All posts by lp400

Zopa: P2P Lending


 Zopa is the oldest p2p lending community on the web and currently the largest operating in Europe. It started its activities in 2005 and since then it has dramatically increased the money lent per year ( in 2013 £195 million were lent).

The idea behind Zopa is extremely simple, a platform in which people can lend and borrow a certain amount of money. The reason behind its success lies in the way in which it differentiates from traditional competitors -banks- and several similar websites. Essentially, Zopa can offer something better than traditional banks since it provides faster evaluation of creditors and this results in an overall faster process. Creditors can actually start a loan process from mobile and the amount of time requested is far lower than what traditional banks ask to a possible borrower .On the other hand, Zopa can offer something better to people willing to borrow money – for a period of 3 or 5 years- than traditional banks since it offers interests that no traditional bank can match (currently Zopa provides to investors a 5.3% interest pre-tax) .

However, Zopa also has to compete with several other companies offering similar services on the internet. On this matter the power of Zopa has been its reliability, in fact using its own algorithm system it has had until now a very low default rate of creditors – 0.7% – and the policy of the website establishes that the amount of money each investor decides to invest it is always split in amount of £10 or 20 so that the risk is differentiated among the creditors. Moreover Zopa created a Safeguard fund able to refund every investor in the unlikely event of a borrower unable to pay, this fund represents 1.5 % of the total amount lent on the website in a year.  Continue reading Zopa: P2P Lending



Applause is the largest marketplace for software testing on the web. On this platform more than 100000 testers allow companies to launch their high quality applications. Thousand of companies choose Applause as partner for their quality assurance processes and among those firms we find start-ups but also Fortune 500 companies such as Google and Microsoft.

Start-ups choose Applause for its cost, since it provides an on-demand pricing system that allow companies to buy exclusively the services they want and not what they don’t need. They choose it for its quality, since companies can always check the characteristics of each tester and they can match their applications with their services ( for instance, they can restrict testing to only one category or they can ensure the quality of their products through different  systems). They choose it for the easiness to communicate – in the shortest time possible – and the control day-to-day that would not be otherwise possibleon the testing process.

Big companies trust Applause as a partner because Applause has invented the idea of in-the-wild testing as opposed to lab testing. Companies create their software and applications and they work perfectly as long as they are tested in the lab.Applause ensures that an application is not only able to work perfectly in a lab but also in a real world environment. Its motto is “Are your apps ready for what lies beyond the firewall?” and relies on the assumptions that in the real world imperfect connectivity, outdated software and unique hardware actually exist. Continue reading Applause

Could Wikipedia be more reliable than Encyclopaedia Britannica?


It might, even though is not written by Nobel laureates and every kid with a third grade education may have access to it. Simply because of the number of contributors and the number of times articles are reviewed, corrected and modified, that is far higher than what Encyclopaedia Britannica can afford. This post, however is not about encyclopaedias, but the Wikipedia example was needed to prove a point.

Everybody nowadays uses reviews online to ascertain the quality of what we will buy, we do that on Amazon or wherever on the internet. We use peer reviews because we deem them as unbiased as one can get. This however it’s not only about buying  appliances or skimming through Tripadvisor. Sometimes you can get money out of a review.

Seeking Alpha is a platform in which investors can voice their opinion. If these opinions reach a certain standard of quality, they are published and receive comments. Now when your article is read by a thousand people you actually receive money and from that point onwards the more readers the more money. What one would not imagine is that this is not the way you make the money out of this. The real way is actually following those recommendations. Continue reading Could Wikipedia be more reliable than Encyclopaedia Britannica?

No matter who you are, most of the smartest people work for someone else


Crowdsourcing has been gaining relevance in recent years, mostly because it allows firms to outsource efficiently and to challenge the inertia they face internally through new ways of innovating and customers’ involvement in new product development. However, this does not preclude organizations whose reputation and fame is based on their talent’s pools and ability to innovate from benefitting from crowdsourcing.

One of such cases involves Harvard University and Topcoder, while the first organization hardly needs a presentation the second one is a crowdsourcing platform whose community is beyond 600.000 specialists in computer programming. Continue reading No matter who you are, most of the smartest people work for someone else