My dad owns a small/local business that he's run for 30 years based solely on word of mouth. My app would allow him to spend a small amount of "advertising" money to allow his customers to refer others and receive a small commission based on their reviews, all on the Ethereum blockchain. By doing do, customers can trust that their referrals are all accounted for, creating more trust in the system, and my dad can expand his business.
What it does
The system works when a business, such as Joe’s Sandwich Shop, takes a WordOfMouth Ethereum contract, puts it onto the blockchain, and then displays a QR code of the contract address at their business. The WordOfMouth server acts as a complement to the contract by allowing customers to keep track of their friends and see which businesses their friends reviewed which use the contract.
When you see that your friend Bob reviewed Joe’s, you choose to go there and pay with Ether to their QR code, which sends 99% of the money to the business like normal (in exchange for the sandwich) and 1% of the money to your friend as a referral fee. Your friend can then withdraw their referral balance at any time from the contract.
How we built it
We set up the flow using UC Berkeley's Snap Programming Language and plan on creating the contract with Truffle, so it plays well with popular front end web frameworks.
Challenges we ran into
Our main challenge is that we’ve only dabbled in Truffle previously and didn’t have enough time to learn it well enough to get a working contract up and running. Nevertheless, we prototyped the purchase flow using Snap!
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We’re happy to have come up with an innovative idea in a short period of time, and are excited to bring trust to the affiliate and referral marketing system that businesses can use globally, especially in developing countries where access to regular banks and credit card processing is limited. Ethereum only requires an internet connection, and not a banking system of any kind.
What we learned
We learned that this is an exciting new idea to be working on. We also learned that it will take quite a bit practice to make sure the contract template is up to par so that businesses can start using it. If there are bugs in the contract after it is already live, then there is the risk of referral money being stuck in a buggy contract.
What's next for WordOfMouth
We need to finish the contract as well as develop a third party web and mobile platform from keeping track of your friends. We decided that the actual friends list and related software doesn’t need to be on the blockchain because it’s more of a personal list, and doesn’t require trust between parties.