Projects

Is scarcity alone valuable? A social experiment.


Rare wines can cost thousands of dollars a bottle. Rare sports cards still fetch hundreds of dollars each. And in a disaster situation, scarce survival items like candles and generators appreciate in price remarkably. Clearly, scarcity imparts a certain value. But is scarcity only a multiplier for things already valuable, or can something be valuable simply because it’s scarce?

Intrigued by this question, I created ipaidthemost.com. The value proposition – such as it is – is simple: If you pay me more than anyone else has so far, I will put your name and up to 140 characters of text up on the front page of that site. There is only one ipaidthemost.com, and only one person can claim the front page at a time, so this is an exceedingly rare commodity – indeed, potentially the rarest thing in the world.

But how valuable is it? Time will tell. The price grows larger with every purchase, but there’s no simple goal that, if hit, will prove anything one way or the other. I plan on revisiting this question with blog posts over time, examining the collected data and logging useful observations.

In the meantime, as of this writing, the current price is $0.20 USD. Anyone think it’s worth more? Head over to ipaidthemost.com to prove it!

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