Lily Cole. Photo: Getty Images
Shes posed for Karl Lagerfeld, acted with Johnny Depp, starred in a Yeah Yeah Yeahs video, and somehow found time to graduate from Cambridge University with honors. Now, British overachiever Lily Cole is poised to join the ranks of tech vixens like Whitney Wolfe with her new project, Impossible.com.
A social web platform that encourages users to share their time and talents with others, Impossibles motto is simple: Give a wish, take a wish. Members can post what they needanything from positive energy to Prada pumpsand hashtag their requests. Those following a specific topic#GoodKarma, perhaps, or #DesignerShoeswill see the link, and if they can help, they will. Likewise, if youve got something to giveanything from language lessons to yoga tipsyou can offer it up on the site.
Idealistic? Sure. Naive? Maybe. But Coles been on quite a tear this month, leading a sold-out panel at SXSW, scoring an Apple store chat with Chelsea Clinton, andjust yesterdaytaping a roundtable discussion on Charlie Rose. Oh, and shes also landed Impossible a featured spot in the iTunes App Store, where her creation claims this weeks Best New App spot.
So when Milk Studios invited us to speak with Cole at their Impossible party last night, we zipped right over to meet the model-slash-actress-slash-future-Mark-Zuckerberg.
So, whats happening today on Impossible.com? Anybody wish for something cool?
This morning, I saw somebody wished for someone to draw them a koala bear. Im not kidding. What people want is so eclectic and randomlike, a koala bear?! Thats wicked! But theres a lot of practical knowledge being traded, too. Theres a whole thread where people want to learn languages, a whole thread where people ask for all kinds of advice.
Theres a cool thread where people are trading cake recipes.
I think recipe shares are going to become a big thing for Impossible, especially since it doesnt have to be localyou dont have to be at someones house to share a recipe, you can just do it in an e-mail.
Impossible started as a word-of-mouth thing in London. How will it be different now that its open to Americans?
I dont think its necessarily going to be different, just bigger. I think theres a fundamental humanness about Impossible.com that transcends national boundaries.
This might sound crazy, but are you worried the sites wish fulfillment premise will attract a lot of people looking for sex?
It doesnt sound crazy at all. Its something we thought about in development, definitely. So we do have moderation and we do keep a big eye on it. And weve built tools so the community can flag whats inappropriate. But sex hasnt really been the issue, at least not yet.
What about Vivienne Westwood?
Is Vivienne Westwood using our site to solicit sex? No! I dont think she even has an e-mail, to be honest!
No! Is Vivienne Westwood using your site, since you work together so often! I thought maybe shed have a profile.
[Laughing] Well, youre right, she should! It would be really cool if Vivienne Westwood started using it. I bet shed put out her green manifestos and her petitions. Thats what shed use it for. Shed say, Im Vivienne Westwood and I wish for a million people to sign this petition. And it could be a really good vehicle for that kind of thing!
You said sex isnt the issue youre worried about. So what is?
Money! People talk about money more than wed like. Were trying to discourage it being about money. The whole point is that instead of buying things for yourself, youre sharing things with each other. It just speaks to the fact that money is such an omnipresent issue for so many people.
But speaking of money, you told