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IPSwap matches up end-users and developers

PHOENIX--If you're an unemployed software developer, or a college computer science major looking for some extra cash, you may want to check out a start-up called IPSwap.

The Pleasanton, Calif., company has created a marketplace for software tools which, in one of the first attempts of its kind, is connecting end-users with developers.

The idea is that there are countless numbers of small tools that users want or developers create that aren't big enough for more traditional enterprise-class marketplaces. For example, a user who needs someone to create a tool that extends the reach of a home wireless router.

Conveniently enough, IPSwap CEO Paul Pluschkell said he had recently found himself in just that situation, had posted his commission on the marketplace, and within 24 hours, he said, someone had offered to take on the project for just $25.

The site also allows users to commission small projects and offer to share royalties on futures sales with the developer who fulfills the order. In other words, if the tool is one that multiple users might want, the person who commissioned it would retain ownership rights and be able to sell it on the marketplace in the future. But he or she would be obligated to share a percentage of the proceeds from those sales with the developer.

IPSwap said it has no competitors, though Amazon's Mechanical Turk, which has a similar concept, might count. But either way, the company's marketplace could well end up providing the medium through which an endless number of users get solutions to those small problems that drive us all crazy.