Startups are Innovating in Knowledge-Sharing Space, Adding Financial Incentives
Incentives make the world go round. Everyone knows this, but not everyone acts on this information properly. When you look how a lot of websites are set up, it often isn’t very easy to figure out how or why everything works so well.
For example, with Wikipedia, who would have guessed that millions of people would contribute to the formation of the world’s most comprehensive encyclopedia without being paid? This works completely opposite to what most informed people would expect of the world, yet Wikipedia’s business model is based on free usage and free contributions.
Applying that a little further, there are websites like Quora, Survey Monkey and Stack Overflow that depend upon questions being answered for free. These contributions can come from those with specialized knowledge, or just people who have the spare time and are willing to answer some questions based on their goodwill.
The current way of managing platforms
The main thing about these platforms is they operate based on the goodwill of the contributors. Most people don’t have the time or willingness to write out long answers to questions or to answer surveys, but there are the rare few who see value in sharing their knowledge and helping others. Right now, these platforms depend upon these people to function properly.
Thinking about things from a purely economic standpoint, the lack of funds being directed towards the labor in these ecosystems is a sign of inefficiency. By adding the proper incentives into the system, it would increase the quality and quantity of the content being contributed. It is likely that many more people would be willing to contribute to a platform where they didn’t feel like their time and knowledge was being exploited with zero rewards to them.
Another factor here is the attention being given by readers. Attention is as limited as labor is, and it is important to factor this scarcity into the design of a platform. For every viewer on the platform, there is the desire to find relevant information in a timely manner. Creating incentives makes this possible by eliminating the content with the least utility and ranking the rest of the content.
Potential changes to the business model
Google’s competitive advantage is its ability to get the most relevant information in front of its users in a timely manner. People are willing to bet their time that Google will be the most efficient way to find information because of its past history of delivering on that promise.
The website Steemit has been working to make a social media platform that works more like Google. The goal is to reward users who contribute great content by having a reward pool of tokens. As a result, the quality of posts has increased, which improves the user experience and adds value to the overall platform.
Building on these ideas, Qurito is another Blockchain-based company which is going to change the way questions, surveys and polls are conducted. By using a token-backed incentive system, it will soon be possible to facilitate the flow of rewards to users who add value by inputting their knowledge into the global network of Qurito.
What will Qurito change?
For many people, this will become a great way to monetize their spare time and use the knowledge they have already accumulated. They get rewarded for their minor contribution and feel good about how they have used their time.
There will be downsides with a method like this; there is no denying it. A lot of the top experts who contribute on websites like Quora are doing so to add value to the world, not to make money. If the system was commercialized to place more of an emphasis on the money-making aspect, they might lose interest.
The other obvious downside is many people won’t be willing to pay to have questions or surveys answered. In this way, you can assume that the free models will remain, so it will not cost money to post a question. Being an entirely free service, in future Qurito will be able to propose answers of higher quality, speed and accuracy for a fee.
The people who are willing to pay to receive answers are going to find their curiosity satisfied way more quickly. Ideally, there will be lots of platforms like this in the future that are able to capitalize on the unmet needs of markets that are currently operated for free, and the result will be a sharp increase in the quality of contributions on the platforms.