Keen On… IfOnly: How Silicon Valley Can Do Well By Doing Good

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Brian Solis says that the future of business lies with the sale of experiences. Serial entrepreneur Trevor Traina would certainly agree. Traina’s freshly minted startup, IfOnly, is an online platform for the sale of once-in-a-lifetime experiences offered by celebrities. But while IfOnly is a for-profit company, its goal is to enable celebrities to distribute most of the revenue from sales to their charity of choice. IfOnly, Traina thus says, is “the Uber for doing well by doing good.”

Backed by angel investments from tech notables like Marissa Mayer, Yuri Milner, Marc Benioff and Mark Pincus, IfOnly already has, according to Traina, “dozens” of celebrities selling experiences including basketball star Kobe Bryant and the popular band Third Eye Blind.

Traina, probably best known as co-founder of the car data network Driverside, has also been in the news recently for having just bought the most expensive house ever sold in San Francisco. So, I asked him, would he enable me to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience and have tea with me in his new  Pacific Heights mansion? I offered Traina $500 for the experience to be donated, of course, to one of his favorite Bay Area charities, Tipping Point.

To see if he accepted my offer, you’ll have to watch the interview. But I’m beginning to think that the future of business may indeed lie with the sale of experiences. How much would you pay, for example, for breakfast with Mike Arrington? Or cocktails with Alexia?