Exclusivity is dead. Long live Exclusivity.

It was bound to happen. The music and movie industris have torrents. A convienent way around the normal way of doing things. In much the same way, there is a normal way that we are all used to getting into and testing beta websites and software. It’s usually all about who you know or who was first in line.

InviteShare Everyone is invitedNo longer. The exclusivity of the beta invite is dead. A new website, Invite Share, is looking to revolutionize the beta invite world. The concept is simple. It’s a social website where people who want into a beta add themselves to a list for that site. People who have invites to give start sending invites to the people at the top of the list until their supply runs out. You don’t have to know the second cousin of the husband of the first cousin of the uncle of the girlfriend of the trash man at the websites datacenter anymore. You just have to sign up…

Of course, you can’t have an exclusivity killer without the potential for more exclusivity. If you use the service and have invites to give, you get points when you give them. The more points you have, the better your position in line. It’s a built in budge system. Remember that athletic looking fellow that bypassed the line into the club last night while you were stuck in line just because you had on your killer black rimmed glasses, hadn’t shaved in a week, and were wearing your favorite retro Star Wars shirt? Well, now you can be him in the line for beta testing. Welcome to Club Beta!

Seriously, the service is a good one. It’s a great idea and it’s already very popular. In what would seem to be only a matter of under a week, they’ve managed to get over 5,500 members signed up and have 31 beta sites on their list. Some invites are more rare than others. You’ll be jumping in line behind about 300 folks at the Mint.com line while you can pretty much get a invite for Joost right now.

The UI on the site is horrendous. All black background with black form boxes. If you’re lucky you can find the place to sign in. And only then because you clicked below the word “Login.” Another issue with the service whose impact has yet to be seen is whether there will be any backlash from the websites. If the site’s beta invites are of unlimited number with the expectation that the invites will trickle out, the use of a site like Invite Share could cause an avalanche of invites and effectively make the beta “open” instead of “invite only.” I think in the long run, websites who are considering a beta invite system will be putting caps on how many can be sent and how many can sign up. Which will create scarcity and mean more people will be trying to sell their invites instead of just giving them away.

By the way… If you’d like to buy the site, it’s currently going for about $1200 on sitepoint. I would expect it to go much higher than that, but it’s a pretty good price for having been only about 3 days of existence. Talk about an ROI!

UPDATE: I got a slight scolding from TDavid shortly after writing this post.  He seems to have been offended(slightly) by Invite Share because they are still a very new site and they are already trying to sell the site.  He asks Mike Arrington and myself to clarify how we feel about that.  So, here goes.  I have to admit that it really doesn’t bother me all that much.  I am admittedly less zealous about my privacy than TDavid and perhaps thats why.  One of his concerns is that the buyers of the site could use the emails from the users to spam them.  Possible, but even he says it’s not likely.  What I do think about the whole thing is that the owners of the site would be slightly stupid to sell now anyhow.  The potential for growth (given the growth over the last three days) is pretty good, so why not wait and see if you can’t multiply the sale price?

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About Shane Ede

Shane Ede is an IT guy by day and a Entrepreneurial Blogger by night. You can follow him here on Thatedeguy or over on Twitter and Google+.

Comments

  1. Just testing for you 🙂

    Editors note: Thanks for your help TDavid!

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  1. […] didn’t expect them to sell it yet. Didn’t seem like a very bright idea. Since I wrote about it, they’ve managed over 14k members. TechCrunch announced that they had bought it […]

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