Do Go There Girlfriend!

"Why didn't you do that one?"
A friend asked me that after hearing about how Quibids works. How does it work? People can buy stuff for crazy low prices. When an item is offered for sale, bidder pledge to pay for it. In a real auction, you offer to pay "$10" and if no one bids $11+, you get it for $10. With Quibids, when you bid $10, you are charged $10. If no one bids higher, you get it for $10. If someone does bid higher, you are charged $10 but get nothing and the high bidder is charged regardless of whether or not they get the item. This is why the final bids are low: a string of suckers had to bid and pay for an item they would not get, unless all of the suckers stop bidding and the highest bidder succeeds.
It's a genius idea and one I could not imagine doing. Can you fathom charging people for an item they do not get? People on eBay bitch if you haven't send the item within an hour of receiving the money-- how could anyone swallow paying for nothing? Obviously, the ploy works. It worked so well, that someone paid for the cost of site development, legal fees, advertising and so on. Heck, I've seen more Quibids ads than I have seen eBay ads.
When Google came along in 1998, it arrived amid Yahoo, Alta Vista, Webcrawler, Infoseek, Northern Light and many other sites. I thought it looked like a pared down beta version of a real site. I thought that the search engine world was played out. Nope-- crowded, but not played out.
When Facebook came along, I thought, "oh-- Friendster / MySpace is here... again." I thought that even if it could grab people's attentions, the property wouldn't be worth a lot of cash. Rupert Murdoch bought MySpace for a crazy amount of cash and now its worth a fraction of that. Facebook is heading for an IPO and it's going to be a record breaker. No one is going to pause to review the lesson taught by MySpace.
A few weeks ago, Alan Moore was whinging about the Watchmen prequel. Yes, the coming series is a derivative. But Watchmen was a riff on Charlton's defunct line of characters (The Atom for Dr. Manhattan; The Peachmaker for The Comedian; Thunderbolt inspired Ozymandias; and Nightshade for Silk Spectre). Talk about derivative. His League of Extraordinary Gentleman was a culling of 19th century fictional characters. Moore's Miracleman and Swamp-Thing work built on characters created by others. In writing, I always thought that I had to be original-- stealing over people's characters seemed to violate a cardinal rule. When you leave Alan Moore with characters of his own invention, you leave with him a small set of characters. His career is about derivation.

I have been hemmed in thinking that an idea can't fly-- that it's too crazy. I often will euthanize an idea because I think it doesn't have legs. We live in a post modern society where riffing on ideas is common place. We contort ourselves around invented rules that have an internal logic but have no common sense. That's wrong headed thinking on my part. I should be willing to dream up crazy ideas even if they defy common sense. I should be willing to break rules even if I think they're sacrosanct. I should go there, girlfriend.

Charlton Comics: Where Alan Moore got his characters from

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