Sunday, September 13

#37 - flight auction

In one of the more fascinating (if ultimately trivial) news stories to recently develop, a wealthy Richard Branson-type entrepreneur has sponsored a most peculiar ebay auction. Up for auction is the ability of flight.

The listing itself provides only a few concrete details. The ability would last one week from the time of activation and would basically resemble the flight method of Superman or any similarly empowered fictional character. Put simply, one's flight would not require the use of a flying machine or any other apparatus and could be described as true flight, rather than gliding. Nothing much is said beyond this, but a money-back guarantee has been clearly noted as a part of the auction (should the winner not be fully satisfied). It has generally been assumed that the failure of the industrialist to provide what has been stated in the listing, or at the very least to back up this money-back pledge, would be disastrous for his image. So while nobody is quite sure how the experience will be provided, in essence many feel the whole ordeal to be legitimate.

Since the story has been picked up, it has naturally been followed with a great deal of interest by the various news networks and the public at large. Though the average individual will likely not possess the means to participate in the auction once it starts, that has not prevented large amounts of conversation on the subject. Two main questions generally seem to surface during discussions of the auction.

1) What will be the amount of the winning bid?
2) Would you place a bid if you had the necessary finances to do so (knowing that winning would cost a significant percentage of your net worth)?

How would you answer these questions?


Stephanie said...

1. one hundred billion dollars
2. no.

Matt said...

I think one hundred million would be pretty realistic, but who knows? I feel like the bizarre nature of the auction would leave some possible bidders afraid of being publicly hoodwinked in some way.

It's hard for me to answer the second question because it's hard to imagine having that much wealth. But if I had such large amounts of money, it would at least cross my mind. Especially if I could think of ways to use the flight to recover some of the cost.

Paul said...

1) somewhere above a billion dollars. I think the wealthiest individuals in the world are only in the 40 billion-ish area (I could be wrong) for net worth, so I'm guessing there has got to be somepoint where these people are just not going to want to go beyond as a group. It'd be great to fly for a week, but it's such a short window I don't think it can be called a useful skill. It'd just be a treat. One - Two Billion.

2) If I had the means, no. I feel I'd only go up to 50 million (with an 'm') before I decided to buy a helicopter and pilot instead. It'd be fab, oh yeah, it'd be fab... but so fleeting.

That week would really 'fly' by... its just not worth a billion bannanas to me!

Thanks for the opportunity though