In June I began working with DreamBank, a Yaletown based startup with a unique idea for reducing waste in gifting by using the social web. By posting a dream, members describe something they truly want as a gift, usually for an upcoming event like a birthday or wedding. Bringing friends and family to the dream, the dreamer can collect contributions towards the goal, foregoing the ‘buy something and hope they like it’ route. It also saves a shopping trip or 10 for those who make their contribution through the DreamBank.
DreamBank’s social model places a high value on being inspired by each other, with lots of opportunities to come across and keep in touch with the aspirations of other dreamers. I’ve been pitching in through product management role, and in early July we went from internal alpha to a well-received beta.
What stands out the most about DreamBank for me is the straightforward focus on creating beneficial outcomes on both small and larger scales. It happens at the personal level by reducing waste and guesswork in gift-giving while making it more collaborative. Across its community and beyond, DreamBank truly embraces a win-win-win business model; for each contribution towards a dreamer’s gift, members benefit by getting a bit closer, DreamBank benefits by sustaining and growing with transaction surcharges, and a charitable organization chosen by the dreamer receives a contribution from each dream.
The balance of positive benefits is more than a stated goal; it’s built into the core of what DreamBank does. As such. it really works to realize the promises of making a better world through the web. It’s one thing to bring people together and hope they do something good when they meet, but it’s something different, and I think more promising, to build that intention into everything you do. With that, I think DreamBank can go far.
But for now it’s the hard work of beta, the excitement of seeing early members explore and try out the service, and being able to work with the DreamBank team. As a bonus, I’m glad to be working again with Darren and Julie of Capulet Communications. It’s been great having them back in the Vancouver area, and to put our heads together on an innovative and interesting product.