Our Story

Who we are and what we do

Hello everyone, I’m Nicholas Robertson, the mind behind SwapU.com.au and now venturing into an exciting new project, Swappingchain.com. My journey here has been far from linear, a blend of artistic flair, community building, and now, technology-driven altruism.

Many of you might already know me from my earlier venture, SwapU.com.au, an online platform built to revive the age-old barter system in today’s consumerist world. But before diving into the tech universe, my life took me through some fascinating detours. I began my career at the world-renowned Cirque du Soleil, where I learned not just the spectacle but the beauty of storytelling and community engagement. From there, I transitioned into teaching, a role that showed me the power of adaptability and empathy. Teaching also cemented my belief in creating environments that catalyze growth and sharing—values that have become the cornerstone of my entrepreneurial journey.

After successfully establishing SwapU.com.au, I began pondering on how I could take the concept of a swapping community to the next level. And so the idea for Swappingchain.com was born. This groundbreaking platform draws its inspiration from the ingenious kidney chain concept, developed by Nobel laureate Alvin Roth from Stanford University. The kidney chain is a life-altering system where a series of living kidney donors and recipients are matched so that each donation enables another, forming a chain of goodwill and medical miracles.

Swappingchain.com applies the same principle but for the exchange of goods and services. Imagine a platform where we can pool together an array of items—everything from books to appliances, even skill sets. My platform then sifts through these pooled resources to find the most optimal ‘swaps’ based on individual user choices and needs. The aim is to create a more equitable, sustainable model for consumption, moving us from a world of waste to one of meaningful exchanges and community building.

As we explore the potential and intricacies of Swappingchain.com together, know that we’re not just looking at another marketplace. We’re partaking in a shift, a revolution in how we view consumption and community. It’s an ideology shaped by my experiences, from the magical tents of Cirque du Soleil to the rewarding challenges of the classroom.

So come join me in this exciting venture. Let’s redefine what it means to share, swap, and sustain in this interconnected world. Welcome to the future of communal and sustainable living. Welcome to Swappingchain.com.

I want to take you through the evolution from SwapU.com.au to our latest, groundbreaking project, Swappingchain.com. The journey has been filled with invaluable learnings, especially from our SwapU community, which boasts over 8,000 active users and nearly $3 million worth of items listed. Lessons in trust, privacy, and efficient swap matching have been monumental, serving as the bedrock as we transition to something even more transformative.

Trust has been paramount. Through SwapU, I saw how the foundation of any thriving community is the trust among its members. Privacy, too, emerged as a non-negotiable element, especially as we handle a vast array of items and personal data. The volume and diversity of listings on SwapU provided us a fertile testing ground for perfecting swap matching algorithms. Yet, I felt that we were just scratching the surface and could make even more meaningful connections.

A pivotal moment came in 2020 when I stumbled upon the kidney exchange concept, developed by Nobel laureate Alvin Roth. The brilliance of this medical and altruistic model struck me. It was then that I realized the transformative potential of applying similar principles to the swapping community. Imagine a system that doesn’t just rely on one-to-one exchanges but leverages a chain of opportunities for more equitable and efficient swapping. It was like a lightbulb went off, connecting the dots between the core principles of SwapU and the possibilities that lay ahead with Swappingchain.com.

To fine-tune this vision, I immersed myself in our community further. I attended swap meets, engaged with collectors, and conducted interviews with app users. These firsthand interactions were more enlightening than any survey could ever be. They confirmed that the community ethos I’ve held dear, ever since my Cirque du Soleil days and my teaching career, could indeed be elevated into something revolutionary.

So, with the wisdom gleaned from SwapU’s $3 million inventory and its vibrant community, and inspired by that revelatory moment in 2020, we’re launching Swappingchain.com. This is the evolutionary leap, integrating lessons in trust, privacy, and swap matching, while implementing a complex but incredibly rewarding ‘chain’ system for swaps.

We’re on the cusp of something incredible—a platform that’s not just an app but a movement toward more sustainable, equitable, and communal living. The journey from SwapU to Swappingchain.com has been incredible, and it’s just the beginning. I can’t wait for you all to be a part of it.

Drawing from invaluable lessons on trust, privacy, and efficiency, gathered from our incredible community at SwapU.com.au, we’re taking steps to create an ecosystem that will redefine the way we think about consumption, sharing, and sustainability.

One of the most exciting features we’re developing is the ability to record carbon emission savings. As we become increasingly conscious of our environmental impact, it’s crucial to quantify the positive change we can make by participating in a swapping community. Through Swappingchain.com, you’ll be able to track how your choices are directly contributing to a healthier planet. Imagine being able to visualize the reduction in waste and carbon footprint, simply by choosing to swap instead of buy—empowering, isn’t it?

Next on the horizon is leveraging AI technology to predict swaps. Our platform already excels at optimizing swap matching, thanks to its kidney-chain inspired model. However, with the infusion of AI, we aim to anticipate what items or services could be most beneficial to you in the future, based on your past swaps and preferences. It’s like having a personal assistant who not only understands your immediate needs but also sees the bigger picture of your lifestyle and choices.

But we’re not just stopping at individual consumers. Recognizing the enormous potential in the corporate world, we’re developing a SaaS platform focused on asset reallocation within businesses. Firms can now tap into the power of Swappingchain.com to manage their resources more efficiently, reducing waste and saving costs while contributing to a circular economy. It’s about optimizing what you already have, instead of acquiring more.

So what does all of this mean for the future? For one, Swappingchain.com aims to be a key player in the circular economy, an economic model that focuses on eliminating waste and continual use of resources. Through our platform, we’re not just swapping goods or services; we’re exchanging old mindsets for new possibilities. It’s a future where swapping doesn’t just make sense; it makes a difference. The focus shifts from ownership to access, from consuming to sharing, and from a linear to a circular way of living.

The future of Swappingchain.com is not just an app; it’s a roadmap to a more sustainable, equitable, and connected world. And this incredible journey has only just begun. So come along; let’s create a future that’s positive for us, for businesses, and for the planet. Here’s to the endless possibilities that come with choosing to swap, share, and sustain.

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