Saturday, August 11, 2018

Capped Spend Reverse Discount

Just finished watching Ready Player One last night, it was a great movie and I very much enjoyed it. One of the primary premises of the story line is having to do with money; and in the virtual OASIS if you die and lose your "shit", in real life you actually can lose your "shit" and so many do.

In real life this problem already exist where the game is "free" but if you want to get very far you need to spend real money on coins and upgrades. Problem is a lot of the players already have an addictive personality and have trouble controlling their spending. That's where I started thinking about setting up a system that encourages spending still but at the same time encourages responsible spending.

Read though this whole idea first before you say to yourself or outloud how stupid it sounds.

The numbers in my examples are all arbitrary and are not based off of any real-world statistics, for this to be the most profitable the thresholds would have to be moved around. I am going to make up a fictitious game called "Mo Money" (nothing to do with Notorious B.I.G.) but you can imagine that if you wish.

Mo Money is a free download on the app store and lets you run around a city as a real estate investor and making your millions. You can also do in app purchases and get things going faster to buy coins so you can buy that virtual apartment building and start charging rent. You can play the game without spending any money but it takes a lot longer.

Now the company looks at the real-world money being spent and the average is $64 a month per player and the median is $31 a month per player. BUT there are a lot of players that spend nothing or less that a few dollars here and there. This might make up almost half the players. So how do you get those players to spend more money in Mo Money???

This is where the concept of a Capped Spend Reverse Discount (just made this up, might not be the best name) comes in.

  • A player selects a tier where they cannot spend more than a limit of money set in that tier.
  • A player can only move up tiers but not back down except once a year.
  • They must provide a form of payment that can auto-recharge like a credit card.
  • The account is fully funded up to the max at the beginning of each month.
  • There is a discount applied to each tier but the discount is greater for a lesser maximum balance.
Now this may not sound like the best way for a business model to make money. But remember you are trying to get players that don't spend money to spend some money and it all adds up really quickly.

Here are some sample tiers to give you a better idea.

Tier 1
$20 per month MAX
30% discount on all purchases

Tier 2
$40 per month MAX
20% discount on all purchases

Tier 3
$80 per month MAX
10% discount on all purchases

Tier 4
No MAX and no discounts but can purchase some items that discounted tiers cannot.

So the casual gamers are mostly going to pick the Tier 1. Then if they find that $20 a month just is not enough to satisfy their thirst for renting out scummy apartments, they can move up to Tier 2. And so on until they are so addicted they just spend spend spend with no regard for discounts or limits BWAAAHAHAHAHHAA. When moving up a tier you must read and agree to terms and every once in a while the game will remind you that you should play responsibly.

Pros to the consumer:
  • Controlled spending, if you don't spend anything then you just have the $20 sitting in your account forever and if you ever stop playing you can close your account and get a full refund.
  • Discounts for beginners, so you can get playing faster without such a commitment up front. Also an advantage to catching up to those that have been playing longer.
  • By being "locked" to a tier except to move up it encourages your to think about how much money you are spending.
Pros to the game maker:
  • More monthly revenue all around.
  • Can advertise that you care about responsible playing and want to make sure your customers don't spend themselves stupid.
  • Players that did not spend anything may spend a few dollars here and there plus you have a minimum of $20 in possibly millions of accounts just sitting there!
  • Ability to have flash sales for those that are enrolled in the tiers. Such as 50% off of any single purchase once a month or something like that. Then you make the real cool things more that $41 so Tier 1 would never be able to get those cool things even at a 50% discount. They just have to move to the next tier to get those cooler items.
A few other notes thoughts, you could even have a "roll-over" tier where $10 a month is debited every month until your account hits a max of say $100 with a discount of 15%. You cannot add more than $10 every month and if you don't use it you lose it. So after $100 you still pay $10 a month but it does not build your account balance up any more. Kinda like a subscription.

This makes a lot of sense for gaming but can be applied elsewhere in an ongoing spending/subscription model.

Hope I was able to sell you on the idea of Capped Spend Reverse Discounts, lets see if someone ever uses this model.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Block Chain Periodicals Archiving

Many of us older folks (some prefer "experienced") can remember when if you wanted to research anything you had to go to a library. There you could find books and periodicals on just about anything and as an example they had these things called microfiche. These microfiche readers would magnify a 105 x 148 mm piece of film that contained black and white text/images. As well there were many other forms of media to archive articles, books, and various documents.

The point I am trying to make in reminiscing, is these different medias could not be easily altered and would provide long term archival of information. Today most new information is published on a website and can easily be altered. The problems is for purposes of historical reference this is not a good thing.

I propose the following, that would create an international archive of publications in such a way where they could never be altered or at least it would be very difficult.

  • Have a purpose build "archival" engine scrape sites containing periodicals from all over the world in all languages.
  • Store each article/image/video in a compressed file and then generate a checksum and or digital signature for that compressed file.
  • A blockchain would then be used as an index for these compressed files along with their checksum and or digital signature to validate the authenticity of the file.
  • Versioning can be done as well with the blockchain index to link documents together that are from the same source/location when modified.
  • This archive could then be accessible by anyone throughout the world and be the primary archival index internationally.
  • Any entity that has the capacity and proper systems could replicate (mirror) the index in its entirety adding additional redundancy to the system.

Because of possible copyright issues with documents being copied there would need to be agreements between the originating sites and the archiving engine to allow for the archiving process to "scrape" their sites in full. Copyrights on periodicals are different than with, say a book. Since the point of a periodical is to be shared I do not believe the archival of them would be a problem. As long as the capturing of the documents includes the proper references to its original publisher.

Any paywalls would have to allow for the archiving engines to bypass them. As per agreements with sites that charge for content, a time delay would be set before releasing the documents publicly. We must respect that publishers have to make a living.

Sites that allow the archiving service to scrape their sites in full would have a seal identifying that they have the integrity to allow their works to be essentially "etched in stone" for the ages.

An archive would also encourage proper journalistic etiquette in properly documenting any corrections and or retractions.

Authentic historical documents are necessary for all of society. Unfortunately throughout the history of our world; many bad actors have altered these documents for malicious and subversive purposes.

I believe the world deserves historical truth to be preserved for all to see without censoring, unaltered, and in full context as it was originally published.