A decade of tipjar.com has passed, and much is different now than in 1996 when I started the company.
Major banks now offer mailed bill-payments to anyone, from a web interface, as a free perk with direct deposit.
PayPal has popularized the basic concept that tipjar was founded to do.
In Marketing class at MBA school, that is called "pioneering
marketing." The fundamental differences between tipjar and paypal
remain -- and they aren't just that they got aquired for nine figures
and I'm still operating out of friends' basements. More on this soon, I
hope. It has to do with larger visions and synergies of several
concepts being bundled together under a single roof.
In honor of being in business for a decade during most of which the
actual services supposedly provided by my firm have been inoperable, I
am releasing to the public domain one of the key pieces of tipjar.com's
intellectual property: my service mark on the word "tipjar" with no
space. Although it is very easy to distinguish between a "tipjar
tip jar" and an "online tip jar provided by X" where X is amazon,
paypal, moneybookers, or whoever, there are situations where "tipjar"
is becoming a generic, and rather than try to fight this, TipJar LLC
will no longer attempt to seek out uses of the word "tipjar" without a
space and try to correct them like a frantic French academician. So go
ahead and call your paypal buttons and so on tipjars, you need no
longer worry that tipjar LLC is going to try and stop you.
And about those bundled services, that announcement is coming soon.
September 15, 2005; Kansas City
David Nicol, founder, tipjar LLC, "inventor of the online tip jar"