With great volume comes great benefits, but also greater support costs.
The number of people interested in cash back rebates far exceeds the number interested in experiencing the growth of a startup. It was a great place to start, but it’s time to move on. Our belief is that the marriage of the two (great upside with current rewards) is an unbeatable combination.
Part of the promise of iConsumer was that I would share our journey in educationally focused posts. In that spirit, here are some of the weird aftereffects of being pioneers in the Reg. A+ equity crowdfunding world and our leveraging them to make lemonade.
A Rising Stock Price Excites Our Members. They may shop more and join faster.
And that might just lead to a rising stock price!
iConsumer can be a self-fulfilling prophecy (higher stock price –> more members –> more shopping –> higher stock price). It’s our members who have to start that ball rolling.
We’re a penny stock on the OTC market. We have very little float. Possibly a third of the float is held by people who can’t or won’t sell. And that’s the silver lining.
Our relationship with retailers falls into the category of “affiliate marketing” or “performance marketing”. Amazon uses it (they call the folks who hawk Amazon on their sites “associates”). Rakuten (formerly eBates – which sold for over $400 per member) is in this market. Honey, which sold to Paypal for over $200 per member, is also an affiliate marketer. The NY Times is an affiliate marketer, via their Wirecutter site.
Please take note of the fact that the estimated value of the audience we’re building far exceeds the direct cost of building that audience
… with the exception of one small item, Walmart was the same price, and for most things, the same shipping schedule. Indeed, the lawnmower arrived a day early.
Sure, you can use a competitor to get cash back. But that has no magic, no opportunity for an exponential return. Even if you turn around and invest that cash back into Microsoft stock. Microsoft’s stock price may go up (or down), but it’s unlikely to double, triple, or go up 400% in the near future. Or even the far future. It’s way too big for that to happen. The beauty of a start-up lies in the potential of exponentiality.