Calling All Blog Readers (Actually, Only the Smart, Creative, and Hardworking Ones)
My sister Linda is the one who came up with the title Freakonomics for our first book. Probably because of that, ever since she has been obsessed with trying to, in marketing lingo, “extend the Freakonomics brand.”
Her first idea was the Freakonomics t-shirt. “Everybody will want one of these,” she said. Somehow, even though millions of people were willing to buy the book, we only managed to sell one t-shirt a week even though we advertised it all the time on the blog.
She aimed higher with her next endeavor: a Freakonomics-inspired reality TV show. Amazingly, it was actually optioned by a leading Hollywood studio, and we even went so far as to fly to Hollywood and pitch this to a dozen networks, all of which said no.
The list of other Freakonomics products that never came to be goes on and on: a Freakonomics board game, a Freakonomics hip-hop album (if Cornel West can do it, why not Dubner and Levitt?), Freakopedia, etc.
Her latest idea, though, may finally work. She has come up with a neat idea for an iPhone app: a Freakonomics trivia game. This is not going to be your standard “What is the highest mountain in South America?” kind of trivia game, but rather, one that has a Freakonomics flavor.
Here is an example of one of the questions:
Michael Jackson died suddenly on June 25, 2009, at the age of 50. How many other people died on that same day, internationally?
It turns out to be hard to find people who can write the kinds of questions we want to ask in the game, and we don’t have time to write them all ourselves. Where better to look for help, we figured, than to loyal blog readers.
So, if you are smart, imaginative, have some spare time, need a few bucks, and want to be part of the team that creates the content for a Freakonomics iPhone app, email my sister here. She’ll give you all the details.
And here’s the real incentive: if the app doesn’t get off the ground, prepare yourself for a slew of blog entries promoting her latest brainstorm, the Adam Smith Can Cozy: