Saturday, June 4, 2011
Four Internet Marketers Play the ‘Get Rich Quick’ Game
Four internet marketers sit round their favorite board game: ‘Get Rich Quick'. One of the marketers blows on the two dice in his hand and rolls them across the board. The dice stop – both shows a 2. The marketer punches the air and whoops with delight, he has rolled a double and can now begin on his road to riches.
Rolling again, the marketer gets a 4 and a 3. He moves his gold Lamborghini Diablo board piece 7 spaces, landing on a square marked ‘eBay Fortune’. He receives a ‘Scam’ card. “Yes”, he cries, knowing that if he collects the remaining three ‘Scam’ cards, namely ‘Amazon Riches’, ‘Craigslist Assassin’ and ‘Adsense Arbitrage’, he stands to receive a huge windfall.
The next marketer has already started and is well along the board. Her next roll totals 11 and she moves her little Beverly Hills Mansion piece along 11 spaces, ending up on an ‘Opportunity’ square. “Ooh!” proclaim the other 3 marketers, all excited to see the outcome. An ‘Opportunity’ square means the marketer gets to select a card from the ‘Opportunity’ pile and stands the chance of fast cash.
The card is slowly picked up and cautiously turned over. Shrieking “Oh my God!” the marketer turns the card around so the others can see what is written:
You set up a recurring monthly payment scam without customers realizing. They thought it was a onetime payment. Collect $250 a turn, for the next 5 turns, until the customers notice.
“Awesome!” exclaims the next marketer and picks up the dice and throw a 5 and 2. His tiny luxury yacht moves 7 spaces from the previous square and lands on one labeled, ‘Over-priced Twitter Marketing Guide’. The marketer instantly hands over $100 and buys an ‘Unsolicited Bulk Email’ chip to place on the square. He knows that if anyone else lands on his Twitter product square they will now be hit for an extra $500 payment.
The fourth marketer is currently sitting pretty with 2 product cards and over $2000 in cash. She won most of this by selecting an ‘Opportunity’ card that awarded her $1500 for selling customer’s email addresses to porn and gambling sites. She has just thrown 5 and has landed on the dreaded ‘Rags or Riches’ square.
The other marketers sit nervously as she picks up the card. Hand trembling, she slowly turns it over to reveal her fate…
‘Google has removed all your websites for being misleading and lacking in quality – lose all products. Your marketing career is over!’
The marketer throws down the card and storms out of the room.
The game continues until there are only two marketers left. 10 minutes earlier, the third marketer lost everything when he unveiled a ‘Rags or Riches card that read:
‘All your websites have been found to contain stolen content and you have been accused of violating copyright laws. You are facing multiple large fines and/or a jail sentence. Forfeit everything. Your marketing career is over!’
Out of the two marketers left, one is clearly in the lead. He has over $6000, 4 products and 3 ‘Scam’ cards. He has been continuously calling the other marketer a ‘loser’ for over 10 minutes and now accuses her of ‘being too moralistic and honest to ever survive in this industry’. He has just rolled 11 and landed on a ‘Rags or Riches’ square.
“Yeah baby! You make your own luck in this game. This will be a winner for sure!” the marketer boasts, as he picks up the card and turns it over. The card reads:
‘Your email provider has received over 1000 spam complaints and blacklisted your domain and IP address. And your Adsense Arbitrage product has resulted in customer’s Adsense accounts being deleted. They all want their money back. Lose everything. Your marketing career is over!’
Exploding with rage, the marketer jumps to his feet with such force that he knocks over a bowl of Cheetos and spills his Dr Pepper all over the carpet. Suddenly panicking, he cries “My mom will kill me!” and runs out of his bedroom to find a cloth to clean up the mess.
The last remaining triumphant marketer allows herself a wry, self-satisfied smile. She knew she would win. She deserved to win. After all she took all the chances. Yes, she lost all her products after landing on a ‘Busted!’ square and being penalized for providing a genuine guarantee. And though she did lose the bulk of her cash when she landing on a product square owned by another marketer (who had added a ‘Fake Time Sensitive Offer’ feature to the square), she was still the only one to make a profit and survive.
As she left the bedroom, moving aside to allow the other marketer to frantically run past with cloth in hand, she looked down at the $1 in her hand. “$1 dollar is still better than $0” she thought. Until she realized her bus ticket home would be $2…
Moral of the story: In a game where everyone playing is a cheat, no one really prospers!