Hi Ric, It's only the right that you should question whether this will unfairly dilute others' shareholdings so let me try to put minds at rest....
With the 100% cashback model, we clearly need members to support the site by also clicking on non-reward links. And Ebay and Amazon have been our main 'sponsored links' to date. However, hardly anybody has clicked on them
At least, until I introduced this 'daily share' incentive, which early stats indicate has already achieved two things:
- It has increased the revenue generated (from nothing to 'a bit')
- It has raised awareness that the links exist. Now there are 100+ members who know we have links to these sites, they have actually used them and they know that (in cases where purchases are made) they help generate revenue for THEIR company
So it does look like the experiment is going to show some success in the short term. Of course, in the long term purchase activity might tail off and so we'd have to question whether it was worth offering the share incentive. But bear in mind that we are giving away a very modest number of shares here (1 per daily visit, compared with 100 shares for a new member just for registering). And you could argue that, as this is actually generating net profit for the company (as opposed to shares in addition to 100% cashback, which doesn't) then it actually increases
the value of existing shares.
Re: "paying salaries but not adding value". The company has
to pay salaries sufficient to attract, retain and motivate staff; that's in everyone's interests. If shareholders ever come to the view that salaries have become excessive (unlikely at present, as the directors have yet to take a penny in salary since imutual started 12 months ago
) then they have the power to do something about it. Without money to pay salaries (or any other necessary costs), imutual ceases to exist and your shares become worthless. Therefore, any
initiative that generates funds must
by definition add value to the company.
I have a longer term plan to vary this offer, to ensure that it continues to make sense for imutual shareholders (I don't want to post details in case any competitors are reading this, so you'll have to bear with me).
I intend to keep trying experimenting different kinds of offers based around shares; in doing so, I will always have a concern for whether shares are being given 'too cheaply' and hence diluting existing shareholders. But sometimes these ideas won't work and I hope members will tolerate these 'trials', because every so often we'll hit upon a winning formula which will help grow the company to everyone's benefit