HQ is the newest app to sweep the nation. It’s a trivia game that you download on your phone, anyone can participate in it. As of writing this, it consistently breaks the million users mark every night at 9pm.
It’s a venture-backed tech startup that, from the last time I checked, was worth around $80 million. And it hasn’t even made a single dollar yet.
The game is based on an ephemeral style of playing where there is no recorded video of it besides some youtube videos.
You can only win money if you win all 12 of their questions, prize money can range from $2500 to $25,000 from what I’ve seen so far. You compete with the million or more players from around the world. And you’re paid out via PayPal.
But I’m not here to report about the app. I’m here to talk about how I think it might be lowering the productive of America.
Assuming at their 3pm game 2/3 of the 700,000 average players are at work, that’s 466,666 people.
Assume a third each are on the east coast, midwest, and west coast.
That’s 155,000 people on the east coast, 155,000 midwest, and 155,000 west coast.
For easy math, assume everyone is working for $10/hour.
The game takes 20 minutes, but if you lose early you leave early. So let’s just say you’re on the game for 10 minutes.
That’s 1/6 of an hour at $10/hour = $1.66 per person.
$1.66 per person x 466,666 people = $777,776 of productivity lost in that 10 minutes, and that’s not including the group of people who make it past 10 minutes and into 15 minutes toward the end of the trivia.
At the 3pm EST game though, I understand that people on the west coast will be at 12pm lunchtime, so it factors differently but you get the idea with the rough math.
Also, some people earn more than the $10 an hour, especially if you’re a higher salaried person.
That’s why I estimate, for fun math purposes, that the HQ trivia app game costs American roughly $1 million in lost productivity every weekday at 3pm EST.
All for trying to share a $2500 prize money with on average 100-200 winners.
Is it all worth it? If you go based on the fun that participants are having, yes. If you go based on productivity lost from the employer’s perspective, then no.
-Jack The Dreamer
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