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Show HN: Highscore.money – Pay your way into the highscore (highscore.money)
50 points by marckohlbrugge on May 30, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 49 comments

A while ago I was thinking about how people spend a lot of their money on impressing others. Fancy clothes and jewellery, the red sports car, etc. Really all it is, is showing off how much money you've got to waste.

I like to make things more efficient, so I came up HIGHSCORE.MONEY – A public scoreboard you can participate in by simply paying. The more you pay, the higher you're place in the scoreboard.

Of course, it's a bit silly, but people can be silly at times so I figured I'd give it a shot and see what happens.

Curious to hear what the HN community thinks.

I always thought this should exist for philanthropy. If you get a critical mass, it becomes self perpetuating. I am not sure the value of doing it just because, but taking a standard percentage of funds raised and passing the rest through to charities would probably really get people spending.

>A while ago I was thinking about how people spend a lot of their money on impressing others. Fancy clothes and jewellery, the red sports car, etc. Really all it is, is showing off how much money you've got to waste.

Except often "fancy" clothes simply fit better, are better made. Sports cars can be fun to drive. Those are certainly not a "waste" of money, assuming you have the money to spend, of course.

It's really not all that black and white.

I love the site though, clever.

Valid points for sure. I should have worded it less strongly.

Please kill the loud auto-playing music.

I think it's a bold, fun idea, with good aesthetics. Now, I'm not going to pay anything, but maybe someone will?

After all, this is mostly advertisement space. Humble Bundle leaderboards have served as de-facto advertisement space for some time. And if we go a lot back, The Million Dollar Homepage is still up, isn't it?

Yep, exactly. I've seen similar concepts be successful in the past. Of course we only get to see the successful ones (survivorship bias) and for every successful 'experiment' there are a 1,000 failed ones, but I figured why not give it a try.

Good work on setting this up.

I think I've heard of a similar concept before, but using t-shirts. Setup an "exclusive" t-shirt range, of nice cotton white t-shirts.

The t-shirt would include a picture/logo/design, which was $X - where $X was whatever amount you wanted to pay for the t-shirt.

So you could walk around with a t-shirt that said $100 - or you could walk around with a t-shirt that said $1,000,000 - and people would you know you spent $1m on that t-shirt...

Haha yes I've had similar ideas before. The problem with that though is that they can be easily faked (e.g. anyone could design/print a $1,000 t-shirt). – It's also less like to go viral than something online. That said, I like how it brings the idea to the physical world.

Yeah - that's what I thought when I heard the idea as well - someone just prints the same t-shirt with $1b - and the concept it gone.

But your idea keeps it exclusive...

Good luck! :)

Shirts are too easy to fake

Not necessarily, could use a higher end fabric to make such significantly more expensive.

e.g. http://www.sunspel.com/uk/mens-sea-island-crew-neck-t-shirt-...

How would someone be able to verify that walking past you on the street?

Install a GPS tracker in the shirt and put a huge QR code in the back allowing you to verify the shirts current location on the official website.

smart thinking!

Hi, you can also use a bubble code http://www.prooftag.net/ which can't be reproduced added with the QR Code in the back ;)

Reminds me a bit of the old Million Dollar Homepage: http://www.milliondollarhomepage.com/

Yep. That was a great concept and one I wish I thought of myself. I've seen many copies, but they never take off because it's not original anymore and it's hard to get press coverage.

I hope HIGHSCORE.MONEY is different enough. We'll find out in the next 24 hours I guess.

Seeing Million Dollar Homepage was 11 years ago makes me feel old!

The problem with this as gamification is that there is zero ability to play for less than the current high-score. That is a real problem: suppose 500 people were wiling to pay close to, but not over, $10, but hardly anyone was willing to pay over $10. If 15 people have paid $10 it now prices anyone wanting to pay up to $10 completely out of visibility. Since we said there were 500 such people, you lose $5,000 while making 15 * 10 = $150. That's a real design problem. Pay-to-play should give everyone something.

Interesting perspective. Right now you can still get 'value' out of it by paying less than the #1 spot, since the first few spots are still highly visible too. That said, your logical reasoning still applies. I'm not sure what a better solution would be though. A leaderboard works because it's exclusive.

You could lower the current score by one cent every x seconds

that's a really cool idea.

The idea of a permanent score is what inspired me to pay, though. A steadily declining score doomed to fail wouldn't have felt nearly as cool.

This is basically a pay-to-win game simplified down to the leaderboard.

I hate pay-to-win games. They do have an uncomfortable similarity to the real life though.

Exactly. Thanks for putting it this way. I couldn't find the right words, but it's indeed the most stripped down version of pay-to-win.

I kind of hate this, but I still paid you $22 because it's actually awesome.

Nice one! Maybe donate the funds to charity?

Haha thanks :)

I specifically chose not to donate the funds to charity, since I don't want to provide any value in addition to be being featured in the highscore list. Otherwise it would become about who's most charitable. An interesting too, but a different concept altogether and I'm not sure it's one that would work. (it's not ridiculous enough)

Seems like scores are not cumulative based on email.


That's true. Is there anything on the site that indicates this? If it's unclear I want to make sure to clarify that.

The reason it's not cumulative, is 1) to keep things simple, and 2) I feel it's morally objectionable to add such a strong game mechanic as I imagine people would keep 'upping' their score in order not to lose their spot.

Just paid $30 to get Radio Silence to the top, out of pure interest in how much traffic that'd bring. Well played!

Aww, the link automatically points to the http version instead of https. No referral data in analytics.

Can we get a <meta name="referrer" content="always"> or maybe a way to edit the link?

Thanks for the suggestion!

I added the meta tag and updated your link to HTTPS.


How much traffic has it brought?!

Reminds me of the $500,- BlackBerry clock app: http://crackberry.com/500-desktop-clock-app-blackberry-i-was...

Anybody else remember the I Am Rich app for the iPhone?


I love this idea, it would probably look better if it was for charity though.

This could be the new http://milliondollarhomepage.com of this decade.

Or social network for hi net worth individuals

I wanted to pay $0.01 to stay at the bottom of the list, but the minimum is $1 ... Sad :(

Actually the minimum is $5. Because of the credit card fees and associated accounting work anything lower than that doesn't make much sense.

Got that ;) Was just looking for ways to "trick the system"™

Haha love the creativity

I've paid a cent, and it threw an error in my face, and didn't show up :(

When you enter an amount below $5 you'll get an error message telling you the amount is too low. You won't be able to enter your credit card details and thus won't be charged.

Unless, as I did, you mess with the JS a bit. I don't know if stripe allows you to set a minimum on their side, so perhaps there isn't anything you can do to prevent that. Anyway, enjoy my 1 cent :)

I hope that the internet will meltdown once enough has been collected

have you thought about adding a visits count? would give an indication of what you are buying...

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