Tales From The Main

Snapshots of small town life - zany characters and our neverending poker game.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

A billion dollar idea.

I have been watching the proliferation of Web 2.0 startups closely and have noticed a common thread in most of their business plans. It appears they have settled on an advertising model as their revenue source. Now I concede that Google et al have shown that advertising can be a lucrative business – in fact our major TV networks have been ad supported for years – however in the crowded world of the web having another way to make money should be very important.

I may have mentioned this previously so bear with me. The plan has been thought about and refined many times since I originally developed the concept.

People are creative. People are competitive. The web encourages collaboration and creativity among groups of geographically dispersed users with common interests. Our platform – PariVici – will allow users to create, compete and win.

The name of the site is derived from the Latin Pario , meaning to create, and vici , meaning to win.

Users select categories, level of competiton (defined by the amount of money they are willing to invest to enter) and then create an original submission. Each competition operates in a Sit n Go manner meaning there are a defined number of entries accepted and once those have been received the entries are closed and competition begins. Entrants progress through several stages culminating in an award level paying the top entrants.

An example:

In the photography, sports, $5 competition. The tournament launches with 90 spots available. Each entrant submits their photo and pays a $5 entry fee. Once 90 entries have been received the contest begins.

Registered members click on the ongoing tournaments tab, then select the categor(ies) they wish to vote on. Each voter is served a selection of entries from that tournament and ranks their preference of the submissions. An algorithm to ensure that each entry is shown an equal number of times is employed.

After the system determines that enough votes have been cast to ensure a statistically reliable result the tournament moves to the next stage. In the example above the top 10% (9 entries) based on votes garnered in the preliminary stage make the tournament ‘final table’.

Registered visitors can now click on a ‘final table’ tab for this tournament and be shown all of the remaining entries. At this point the voting is reset and each entry starts as an equal favorite. Each visitor can bet for the entry they believe to be the winner. Bets will range from $1.00 to a maximum of the entry fee of the tournament – in this case $5.00.
Betting will remain open for a set period of time. After the betting closes all wagers will be tabulated. The entry with the most money wagered on it will win first, second most second and so on.

Payouts will be made two ways:

For contestants – they will receive prize money based on their finish position. In this example first will receive $135, second $90, third $67.50, fourth $45, fifth $33.75 and sixth will win $22.50

For bettors they will be paid out based on the amount of their wager, finish position of the entry they wagered on and total amount of money wagered on this contest. They payouts will be calculated based on pari-mutuel rules – exactly the same way horse racing payouts are calculated.

The house will make money in two ways. First we will keep a small percentage of the entry fees for each tournament. Second we will take a small commission on each wager placed.

Tournament categories will be seeded by the site but users will also have the ability to create new categories for competition. Current categories include:

Microsoft Paint creations
Jokes/Funny stories

Winning entries will make the front page.


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