GoldQuest aka QuestNet gold scheme (some call it a scam) is the buzz that is taking rounds in Bangalore nowadays. Not that it hasn’t been around, but sounds like it has caught up once again. Last week one of my friend pulled me over for one such meeting where the talented marketers tried to convince me to enroll for this questnet business. I made an attempt to understand this is all about and how it works. After analyzing it thoroughly, it made me wonder how the so called ‘intelligent IT’ folks are falling prey for a vulnerable business model in which QuestNet is operating.
Let me write here on what I mean by vulnerable business model. To become a QuestNet ‘partner’ (business term), one needs to pay about INR 33k. By paying so, you become the privileged owner of a ‘Gold Coin’ of about 6 grams – this costs about INR 6k. They claim to have numismatic value for all the coins that they are giving away. I need to reiterate the actual meaning for numismatic here, refer to wikipedia for more information. Usually, gold coins get high value over a period of time – probably not in the life span of one generation. Also, I did a bit of search on EBay and other internet sites to figure out how much value these questnet coins can fetch. To my surprise, there were neither bidders nor any proof of a successful selling of such a coin. Now the net loss for an individual by becoming ‘business partner’ is INR 27k. Now they propose a multi level marketing (MLM) plan to make up your lost money. This goes something like this – Introduce a couple of people as partners and you attract a commission Rs 1916/- per head. Let us assume you introduced A & B. Now to reclaim your money in the form of commission, ask those 2 folks to introduce another 2 each – say A introduces A1, A2 and B gets in B1, B2. This sequence goes on to get your already paid partnership money in the form of a “Interest free commission”. There is a catch again, one need to keep introducing new people in the counts of 3, 6, 9, 12, 15…. in a group. If anyone fails on either side of the binary tree, progress halts. In turn this cuts short the money you have already paid. Now, let me put it in mathematical form.
This diagram (thanks to Wikipedia) represents what i have explained all this while. It is mathematically proved that the Number of nodes with two children is always less than half the total number of nodes – Well known as ‘Binary Tree Fact’. All the people who enter such a business model at the very early stages are the lucky ones. They will get to spread and introduce new ‘Partners’ to the chain. However, over a period of time this will reach the saturation level. This is very well shown in the diagram. If you observe the Blue circles, they are the one who joined in the early stages. They represent 11.8% percent of overall population while the circles indicated in Red counts to 88.1%. Hence the top 12% gets benefited from this kind of business model while the alarming 88% will be on the losing side. Think twice before you get in to this kind of businesses.
It is up to you to decide on whether you belong to profitable 12% or loss making 88% depending on how you take it to the next level. Why to become a fool by depositing your hard earned money with someone and they try to get it back by putting others in a fix? If you want to lose your friends and start looking at everyone including friends, relatives, co-workers etc., as targets, then this business is for you. Is this justified trap others to get back your own money in the form of commission? It will kill your good relationship with everyone around you, value of which cannot be quantified. No matter how much you make, you need people and time to enjoy in the society. Even in this material world, money is not everything. There is always life beyond making money, at least not at the cost of making others fools too. Think again.. do you really want to get in?