FOX Social Media Incubator Group, 2025
"Hey Reutger, you ready for this next one?" Sampson asked.
"I guess! I've heard some interesting things about this Thomas Fletcher character." Reutger replied, checking his watch "Apparently he's a real eccentric."
"Well, you know," Sampson chuckled, "Sometimes it's the crazy ones that have the best ideas."
* * * * * * * * * * *
He had made it this far. Dozens upon dozens of presentations, proposals, and Q&A sessions had all added up to quite possibly the biggest moment in his life. Thomas Fletcher was just starting out as an entrepeneur, and for all the advice his mentors had given him, he still felt a little nervous.
LiveSocial had all started with a simple enough idea, which blossomed into an elaborate concept for consumer vanity. Thomas had spent a fair amount of time adjusting it based on the suggestions of his peers and mentors. The real test was figuring out how to not only make his model profitable, but desirable. He needed to acquire venture capital.
"Mr. Fletcher," said a man with a hooked nose and beady eyes "We're ready for you,"
With that, Thomas Fletcher took the stage to make his pitch. From where he stood, he could count eight, maybe nine different potential investors. Every single one of them sat with their hands folded, looking as if they were only partially capable of paying attention.
"As you gentlemen are aware, six months ago I came to yCombinator with an idea. We live in an age where a presence in social media is considered more valueable than traditional advertising. Let's say you have a Klout score of, say, 70 or 80. Your interactions are worth something not only to your followers, but advertising firms as well."
Several diagrams flew by, depicting various revenue models compared against Klout scores.
"Well, that's nothing new," one of the investors laughed "I make a little money on the side selling my Tweets to advertisers all the time. It's good money."
"Sure, you make money now because there's a social value on your identity. People want to know what you have to say, and what you like."
"Naturally!" the investor beamed, thinking of the cash from McDonald's-Toyota lining his pockets.
"But the reality is, that social value depreciates sharply after you die. Your Klout score goes down, you lose followers, and after some time, your account lies forgotten. You are, after all, no longer capable of advertising."
An awkward silence hung over the investors as they shifted uncomfortably.
"My point is, what if you COULD keep advertising through your social accounts after you die? Instead of losing that financial value, you make use of our service. For a small fee, one of our social media experts poses as the deceased, and continues to use social media engagement and advertising to fund the deceased's estate."
Thomas pressed a button on the remote in his hand, and the slide changed to that of two photographs of men smiling at the camera.
"On the left is our first test case, Henry Appleton, an elder statesman and social media innovator. On the right is Travis, one of my interns that has been posing as him."
"I follow Henry on Twitter and oFace!" Reutger exclaimed in shock "We just exchanged private messages about how our families were doing yesterday!"
"Mr. Reutger, Henry Appleton died precisely one year ago today. As a social media mogul, Mr. Appleton wanted to take part in our initial experiment. You've been talking to our intern for the greater part of a year now."