It is the near future.
Arun checks his Micronbox for brand messages. 20-odd messages that have come in overnight vie for his attention. There is no spam because every one of the messages is from brands he has opted in to. That is why he switched his brand interactions from Gmail to Micronbox. The Subject lines prefixed with µ tell him what brands are willing to pay for his attention. He opens the email from A1 Books – there are 5 recommendations for him. Micronbox has interactive emails, so he can click on a book and read more right inside the email. A1 Books offers him 5µ for reading more about each of the books. He checks out two of them, earns 10µ and adds one of the books to the shopping cart. He doesn’t need to leave his Micronbox at all.
GreatGadgets has sent Arun an email about the new iPhone that has just been released, with an offer to watch a 2-minute video and be rewarded 50µ for answering a question about the iPhone. Arun is keen to check the new features, and goes ahead.
Arun then taps on the CryptoWorld email. He has been learning about the basics of social tokens. This is the tenth email in the series. Arun is keen to maintain his opening and reading streak, since the reward is 10µ for this email. (If he ignores it, the next email will reset the incentive to 1µ.) There is a quiz in the email to test what he has learnt. He answers 4 right out of 5 questions and is rewarded 20µ.
He then checks another email from Martecho about a forthcoming webinar. He registers by accepting right inside the email once again. Martecho rewards Arun with 25µ with the promise that attending the webinar will earn him 500µ.
An email from the telco wants to know more about him – “zero-party data” as it is called. He answers two questions and is rewarded 30µ by the telco.
Arun then engages in “Word Play”, a Wordle-like game that gets delivered to his inbox daily. He guesses the word on his fourth try and earns 3µ. (A guess on the third attempt would have gotten him an extra µ.)
Until a few years ago, Arun detested checking his inbox – spam had overwhelmed it. Micronbox changed it. Every message is from brands he has given permission to and most have rewards that value his attention and engagement. He loves this extra bit of gamification.
Arun’s µCount has reached 4500. He goes to the µExchange and offers 4000 for sale. He sees that the price is a bit higher than it was a month ago when he had done the last trade. The sale is done, and he is happy to see the extra cash in his crypto wallet. His aggregate µ earnings have now elevated him to the next tier, making him eligible for some new benefits in the µniverse. A delighted Arun exits the Microbox and gets ready for the rest of the day.