The cofounder of a service that allows for payments through text shares his views on trust and the challenges of ubiquitous connectivity.
Andrew Kortina is a cofounder of Venmo, a text-based service that allows users to trust a network of close friends with the ability to charge or pay money directly through SMS. Kortina was also a participant in Rhizome’s Seven on Seven event, where he collaborated with artist Kristin Lucas to concept the Identity Swap platform, an experiment in thinking about how we project our identities in the digital world. Kortina shares his insights on trust, connectivity and identity in the digital world below:
An idea or theme that I think about a lot is ubiquitous connectivity. We now have mobile devices that are pretty much always connected to the internet, and soon I think we will forget what it means to be disconnected. How do the expectations of kids who are growing up with ubiquitous connectivity differ from those of us who remember what things were like without the web? What sorts of new things are possible given this “always on” state, what is essential, and what are the new problems.
Responses are always emotional, ranging from “woah, this is life changing” to “that’s crazy!” Either way, as long as we get the emotion, we know we are doing something different and new. It’s just a matter of discovering what exactly it is people want from our service and zeroing in on that.
What do you think are the most important characteristics of identity that will persist, as new digital services emerge that essentially allow users to define themselves entirely in digital fashion?