July 31, 2004

Remember when Paypal first came out, all those years ago? People used it to settle up their lunch-money borrowings on handhelds. It was a brilliant thing that really put them on the map in a crowded market.

Now Dan “Danda” Libby has revived and perfected that idea with JiffyBill. One of his genius touches is that you enter the whole bill — just grab it from the table and input it when you get home. It makes the whole thing much less like “you owe me five bucks” and much more like “you had the burger and coffee, I had the tuna melt and iced tea”. It’s also good for groups — so if you go out for dinner with 4 friends and pay with your credit card, now you can settle up precisely later.

Danda was, by the way, an unsung but huge influence on my career. He wrote the original RSS 0.9 spec way back in the day. He introduced me to RDF (painfully), and wrote the original PHP XML-RPC/SOAP extension. He was the first person who made me truly understand that the Web was going to be about a lot more than a request and a response to the browser.

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