Matthew HughesFormer TNW Reporter
Matthew Hughes is a journalist from Liverpool, England. His interests include security, startups, food, and storytelling. Follow him on Twi Matthew Hughes is a journalist from Liverpool, England. His interests include security, startups, food, and storytelling. Follow him on Twitter.
With two weeks left until he turned thirty, Marc Köhlbrugge made a daunting realization — no, not that his twenties were almost over. He had failed to achieve his goal of seeing his name in Forbes’ 30 under 30 list. Not content to merely try for Fortune’s consolation prize 40 under 40 awards, he instead decided to launch his own list of who’s who, called (what else?) 100 under 100.
100 under 100 is perhaps the most attainable “who’s who” list around. To get on it, you merely need to pay for your place in line. The first place on the list cost just $1, with subsequent spots increasing $1 at a time. So, the twentieth spot costs $20, and the hundredth spot $100.
Right now, over 50 people have paid Köhlbrugge for a place on his — admittedly meaningless — list, netting him roughly a grand.
To build 100 under 100, Köhlbrugge used his own directory software, Faces, and added a payment button based on Stripe. To add the incremental price increases, he used the bumpsale software, which takes a small cut from each transaction. All things considered, Köhlbrugge said it took less than two hours to build the site.
Running it, however, is more labor intensive. Speaking to TNW over Twitter DMs, he explained that he manually approves every profile “to make sure there’s no weird stuff in there.”
So, how does he define “weird stuff?” Right now, the idea is just to have real people. “Maybe funny bios or exaggerated profiles, but no companies or logos,” he explained. Pet profiles, therefore, are completely out of the question. Thank God.
It’s not the first time Köhlbrugge has tapped into our innate desire for recognition in order to spin some cash. His previous site, highscore.money, had people pay cash for a place on a highscore. The more you paid, the higher you ranked, and someone paid $222 for top spot.
This time around, it’s a bit less transparently pointless, as people can write profiles and upload profile images. It’s an opportunity to showcase yourself to your peers — that is, if your peers have more money than sense. Already, it’s built a dense collection of artists, designers, developers, and creatives who are all so excruciatingly photogenic, it makes me irrationally angry.
If you want to see your name
in flashing lights on a website, and have like $50 burning a hole in your wallet, you can check out 100 under 100 here.
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