Photo via Kevin Simpson/Flickr (CC-BY-SA)
From the department of "Why didn't I think of that?" comes the latest and greatest get-rich-quick scheme to hit the web. Highscore.money is an online leaderboard that tracks who has paid the most to put their name at the top of the list.
Created by Betalist founder Marc Köhlbrugge, Highscore.money takes pay-to-win games to their only logical extreme. Players "bribe" their way to the top of the chart by simply paying the most money. There's nothing else, that's all there is to it. And it generated $2,251 in just one day.According to Köhlbrugge, the idea for Highscore.money had been kicking around in his head for awhile, and had based it off his experience in the world of startups.
"For us entrepreneurs, revenue is still a nice way to 'keep score' and see how well our businesses are doing," he wrote in a post on Medium. "It’s like playing tetris [sic], you don’t do it for the score, but it makes the whole game more meaningful," he said, noting the privilege of being in such a position.
Five months after crafting the scheme, Köhlbrugge finally launched it and started to see the cash trickle in. The first $5 came from the iPhone app Lisn, and then the cash just kept coming. At the moment, the top bid sits at $222. The list of top players primarily consists of folks advertising their own products and services, hoping to leach some traffic off of placement near at top.
Highscore.money fits comfortably in a long line of shameless, nearly effort-free money making techniques that take off online because they're just so damn simple. Perhaps the most famous of these schemes was the Million Dollar Homepage, a website launched by college student Alex Tew that sold advertising space on the one million pixel site for $1 per pixel.
Other less successful but equally ridiculous schemes have also cropped up over the years. I Am Rich, an iPhone app that did nothing but display a glowing red gem on screen, charged users $999.99 to download the app—which six people promptly did.
The current leading bidder on Highscore.money, Jason Sadler, is no stranger to these types of schemes. In 2008 he launched IWearYourShirt, a website where people could pay him to be a human billboard and wear a shirt of their choice. He scored $1 million in revenue off the idea.
All of this is to say Highscore.money will inevitably be a success despite its transparent money-grabbing appearance and it will generate a considerable amount of money for its creator that he otherwise wouldn't have and just like the many similar ideas that came before it, it's incredibly simple and you can't believe you didn't come up with it and now you feel bad. Us too, internet. Us too.