Incentivizing crowdsourcing through stock/equity IOUs: 1 free share per submission


During its mission to raise popularity in the midst of the dot-com boom in '98, TravelZoo gave a few free shares to each person who signed up for their mailing list.

Hypothetically, let's say I'm building a website that is a catalog of restaurants. The usefulness of the website is based on how much data is listed. Data is mainly user-submitted, and any person with an internet connection can find a restaurant and add it.

The issue is incentivizing this crowdsourcing. Can I do something like TravelZoo and promise one free share of the company if it is successful and later incorporated to every person who submits a restaurant? Is this strategy effective, and what are the legal barriers to be aware of?

Marketing Incentives Incorporation Equity Crowdsourcing

asked Sep 2 '12 at 14:24
Maxim Zaslavsky
101 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll

1 Answer


Why not just populate it yourself, or use oDesk or something to hire someone to do it for you?

For me it's a red flag any time I am doing something that isn't simple, as often there is a simpler way. This idea you propose would be way past my "it's getting complicated" threshold.

I don't know the legal ramifications of doing your suggestion, but I would not want to go down this path. Try not to complicate things too much, build a great product and hustle to get your first users.

answered Sep 2 '12 at 16:26
Joel Friedlaender
5,007 points

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Marketing Incentives Incorporation Equity Crowdsourcing