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Initiative Q and Popularity

Initiative Q is personally one of the most interesting events to pop up in recent months.

It is the only example I’ve seen personally, where direct-benefit effects have caused an idea to emerge so quickly. Many services across the industry offer referral bonuses to their customers. For example, if you’ve recently purchased a Tesla car, you can refer new customers. Once these new customers purchase cars, you now receive extra benefits, such as Tesla credit for accessories or new gadgets. In a similar yet different manner, Initiative Q relies on referrals to become popular. However, instead of customers needing to pay up $60,000+ initially, and convincing their friends to the same, customers in Initiative Q need to ‘sell’ their real name and email- two personal details that are very easily obtainable in our online world, and very easily given away. We use our email and name for a variety of services in every imaginable situation, so much so that giving it out has become second nature. For those services we deem fake or potentially malicious, we’ll have a fake name with a burner email, so any potential spam behavior will aggregate to the secondary email.

Another blog post stated that an attractive characteristic about Initiative Q is it’s “invite-only” feature- which brings up the power of belief. An idea like this really needs two key ingredients to spread. One- belief in direct-benefit effects, and two- a potential payoff greater than the cost. When entering the Initiative Q website and signing up, the platform tells you right away that the more people that use the platform, the more of a chance you have to strike it rich. In the article above, founder Saar Wilf outright states that it will only work if enough people join in.

My experience with Initiative Q starts with my older brother. A few years ago, my older brother spoke to me about some cryptocurrency known as Stellar. He asked me to sign up, I asked him questions about cryptocurrency, and he answered with some complex ideas I did not understand at all. But, I believed in him and signed up, which eventually gave me a great payoff, for minimal cost. Similarly, he came up once again and sent me an invite for Initiative Q, and I once again signed up. He obtained a referral benefit of virtual currency that may not mean anything later, and I obtained virtual ‘currency’ for signing up. I was then greeted with the option of sending five more referrals out to gain more currency.

My cost for not sending forward referrals was potential money if the plan succeeded. My cost for sending referrals would be the five minutes it took to send out invites. Minimal cost for potentially high return- it’s no wonder so many have taken the deal. Having someone in your connections sign up comes off as an indication that you should sign up. Many will not read what Initiative Q is or what it’s aims are, or if it is just a scam. They see potential free money, and that their neighbor or friend signed up for it. With the usage of information cascades and potential direct-benefit effects, the platform has become very popular. Whether or not that popularity will translate into profit, that is a question for the future.




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