HG Biz Plan: Virtual psychics
The premise: I believe that we’re about to see the massive growth of a metaverse in which people can easily travel from one public world to another. Over time, the technology will become increasingly easy to use and realistic — and we will see an explosion of companies offering products and services in this metaverse. My team and I have been brainstorming some ideas of what these products and services will look like.
Psychic phone lines are a big business — but whereas they might be convenient, they’re lacking in atmosphere. And customers don’t get the chance to develop a personal relationship with their psychic. An individual physic can set up shop inside a virtual world and develop relationships with local residents as well as visitors from other grids. Or a company can set up an entire themed grid.
The revenue streams
Individual physics can charge for their time, for virtual goods such as candles or Tarot decks, or for actual physical items shipped to customer homes. Owners of themed grids can also sell virtual or physical merchandise, and can rent retail space to psychics and related merchants. Grids can also charge admission to museums, historical re-enactments, musical performances and other events. Grids can also offer automated readings using bots or devices. Grids can invest in building a community by staging big public celebrations of major pagan holidays, host book discussion clubs and movie nights, and offer free or discounted space to artists and non-profits.
Owners of themed grids can add events, retail space, bots, self-guided tours and meditation areas if demand grows, but as the core business requires personal contact, overall growth will be limited to the number of psychics a grid can attract or hire.
The first themed grid that creates a successful community around its psychic offerings will have a significant advantage over late-comers, since a community is hard to duplicate. Grids offering just a basic selection of psychic services will need to spend more on advertising to attract visitors.
In the physical world, Salem, Massachusetts is the location most associated with witchcraft, and is a major international tourist destination during the Halloween holiday season. A grid affiliated with the town can leverage this name recognition by using related branding and images, and benefit from cross-promotional opportunities. Grids that try to leverage the Salem name without a formal relationship with the town could find themselves in legal difficulties, however.