Tuesday, 2 October 2007

My son came across a pyramid scheme..

Ever since I had an email address, I have been getting the typical spam where they promise to give me the all the riches in the world given to me from the son from an assassinated army general in Nigeria, well you get the idea. Anyway, when my wife showed me a pyramid letter she got from her group of friends, I was very skeptical. After reading it, I realised that it is a pyramid scheme that could work.

The idea is to get the kids reading books. If you follow the idea correctly, you should be receive about 36 books in a few weeks time.

This is how it works.
  1. The letter that my son got has two names at the top of it, the name of the child whom gave the letter to my son and the name of the child whom gave the letter to my son's friend.
  2. A blank letter came with the one my son received.
  3. On the blank letter, my wife puts the name of my son and his friend.
  4. my wife also puts down on the list the names of six of my son's friends.
  5. We select a book to post my son's friend's friend.
  6. We also post the six letters to the each of my son's friends.
  7. Each of the my son's friends that receive the letter will repeat the process.
  8. In about two weeks time, my son should receive 36 books.
It sounds a bit complicated so let work through an example.
  1. My son receives a letter from his friend, Jack.
  2. On top of the letter is Jack's name and Alan, Jack's friend.
  3. With the blank letter, my wife would put my son's name and Jack's name on it.
  4. Also on the blank letter, she puts down my son's six other friend.
  5. My wfie posts a book off to Alan.
  6. My wife also post six letters, one to each of my son's friend.
We have just posted our six letters out. When we receive some books, I shall keep you posted.

By the way, we have some blank letters that we have scanned. So if you want to start this off, we can email you a copy of the blank letter.

Let me know if you think if there are any holes in this idea.

photo credit: Claudia Meyer


Sick of Debt said...

It all depends on 36 people that receive your name to believe in it. What happens is that pyramid dies quickly and often, so yes some people get 36 books, but the vast majority don't get as many back as they sent out.

Imagine a bell curve with 6 books received being in the middle. The far right is the people that get 36 books and the far left is the people that get none back. Some may skew the curve to the left or right (not everyone that receives that letter has the $$$ to send out 6 books, so many people could end up with less).

plonkee said...

The worst that can happen is that you are out 6 books. Trouble is that is the most likely outcome.

I don't think its a terrible idea but it is a classic pyramid, and you probably won't get 36 books (as explained by sick of debt above). Try and explain why to your kid, and it can be a learning experience. I

tehnyit said...

Actually, the worst that could happen is that I am out 1 book as we will be only posting it to child whose name just got taken off the list.

Oh, and the cost of posting the book and the letters.

For the next six children, we will only be sending them the letters, not books.

I think sick of debt has got a good point. Depending upon the age of the child, the type of book may be quite expensive, and choosing a suitable book may be a confusing exercise.