“The site can be likened to a marketplace for networking, where users barter for professional favors in exchange for status, points and the satisfaction of knowing that they’ve helped someone out.”
The original Favo.rs business model worked for a while. Hyperactive early adopters succumbed to the allure of swapping their minimal social capital with one another in an orgiastic ecstasy, wherein points were amassed and introductions were traded for badges. Soon, however, it set in that everyone on the platform now knew everyone else. No more points were to be had, because the rest of the world was too busy looking for real work to join yet another network.
Unable to meet their investor-set benchmarks, the Favo.rs team talked it over and decided to pivot. Favors were no longer required to be benign. More options in terms of activity meant more traffic and more eyeballs on the site. After some truly guerrilla marketing – suited men in upper-middle class bars bemoaning the lack of opportunity, only to return days later with a brand new job and a name of a ex-convict who “took care of the problem” – throngs of senior executives looking for work began posting requests for work. “Assassin” badges were offered to anyone willing to create an opening at a target company, with a point kicker if they could also set up the interview. Students at formerly target schools began offering drugs, weapons, and sex – which could be purchased using the points – for internships and interviews.
Traffic to the site steadily increased as success stories percolated across campuses and offices everywhere. Ads were placed on the site, and though some was quite lewd or violent in nature, the clickthrough rate shot up. Investors were happy and the site continued to grow.
A Spanish-language version was released in 2013 that exploded as a cartel began to use it for internal power brokering. Taking note, the executives began shipping a white label version of the platform to be used by warlords and minimalist governments across the world. This effort proved successful, and by 2015, the founders were able to hire a maintenance executive team, and retire to a pleasant, albeit fortified, retreat in the jungles of Hondorus.
Part of my ongoing startup dystopia series. Read the next installment, PlaceIQ here.
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