I am positive that generating an inventory of stuff, even a community for that matter, is not our biggest challenge. Getting people to ask for stuff, and believe that they will receive it is the challenge.
One solution outcome experiment I am running now has to do with replacing a security deposit with "Facebook vouching". It is not binding by the person vouching for you... but it is an interesting social experiment none the less.
While the face of the experiment is to make sure that the borrower returns the free item in two weeks or less, I am actually testing a few more important variables than if vouching will actually lead to better return rates (which, contrary to what they wrote in DataFox) are flawless, we have never had an issue.
- I believe that vouching will actually lead to more initial conversions - I think that by asking users to "invest" something into the free item, they will be both more likely to believe it is real, and feel less guilty about asking.
- I also believe that there is some freebie virality built in here... and while I hate to call it a growth hack, it will be nice if 1/25 people vouching actually become new borrowers themselves....
We will let you know how the experiment goes... In the mean time, I am sorry to the folks who think the old deposit system is good enough. We think it can be better. Better for them and better for us as a company. We hate to be polarizing just for the sake of being polarizing... but after years and years of everyone saying how awesome we are and not using it - I am confident that we may be on to something.