The End of #seligman (pics, stats, and a wrap-up)


#seligman, if you missed it, was our first experiment, to see what would happen if we sent 1,000 people $20 and asked them to buy stuff for our office. People could keep some or all of the money, or spend all or even more than all of it on us.

We’re going to get weird boxes from unknown sources for years now, but we finally got you all to redeem 1,000 gift cards, so we’re calling this the end of #seligman. How about some stats, some awards, and some photos from around the office?

Some Stats
A week after we sent out the first 1000 gift cards, we gathered up those that weren’t redeemed and re-gifted them in a second round. And when those didn’t all get used…well, it went like this:

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It took us 8 rounds to get rid of all those gift cards, and user @goldenthorn was the lucky round 8 final recipient (and thankfully it got redeemed, to end this fiasco).

So how’d the experiment turn out? Well, we sent out $20,000 of gift cards and we got:

771 boxes containing
888 items weighing
1,357 pounds and totaling
$10,704.11 (counting tax & shipping when we got that data)

which makes the average #seligman a box containing:
1.15 items that weighed
1.76 pounds and cost
$13.88 ($12.21 + $0.72 tax + $0.93 shipping)

It gets complicated trying to determine how many people got us something, since we purposefully didn’t try to track you all, since some sent far more than one thing, and some of you sent homemade (!) items. But overall, we got crap worth 53.5% of what the money sent out, and if we assume that most were one box, then around 75% of you got us something. Given how ridiculously easy it’d have been to just take the money, that’s frankly incredible.

And you know what else we got? A community. (Aw…) Really, though, it’s been quite enjoyable seeing your personality come out in your gift choice, and what you had to say about it in your gift notes (which 28.88% of you sent) and now on our forum. And on that front, how about...

Some Awards
(Not monetary, of course, we’ve spent enough on this silliness.)

The Most Expensive #seligman (solely looking at the price on Amazon)

31 copies of Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think in Hardcover
Ok, this is a real mystery. I…don’t imagine someone actually paid $600…but what then? Was it the author? The author's mom? Anyone want to take credit/blame for this one? In any case, if you’re going to get a bunch of one book, I love that it’s one called Abundance.

Second Most Expensive

Rat - Peel and Stick Wall Decal by Wallmonkeys
Now this one, I know was actually paid for: Six lab rats joined forces (and gift cards) and got us this epic rat that now greets people if they dare enter our office.

Third Most Expensive
Hamburger Beanbag Chair
Another one that I’d love to find out - was this a single purchase, or a group buy? Either way, it’s both comfortable and tasty. (Disclaimer: We did not taste it.)

The Heaviest #seligman
39 pounds of Fertilizer
This gets a bonus award since it also contains actual crap.

Second Heaviest
31 pounds of those Abundance books again. Huh.

Third Heaviest
25 pounds of a Unicorn Accent Table

Highest Quantity of #seligman items
101 $50 gift cards
We haven’t yet tried this out, but we have determined that these cards work pretty well as Chinese throwing stars when the NERF bullets start flying.

Second Highest Quantity
Uh, those Abundance Books again. Really, wtf?

Third Highest Quantity
13 boxes of 5,000 staples. (So technically, I guess, it’s 65,000 individual #seligman staples.)

And a special call out to those home-made and customized #seligman gifts:

Cross-stitch lab rat & flask
Our illustrator says sure this is the first time anyone’s cross-stitched his work.

What Mediocre stands for:

And what Not-Mediocre stands for:

And a hat & scarf, perfect in case we, say, forget to get heat in our new office:

Whoops, missed these awesome handmade flask throw pillows!
I may have missed other handmade and customized ones. Let me know in the comments!

Now, if you’ve been following along at home, you know we’ve gotten quite a few, uh, Butt Stations (11 so far). But great minds think alike, even outside of the great Butt Station epidemic of 2013. We also got:

lava lamps: 5
banana slicers: 6
flying monkeys: 8
red staplers: 9
bullshit buttons: 10
NERF weapons: 12
board games: 13
clocks: 15
inflatables: 17 (4 dinosaurs, 4 whales, 1 moose head, 1 football player, 1 football, 2 shark heads, 3 cows, 1 kangaroo)
tin signs: 21
decals: 64
posters: 111 (including 6 Kramer & 3 George Posters)

That reads like a warped version of the 12 Days of Christmas. Anyway, in my post-#seligman-induced haze, did I miss something good? Check out all the #seligman photos and post your favorites. What was your favorite #seligman?

Meanwhile, head over to our Flickr photo stream where we’ve got shots of our newly cluttered decorated office. We went from an empty, bland, boring office to one that looks like it's has a history of decades of life and culture spewed all over the walls, ceiling, and floor.

So was it worth it? Obviously we didn't get more stuff than we spent, and we got all sorts of things that we wouldn't have purchased (to put it politely). But honestly it's cheaper than most ads you can buy, and far more effective at building up a community and generating some interest in what the hell it is we're doing around here. And honestly, it was just fun, for us and hopefully you. (And if you've read this far, then that means it was worth it.)

I’ll leave you with a shot of our epic Clock of Clocks:
(Thankfully we got a couple more after this shot, so @denboy can go back to fulfillment.)