tapviva - Modern point-of-sale ordering systems

Archive | May, 2011

10 Top Stories in Food + Technology News

18 May

Your source for the latest in food + technology news:

  1. Gilt Groupe launches Gilt Taste, a culinary tasting extravaganza, buy artisan foods in several categories, Meat, Seafood, Cheese & Dairy, Pantry, Sweets, Produce and Equipment, check out the About Page.
  2. GrubHub sued over price differences in store and on their site, learn more from NBCChicago.
  3. Goodplates, a foodspotting type app/site with heavy emphasis on written reviews and social, gives its first public demo, learn more on Boston.com.
  4. New York Times post by Julia Moskin today has a great write-up on comparing recipe search engines. Find links, reviews and a bit of “how they work.”
  5. There may be trouble ahead for reservations industry leader OpenTable, Google may provide competition, some current customers are frustrated with the business and the CEO, Jeff Jordan, has transitioned roles, read more on SFGate.
  6. Learn more about Square founder Jack Dorsey by reading his interview with Wired Magazine.
  7. McDonald’s to test consumer facing touchscreen kiosks in European stores, learn more from InvestorPlace.
  8. In the “somewhat related to Food + Technology” category – Business Insider has a slideshow of the 10 coolest start-up kitchens.
  9. Quiznos is working with Groupon to offer a 8 sub “punch-card” deal, buy 8 subs at Quiznos, all at half price. This is big because Groupon has yet to prove it can create repeat customers, read more at the Chicago Tribune.
  10. SFWeekly publishes its annual “Best of” list – always a great read.

Let us know what you think of any of these stories – and what we may have missed in Food + Technology news.

Lean Start-Up Toolbox: Why we use MailChimp

17 May

A tool that we rely on as a lean start-up is MailChimp (we are also just huge fans in general). We were inspired to write about MailChimp today by Fred Wilson’s article from Monday on AVC, Email: Social Media’s Secret Weapon. This article highlights something we have discussed internally for a long time – emails driving continued user engagement. For example, the email that you have been tagged in a picture that brings you back to Facebook, the LinkedIn new contact request email that brings you back to LinkedIn.

Email can be a huge differentiator for social media companies, technology companies or small businesses. One core way to increase user awareness and engagement is through email marketing campaigns. We understand the need for this in our own business – but also need to prioritize time and cost.

That’s where MailChimp comes in.


For free, MailChimp users can store up to 2,000 different email accounts, and send up to 12,000 emails per month. For a company just starting out – this is a huge amount.


MailChimp is simple to set up and use. The embedded forms help create beautiful emails that require no time to put together. We also appreciate helpful guides provided by MailChimp for new users, or users looking to improve their email campaign success (they have been around a while and know what questions come up). The guides cover topics like Email Marketing Field Guide, Mobile Email Marketing, how to manage your email list, and my favorite – Common Rookie Mistakes.

After every email campaign you can check all of the resulting stats – compare email campaigns to learn what works and what doesn’t work for your list. Got a MailChimp success story? Please share!

Sign up for tapviva’s email list on the bottom of our homepage (we promise not to over-email!).


Check out more lean start-up tool box articles: InboxQ, SnapEngage, GoSquared

Serve by American Express – We Have Questions

12 May

Checkout the homepage of Serve, American Express’ supposed “Visa, PayPal, Square Killer.”

Seriously, go check it out then return.

What you learn from the homepage: well, we gain a lot of confusion. We see keywords like “virtual wallet,” “online, offline and mobile,” “fast, simple and secure,” “Serve subaccounts,” and “Serve card.” But we are pretty unclear what exactly we are signing up to do, or what hardware or software will be involved. The main tagline is “Money re-imagined” – no idea what this could mean. Is this an indication of how the Serve usage will play out?

We are excited to see a big credit card company move to online payments – but the typical web 2.0 / 3.0 clarity and simplicity is missing.

Let’s compare to PayPal and Square homepages.

  • Square – “The Simplest way to get paid” and “Free Card Reader” – the pictures and demo video make everything clear and easy to understand. Sign up form fields are up front and prominent to get started right away.
  • PayPal – Three simple buzzwords – “Pay Online,” “Send Money, and “Get Paid.” PayPal has the advantage of a strong brand name, and familiarity from seeing the brand across the internet.

Assessment: Serve, for credibility and explanation, add pictures or video of what exactly we are getting into with a Serve account. Cut out the excess wording and let simple descriptions and pictures do the talking. Let us know how we can help.

Next time we try and figure out if Serve can work for small businesses, cafes and food trucks.

Simple Square

Familiar PayPal

Serve does what?

What do you think of this comparison? Let us know.



tapviva on the Today Show Blog

11 May

Check out the tapviva mention on the Today Show blog today - http://goo.gl/aomQz – also mentions GrubHub, Chewsy and Vegout!

Let us know what you think!

Innovative Payments: Swedish Postal Service to Sell Postage through Text Message

6 May

In other blog entries we have looked at innovative payment ideas in the technology + food space (such as splitting the dinner bill among friends or apps that use QR codes). We were excited to learn about something different – text message payments to pay for postage.

Good Bye.

Starting as early as this summer, Sweden’s citizens will be able to text message the postal service and receive a code back via text.  That code is then written on the envelope and accepted as postage (see The Local articleLA Times article).  This method saves customers time (no need to run to the post office), and government money (no need to print stamps). Further, this adoption of an alternative stamp payment system supports a belief that snail mail is not going anywhere.

As we think about cafes and food trucks we see potential for this sort of payment to exist in the future. Receive your bill, text message the cafe the amount on bill + tip, that amount gets charged to your phone bill, you receive a confirmation code from the restaurant, show the waiter and leave.

What other companies, non-profits or government entities are using text message payments? Let us know. Would you want to text to buy stamps?