, results, costs incurred by ennovent, and the user's ability to pay.

I began to work with ennovent to help apply FairPay in a trial use.  We developed a plan for a phased implementation that would ease in as the service matured.  This exploits the reality that ennovent must first grow a network of members (entrepreneurs, investors, and experts/solution providers), which meant that the use--and the value--of the request process would  build slowly.  That evolution suggested a strategy for early stage use of FairPay in a way that allows maximum information-gathering, and that limits investment and risk.

Ennovent is starting with the "Free Trial/Survey Mode" of FairPay that I described in an earlier post. In addition to easing implementation, this will give them a rich base of market survey data for setting suggested prices in FairPay, and for setting the conventional set prices that will serve as an optional alternative to FairPay.

I hope you will check out the ennovent site.  Apart from its pioneering use of FairPay, it promises to be very interesting service, and to provide great social value. At this early stage there is not yet much visible of FairPay, but that is expected to grow over the next few months.

And of course I would be happy to work with others who might be interested in a similar collaboration.

Link to Ennovent's press release: "Ennovent Launches the Global Network")

[Update:  additional comments on ennovent's use of FairPay are in the October 11 press release.]


  1. The FairPay model sounds very interesting to me. I look at it as something on the lines of a 'credit bureau' which provides incentive to borrowers with good credit history, and penalizes past defaulters. But just like a credit bureau, its real value will emerge only when it has a rich history of past transactions. Would love to understand more about this (specially on how can we create value relatively quickly)

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