We have this indulgent narrative that many of us believe about ourselves. We think that the most important parts of our lives – our significant others, our dream jobs, or even our friendships – are things that were cultivated by our own strength, skill, and desirability.
These myths have noble titles: The American Dream, the self-made man.
Introductions As An Economy
The truth, of course, is much more subdued. Most people owe gratitude to someone who introduced them to a spouse, who vouched for them at a job, or who invited them out with friends. Personal introductions are the most direct and verifiable way to get what we want and need.
The numbers bear this out. According to LinkedIn, “candidates who are referred by an employee are 8 times more likely to get hired.” This is true in our romantic lives as well. TechCrunch reports that people with Facebook friends in common are 37% more likely to go on a date together. Even our purchases are frequently derivative of our personal connections. A Nielson study found that a recommendation from a friend is “the most credible form of advertising among consumers.”
Despite the fact that more than $17 billion is spent each year on advertising, the best billboard will always be the people that we know and that know us.
However, these introductions are limited and hard to find. There is a reason that many people have turned to algorithms to identify a possible romantic interest; the opportunity for a personal introduction is just rarer than we would like it to be.
A Blockchain Based Economy
In many ways, the art of the introduction is an economy unto itself, and the emergence of the blockchain as a viable technology is allowing it to function as such. More specifically, the blockchain’s smart contracts and easy value exchanges create a compelling system for monetizing or incentivizing the matchmaking process.
It’s frequently lauded for its potential to recalibrate customer loyalty programs, but its most significant impact may be its ability to help businesses acquire the best talent through personal introductions and to earn a customer’s business through a direct recommendation.
Ponder, a new blockchain-based company is gamifying the art of the introduction to make it more fun and more effective for everyone involved.
With Ponder, anyone can play matchmaker, and they are paid for being good at it. In a professional capacity, a Ponder user could recommend someone for a job at his or her company. If the job candidate and the company both like the recommendation, the matchmaker is compensated for her prowess.
They’ve applied this same model to the dating scene where users can play matchmaker between friends. The economics of matchmaking are similar in a professional and relational capacity, so Ponder has this game figured out.
Even so, their most significant contribution may not be to job candidates or singles but to the relationship between companies and their customers. With Ponder, companies can create their own referral community, so that they can benefit from personal referrals to their business and they can quickly compensate those who provide them.
Before the blockchain, companies use rudimentary methods to achieve this same connection, but by gamifying and incentivizing the process, Ponder makes it a viable and effective practice for any business.
What’s more, recent revelations like the Cambridge Analytica scandal are bringing fresh scrutiny to the integrity of digital advertising, but personal recommendations break the skepticism and allow people to buy with confidence. It’s a win-win for both companies and consumers, and it’s all made possible by the blockchain.
All the hype surrounding this revolutionary new technology isn’t the result of unwarranted expectations but of a confident expectation that it provides fresh opportunities for everyone. Whether they are looking for a romantic relationship, a new job, or a great new product, the blockchain and Ponder make that process simple, practical, and lucrative.
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