MyStand Beta: Jonathan Budd’s Rippln spinoff?
Details on Jonathan Budd’s recently beta-launched MyStand at this stage are sketchy.
A YouTube video titled “MyStand is live! Join the Beta & Change the World” was uploaded on March 19th, during which Budd proclaims MyStand to have been three and a half years in the making.
Whilst that begs the question of whether or not Budd was always a part of the project or only recently attached his name to it (given his involvement with Rippln over the past year), there does seem to be some merit to the claimed MyStand development period.
On his LinkedIn profile, MyStand co-founder Shore Slocum cites his participation in Mystand dating back to September 2011:
September 2011 – Present (2 years 7 months) Greater San Diego Area
We are a leading edge Mobile Gaming platform. A leading example in the industry of Games that change the world as you play them.
MyStand is a game that as you play it you actually save the REAL Planet in REAL Time! Stay tuned it is almost here.
It’s not quite three and a half years but does indicate that MyStand wasn’t just conceived in the aftermath of Rippln going bust. Website records indicate a WordPress install going live on the MyStand domain in November 2013.
Anyway, given that Rippln only officially folded in January, MyStand is an app, there’s talk of “ripples” already and Budd was a co-founder (investor?) in Rippln, I thought I’d put together what’s currently available on MyStand.
What is the MyStand App?
The MyStand App appears to be a “daily-task” type program, where users are given some sort of task to complete on a daily basis. The idea is they do the task, confirm its completion in the app and the app then rewards them with points.
Every time you complete a MyStand Action simply click ‘Verify Today’s Action’. You’ll automatically get the points and be on your way to Leveling Up!
Budd reveals in his video that there’s also a social network built into the app and it has downline tracking.
As you can see above, Budd uses the same “ripple effect” terminology to describe MyStand as was used in Rippln.
Is MyStand an MLM company?
This is one of the first questions I asked myself when MyStand popped up on my radar. From what I’ve been able to gather it certainly appears so:
The idea is to build a new kind of company that can make a real difference, change the world and help move our collective consciousness forward… all while thriving as a successful business.
In other words, put the mission first and the profits will come.
Quite obviously the compensation plan and any commissions paid out are going to revolve around points. Unfortunately at this stage Budd hasn’t released the MyStand compensation plan, but we do know affiliates are awarded points for completing tasks set by the company through the app (based on estimated time taken to complete the task), and for any company-recommended purchases they make:
Some actions require you to spend money. We have estimated the average dollar amount for those specific items. You will get one point for every dollar spent, up to 5000 points. Sweet!
Whether that’s 5000 points total or in one transaction isn’t clear but I’m hoping it’s the former, otherwise MyStand could turn out to be quite expensive for its affiliates.
Oh and how points translate over into money on the backend of MyStand is still a mystery. I suspect it might be some sort of company-wide revenue-share, paid out based on points accumulated by affiliates.
Given the MLM look of the company (if you have a downline it’s MLM), I’m not entirely sure how retail is going to work within MyStand. In addition to the daily task frontend, the backend involves revenue generation from app users:
MyStand is funded entirely by in-app purchases, and by our member supporters.
More specifically, the company seeks to change its app user’s consumer behavior, so as to only shop with companies MyStand is affiliated with (where applicable):
One of the big goals is to create enough awareness about who’s doing what, so that consumer purchasing patterns shift towards the companies that are really sustaining the environment, that are backing up their talk when it comes to social justice.
Or are taking care of their people and they’re creating the right types of environments for human beings to flourish.
How retail fits into this I can’t specifically say but I’d imagine the company would have to charge an affiliate fee later down the track.
Isn’t this just Rippln 2.0?
Whilst MyStand certainly feels like another incarnation of Rippln, I think it’s too early to call it at this stage.
Certain parts of the company certainly feel like Budd walked away with core ideas central to Rippln (in-app purchase revenue, tracking ripple downlines etc.), but whereas Rippln was quite open about “make us money”, MyStand has adopted a social movement approach.
Whether or not that’s just a front for the same “make us money” message of course remains to be seen.
Personally I’m thinking it’s more of a social experiment type thing.
I mean there is some merit to having a large group of people make a positive impact in the world (even if the app only serves as a reminder and inspiration for things they could already be doing), but whether that’s overshadowed by the company’s eventual need to drive revenue will be interesting to watch.
I will say that I didn’t get the over-hypey feeling with MyStand as I got with Rippln. Sure there’s a boatload of perhaps naive optimism behind MyStand but the trademark cheesy marketing hype that plagued Rippln was mostly absent.
Furthermore although specific details haven’t been made public yet, Rippln as we knew is pushing ahead as “Vapt”.
The “GetVapt” website currently advises that the original Rippln communicator app is being relaunched in April 2014.
Presumably we’ll know more about the company reboot next month, but what’s clear at this stage is there’s a definitive divide between Rippln and MyStand.
Irrespective of what Jonathan Budd attached his name to next, after Rippln there’s no doubt going to be a significant cross-section of the MLM community who aren’t ready to just forgive and forget.
From an industry perspective however, I can’t attribute Rippln’s failure to capitalize on the app-based MLM concept to Budd alone.
Rippln’s downfall was a collaborative effort and the extent of which Budd played a role in is difficult to determine (he was definitely the “face” of the company though).
As such I’m willing to see how MyStand plays out with an open enough mind, pending of course a formal review of the compensation plan. I can only hope it’s vastly different from the initial pyramid scheme’esque plan Rippln initially intended to launch with.
Looking at the bigger picture, one potential hiccup I see is that points are allocated to affiliates not only via in-app spending, but also on the completion of tasks.
Not all these tasks generate revenue for MyStand, so if enough app users don’t spend money but focus on complete non-revenue generating tasks, the points to revenue ratio could be heavily skewered in favour of points.
If MyStand do intend to pay out affiliates via their accumulation of points, this could be problematic as point dollar values would be near worthless.
Also watch out for the affiliate fees. Rippln drowned in their so-called blue-ocean strategy because the company couldn’t generate enough revenue from app users.
MyStand will face the same challenge and how they address that will certainly be interesting to watch. I am of course assuming some level of managerial competence within MyStand that was abundantly absent in Rippln.
Whereas “fun” was Rippln’s carrot, with MyStand it’s been replaced with a “change the world” theme.
Whether or not that translates into a strong enough stick to extract funds from MyStand app users is the big question here.