Christian Heilmann

Posts Tagged ‘paypal’

Shopping impossible – why don’t people use Paypal for what it is good for?

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

The other day I logged into Paypal and was confronted with the following sight:

Ad for paypal campaign showing an old lady talking about nasal hair remover

That was the end of breakfast for me but I was also excited – I like the idea of winning a year’s salary and I had to buy a mouse for a friend of mine anyway. Normally I would go to ebay for a mouse or directly to SVP who’ve never let me down in the past. But hey, let’s win that extra income, right?

How wrong I was. I found two mice I would love to buy, from Pixmania and another one from Novatech. I clicked through and I was asked to sign up for each of the sites. They asked me for my address, they wanted my email, all of it was hidden in horrid 5 step processes. Pixmania even signed me up for their deals mailing list before I was able to buy my mouse. I then was not able to buy the mouse without becoming a Pixmania subscriber – no thanks. Novatech was even more interesting – I was able to go through the whole process just to be told at the final checkout before paying that they would only be able to deliver the mouse to the address of my Paypal account – and not the friend’s address – although I was asked to enter her address first.

In short, I gave up. I went to ebay, bought the mouse, checked out using Paypal and I was done. I couldn’t win the yearly income but I also kept my sanity. There is simply no point in the implementation of the promotion right now. I like Paypal, I like its simplicity. Why the implementers don’t recognise that I come from the promotion page to their sites and just let me pay with Paypal (as this is what the promotion is about) and send the product wherever I want is beyond me. Why Paypal pays money and promotes horrible shops like that is also beyond me.

So if you use Paypal for your shop – give me a way in. You know me, I can sign in with Paypal – don’t ask me to sign up again for you and ask for all kind of data – filling in forms is annoying. I already give you a blank cheque, just let me find a product, click it and buy it.

Paypal and Yahoo developer challenge – over $160,000 in prizes

Friday, July 9th, 2010

I am right now working with Paypal on setting up a developer evening in the next few days to talk people through Paypal and Yahoo’s APIs and systems to build something cool for the Paypal X Developer Challenge. All in all the contest has prizes of $160,000 with $100,000 being the main prize and $10,000 prizes sponsored by different Paypal partners.

If you register your product idea by the fourth of August you also enter a special sweepstake for one of 10 iPads.

So what are you supposed to build for this? Mainly a product that uses Paypal’s payment APIs in a new and innovative way.

While PayPal, the external judges, and the X Award sponsors may select winners at their sole discretion, here are some of the general guidelines that they will use:

  • Innovative and “buzzworthy”: Innovative concepts that are able to capture the public imagination will be viewed more favorably than concepts that reflect existing ideas.
  • Viable business: The judges will favor viable business concepts over those that are less likely to succeed.
  • Newer applications favored: We welcome applications that have been built previously, or that have been entered into prior contests, but the judges will tend to favor newer applications and ideas.
  • Merchant integrations are less interesting: While it is possible to enter an online store into the contest because it meets the requirement of using PayPal’s products, classic ecommerce applications are unlikely to win the judges’ hearts.  Tools and services that “change how we pay” will be much more interesting for the judges.

In addition to this we have the X Awards:

We’ve set up some special awards offered by both our partners and us which are designed to reward innovation in key areas. These X Awards are judged independently and a single team could, in theory, win multiple X Awards and/or the Grand Prize. To be considered for an X Award, you will need to meet the eligibility requirements for the overall contest as well as any additional requirements for the X Award(s) for which you are applying. The top X Award entries will be invited to exhibit their applications at the PayPal X Innovate 2010 conference October 26th and 27th in San Francisco.

The Yahoo special award is tied to the following ideas:

Yahoo! Developer Network X Award: Yahoo! Developer Network is excited to participate as a sponsor in the PayPal Developer Challenge. Our prize of $10,000 will go to the application that demonstrates the most useful and inventive integration of PayPal and Yahoo! Technologies. We’re interested in apps that combine PayPal’s open platform technologies with the Yahoo! Application Platform (YAP), our social platform APIs (YOS), and those that use YQL (the Yahoo! Query Language) to access and manipulate web data from multiple sources in combination with PayPal’s transactions platform. Show us apps that solve real world problems in creative new ways; that make it easier or simpler to get transactions done; that enable transactions in new contexts; that create “wow” experiences for consumers, or help us create new business opportunities around the world. Entrants in this category must agree to the Yahoo! Developer Network Terms of Use, located at, and the Yahoo! Query Language Terms of use, located at   By entering an Application in this category, Entrants agree that Yahoo! may feature your Application in the Yahoo! Developer Network website.  Also note that PayPal remains the sole legal sponsor of this X Award.

I’ll be working with Paypal the next few days to set up an event in London, so watch this space.

TTMMHTM: Mario Bento, YUI3, Accessibility Interview, wearable computing pulp fiction typography and live carbon of the UK

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

PlugLondon – let there be talk, let there be beers and let there be London developers shape the event

Monday, November 5th, 2007

Once in a while you realize that a lot of people are like you. When I joined a big internet corporation a lot of people asked me if I will shut up about bad things on my blog or if I will become a company drone now. The joke never gets old and I told some other people in the same situation about it. Well, we drank some beers, chatted and now it is time to take action:

PlugLondon is a meetup for developers in London in December sponsored by ebay, Yahoo, Skype and Paypal.

The catch? All of the people involved agreed on leaving both HR and PR out the door and do the thing ourselves. So on the 8th of December we want all the London people who drive software innovation to show up, chat with us about their products, how they use our APIs, get info from our experts and of course have several beers and food.

We are planning on repeating the exercise every half year and basically want to show that London can be as cool as the Valley but not as annoying to get to for UK folks.

The event has no branding yet and we invite people to give us logo ideas. The audience at the first meetup will choose which is the best and we go from there.

So come around, check out the different parts:

See you there,