The Micron-Mu World
It is 2025. I wake up and check my phone. After navigating through the messages from family and friends, I switch to my micronbox. It is the single repository for all brand communications. No spam gets through. The micronbox has two folders – one for the transactional and some broadcast marketing messages sent by brands, and another for microns. The micronbox smartly picks up all brand communications across my various inboxes – emails, SMSes and RCS messages (sent to my mobile number) and push notifications (for the apps I have installed on my phone). Microns are short messages, each with an incentive in the form of Mu (a virtual currency) to pay for my attention and actions. Microns can be read in 15-30 seconds. Each micron offers me a reward (Mu) for opening it and for acting on the message.
As I check my microns folder in the micronbox, I see a message from MakeMyTrip. In the Subject field, it shows me the Mu triad – my total Mu, the number of Mu I get for opening that message and the Mu I can get for doing the suggested actions in the message. In this case, I get 1 Mu for opening and 10 Mu for the actions. My total Mu this morning stands at 5678. The attractive Subject line “Experience Kashmir like never in 5 days” catches my attention and I decide to open the micron. There is a nice itinerary for a mini-vacation and an AMP-powered survey form which asks me a few questions about my possible travel plans. I answer the 3 questions and see my Mu go up by 11 to 5689.
There is a micron from HDFC Bank offering me 11 Mu for opening and 100 Mu for clicking through and reading about the special offer they have on the new iPhone that’s about to be launched. My Mu now stands at 5800 after I check out the offer.
Ah, my friend Akash just activated his account – thanks to my referral. So, I get 100 Mu taking my tally to 5900. And I will also now earn a small fraction of all the Mu Akash earns going forward – and it goes two levels deep (a level below Akash also). I now have my own Mu Making Machine!
I have been learning about Kabir and his dohas. The micron tests my understanding of today morning’s doha and rewards me 1 Mu for opening and 20 Mu for answering the question correctly and quickly (within the stipulated hour of the micron being sent.) My Mu has risen to 5921.
The App Store has sent me a notification about the launch of a new productivity app. It promises me 60 Mu for watching a 30-second video. I decide to do it – am always open to see what I can do to become better. My Mu is now at 5982, including the 1 Mu for opening it.
There is another micron from the author of the book I have just finished reading. The offer is 3 Mu for opening, and 5 Mu for each of the 5 questions about the book. I think it’s a cool idea – I had really liked the book, and decide to take up the challenge. I get 4 right, and my Mu total is up 23 to 6005.
There is also a nice fun element to opening the micronbox with a ‘delight’ rather than ‘delete’ mindset. There are only as many messages as the brands whose messages I have subscribed to – so I never feel overwhelmed with 3000+ unread messages! My few minutes of attention and actions early in the morning have been duly rewarded. I learn and earn. The Mu may be small but it is good to see brands valuing my attention and willing to pay for me to be attentive to their message – a far cry from a few years when brand messages constantly bombarded my inbox and it was always a cat-and-mouse game with the spam filters.
The rest of the day also needs my attention. A pity there is no Mu waiting to be earned for getting out of bed! Before I do that, I decide to quickly check the MuShop for redeeming my Mu. The offer I like is for the latest issue Bloomberg Business Week magazine with a cover story on “The Hydrogen Economy.” I encash 6000 Mu to buy it. My Mu tally is now down to 5, but there are still 12 more unread messages – each with more Mu waiting to be earned.