Coffee & Power, a new site from Second Life creator Philip Rosedale, allows people to offer services for sale.

Philip Rosedale, the former RealNetworks employee who is best known for creating the virtual world Second Life, is launching a new startup called Coffee & Power which allows people to interact in the real and digital worlds in order to get small tasks done.

That includes everything from arranging airport runs to shopping at Trader Joe’s to reading Tarot cards.

Rosedale reintroduced the idea today in San Francisco, and he’s already pulled in heavy hitters such as Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and Lotus Development founder Mitch Kapor as investors. Together, they are sinking $1 million into the venture.

“Coffee & Power is an online marketplace where people can buy and sell small jobs and enables a new breed of mobile workers to connect in a way that’s fast, low-friction, and fun,” the company writes in a blog post. “C&P’s innovative marketplace includes its own virtual currency and payment system, live communications and public chat, a game-like rating and review system, and a real-world facility where users can meet and work together.”

The profile of Coffee & Power founder Philip Rosedale

To some degree, Coffee & Power is reminiscent of Zaarly, the online and mobile marketplace that also allows individuals to request services or sell goods in a set geographic area. Zaarly, with some operations in Seattle, just landed $14 million and named former eBay CEO Meg Whitman to the board.

There’s also an element of Seattle-based TeachStreet at play here, since users of Coffee & Power can peruse a list of people willing to teach languages, cooking and other skills.

The Coffee & Power Workclub at 1825 Market St. In San Francisco

Unlike Zaarly, Coffee & Power has established its own coffee shop on San Francisco’s Market Street where individuals who participate in the community can connect to exchange goods and drink coffee. You can check in on the live action in the coffee shop — known as the Workclub — through a Webcam on the Coffee & Power Web site. (There wasn’t much going on when I checked it out this morning, though).

According to All Things D, Coffee & Power will operate its marketplace on virtual currency, similar to the concept that Rosedale helped pioneer at Second Life.

In addition to Zaarly, Coffee & Power faces competition from TaskRabbit and RentAStudent.

It plans to open other cafes if the concept catches on.

With Rosedale’s connections to Seattle, maybe we’ll get to see Coffee & Power on the streets here one day. After all, the name is kind of fitting for our rain-soaked streets, don’t you think?

Comments

  • Guest

    Congratulations to Jeff on this innovative idea! I’ve been trying use cash to buy the services of those transients sleeping in downtown parks and on community college lawns, but this is a much more attractive service. For one, I can request a chargeback with my credit card company if my small jobs are not completed to my satisfaction.

  • http://twitter.com/coffeeandpower Coffee and Power

    Thanks for the shout-out, see you all on Coffee & Power!

  • http://twitter.com/aaBowlin Austin Bowlin

    I like the blend of the physical and digital world here. An actual location could go a long way toward creating community and with that a higher level of comfort and security with the service – a problem I have to believe Zaarly has. It should be fun watching this develop further.

Job Listings on GeekWork

Find more jobs on GeekWork. Employers, post a job here.