Supermodel Lily Cole in Impossible partnership with Jimbo Wales, YOU
'Impossible is something that has to happen'? Shurely something that can't ...?
Supermodel Lily Cole has launched a new social network, dubbed Impossible, that relies on the good nature of strangers to exchange "gifts" on the site for free.
A cursory glance at Impossible appears to bring forth a variety of people who are trustafarians, fashionistas, stalkers, Jimmy Wales or some peculiar hybrid of all the above.
Cole has (probably) been to Newcastle* and back in recent days to big up her effort with the national press as she tries to convince people to use the site.
Now that she owns a website/app thingy, the 25-year-old redhead has been labelled an intrepid tech entrepreneur even though she remains clueless about how Impossible might (possibly) make any money from the venture.
In fact, Cambridge history-of-art graduate Cole isn't even much of a fan of the online world, according to an interview she did with the Telegraph's luxury section (naturally).
"It doesn’t make me very happy to be on my computer all the time. I’ve never been drawn to that world," she said.
Impossible immediately nags you for your location upon entering the site for the first time. Although it freely displays the latest "wishes" to be posted on the network, anyone who wants to read the comments of others is required to create an account first.
She's got financial backing from the UK government to the tune of £200,000 from the Cabinet Office's Innovation in Giving fund - which some might characterise as a different type of "gift economy".
Cole has injected some of her own cash into Impossible and so has her biz partner Kwame Ferreira. And she's got support from Jimbo Wales himself.
"She had a deep understanding of what in fact makes up a huge part of human life: doing nice things for each other with no expectation of any particular return," Wales told the Telegraph.
"When I started Wikipedia, I didn’t have a concern for a business model - the thing itself is the reward. Similarly Lily thinks of Impossible as something beautiful that has to happen: make something amazing and figure out the details later."
We give it two months before nominative determinism kicks in. ®
*Seems only right to point you at Wikipedia for a definition of this particular idiom.