Picl - Fast Knowledge Sharing
Picl is a chat app that allows professionals in any industry to offer micro-consulting to their own clients or the general public.
Applications, tools, infrastructure
1) Allow anyone to get instant help with any issue they may be facing.
2) Make it easy for clients to get help from professionals with whom they already have a relationship, at a lower cost than a full session/consultation and without the trouble of scheduling and commuting.
3) Allow professionals to answer questions that their clients have, while still generating revenue.
4) Provide professionals the opportunity to build a good reputation by doing pro bono work, which can also double as lead generation.
5) Facilitating points 1-4 on a global scale by using a borderless currency... XLM.
The Picl concept was originally inspired by the need to assist students in real-time, while considering the reality that most students across the globe are under-resourced and lack a strong support network. Since its inception, the scope of Picl has been expanded to include all essential services that draw upon professional networks.
Most people globally are not lucky enough to even have access to such networks. They are born into under-resourced circumstances and are held back through a lack of understanding of their options and how to navigate their way through them.
In this way, opportunity is centralized around regions, as opposed to be evenly distributed across the globe. Currently, the ultimate determining factor of the probability of one’s success in life is the geo-location at which they are born. This archaic determining factor needs to be supplanted by ability and determination. It is Picl’s goal to bring about this change.
Step 1: Run a pilot in the Bay Area. The goal will be to facilitate at least 100 interactions over a 4 week period, across at least three industries. This will take place during July/August (CORVID-19 permitting). The award of Lumens will be used to fund this pilot, including the give-away of free Lumens to all new users to facilitate adoption.
Step 2: The next phase will be to seek out a seed round to employ additional capacity to improve on the current MVP and to approach more professionals and consultants to introduce Picl to their client base. Deposit and withdrawal facilities on the app will be improved so that users do not need to fund their account via a 3rd party exchange. Marketing to promote the services offered by those professionals already on the app will further stimulate client adoption, as well as generate success stories of clients saving time & money and professionals generating additional income.
Step 3: Promote Picl in low-income communities to fulfill the social impact objective of Picl. The starting point for this will be in linking universities with communities with poor learning infrastructure. Universities are the ideal starting point as they are centers of social change, as well as emerging professionals, many of whom want to have a positive impact on society. The three universities that will make up this initial focus are: Brook University (Toronto), Stanford and the University of Cape Town.
What does Picl enable users to do?
Picl allows any user to post a description or pic of a problem that they are experiencing, which displays in a chat thread. This streams into the threads of a number of users as a public picl, or can be sent to a specific user as a direct picl. Any one of the targeted users can accept the picl and begin helping the OP. When the OP accepts the response, after having engaged with the assisting user within the chat thread, the XLM transaction completes.
Additionally, Picl can be used as a wallet to transfer Lumens directly to another Picl user, or to an off-platform Steller account.
The following are some examples of this in action:
Legal firm: A small law firm has 200 clients. They have meetings with their clients, draw up contracts for them, etc. However, their clients often have quick questions about what was discussed or a clause in a contract they are struggling with. This may not be a big enough issue to setup a meeting. However, they need to ask a question without the cost of a full consultation. The client takes a pic of the clause, with a question about it. Their lawyer responds with that one liner that brings it all together. The lawyer gets paid for their time, but the client doesn't have to pay for a full consultation or suffer unpredictable billing, plus the whole interaction is over within the time it would otherwise take to simply schedule a consultation or draw up an email.
New mother: She is standing in a baby store staring at fifty different brands of formula milk. Which one does she buy??? The summer job shop assistant shrugs their shoulders, while putting more effort into chewing their gum than helping her out. Time to ask a network of mothers who will be able to share their experience and advice in minutes.
Student: The final exam is tomorrow. An engineering student has forgotten when and how to apply Green's Theorem to find the potential for a charge distribution. The textbook is letting them down and it's 11pm. Time to ask the world for help.
People are getting stuck on small problems everyday. Sometimes these problems need quick answers, but searching for the solution results in pages of irrelevant info. Until AI advances far beyond its current state, we can understand and speak to one another in a way that a search result cannot.
Picl enables people to help each other, no matter who or where they are in the world.
Why is Picl valuable for Stellar?
One of Stellar’s challenges is adoption (as for all crypto-currencies).
To stimulate uptake, Picl would provide each new user with a small amount of free XLM upon registration, and subsequent XLM ‘airdrops’ for high engagement accounts.
A closed earning/spending system, such as Picl, can facilitate adoption by providing both the source of and need for XLM (a closed one to one system).
Once such a system has reached a critical mass of users, their spending power can be directed towards other platforms. This paves the way for a new or existing XLM pay-gate that can link that system’s spending power to other platforms, such as Amazon.
At this point, the pay-gate becomes the central driver of adoption, by opening up a many to many network of value exchange, while the original system (Picl in this case) becomes one of the platforms (no longer a closed system) for the utilization of XLM.
Why does your project use Stellar?
I started working on Picl in October 2017. At that stage I had only ever heard of Bitcoin and didn't know much about blockchain or DLT. I started out with a virtual token and got on with the business of building the rest of the app. By the end of 2018 (I've been building Picl on my weekends), I was far more familiar with the crypto-industry and, in particular, the speed afforded by DLT. It was time to leverage a DLT based token to bring a real value token into Picl. Why DLT, because of speed. That was my foremost requirement. The whole concept of Picl is built around fast knowledge sharing 'transactions', therefore the currency that backed that had to be just as fast. Of the two leading DLT options I could choose from to integrate into Picl, Steller won out. This was based on it's more open and well documented developer tools, and one of its core values being a social mandate to reach the global unbanked.
Picl has a simple info page that can be visited here (not much to see at the moment, but the video may provide some entertainment).
The Picl app is currently available as a beta version on the Google Play Store.
I encourage Android users to install it, 3 free Lumens await 😉
Access is currently only set for the USA, Canada, UK and South Africa, with a maximum of 1000 downloads allowed.
Upon installing Picl, you will find a few bits of info within the app to give you some context, however the below terminology will further assist you in finding your way around the app:
Picl: The app.
picl: the user’s problem or the chat room they create to get help.
OP (client): “Original Poster”. The person in a pickle. They create a picl.
Assistant (professional): The person who helps the OP. They accept the picl.
NOTE: a user can switch between being an OP or assistant on one profile.
Accepting a picl: This is either done by the assistant to start helping the OP, or by the OP to accept the assistant’s help.
Rejecting a picl: This is either done by the assistant to dismiss a picl (before they have started helping), or by the OP to reject the help that an assistant has given.
• Picl Stream (assistant): This is where an assistant can view all picls available for them to accept or reject (both public and direct picls).
• Active picls (OP and assistant): For OPs this is where the picls they have created and the ones that have been accepted by the assistant are displayed. For assistants, this is where the picls that they have accepted are displayed.
• Archive (OP and assistant): For OPs, this is where picls they have accepted are displayed. For assistants, this is where picls that they helped with that have either been accepted or rejected, are displayed.
Public picl: A picl that everyone can see. The first assistant to accept it gets to help the OP. It has a standard rate of 1 Lumen (in the beta version) and if an OP doesn’t accept an assistant’s help, it will be relaunched automatically for the next assistant to accept.
Direct picl: A picl that is sent to a specific assistant and is charged at that assistant’s picl rate. If it is rejected by the OP, it will not automatically be reposted, and the OP will only get a 50% refund of the assistant’s rate. The OP may choose to relaunch a direct picl after they have rejected it. However, this will need to be paid for in addition to any Lumens already spent.
Direct picl rate: The rate that an assistant sets in their wallet that is charged to OPs when they send them a direct picl.
Direct picl code: Every user has a unique code displayed in their wallet. This is given to other users so that they can send them a direct picl. The user can also choose to have this code displayed in the summary of public picls that they assist OPs with.
NOTE: Lumens can also be transferred from one account to another by using a user’s direct code.
Star rating: This is a rating out of 5. Only public picls that you assist with contribute to this.
Tags: In Picl, you will see the use of tags when creating your picl. They are used to target a more specific subset of assistants when releasing a public picl. They are purely decorative for direct picls.
Notifications: Sent for transactions, message received in public or direct picls and for when a direct picl is received. You will not be notified when public picls appear in your picl stream.
“micro-consulting, education, wallet, chat, Android, Stellar Java-SDK”