when i was in school, my roommate and i used to lie about our alcohol consumption, or having bought a car recently, just to be a participant in a focus group. it usually meant $75-$100 for an hour or so, of sitting around a table and having a “conversation,” which for me meant that my next pair of sneakers was basically a free pair. while the groups themselves always felt a little suspect (think: corporate office parks, conference rooms with few windows and nothing on the walls, and day-old cookie platters or soggy sandwhiches), all of the world’s biggest brands were doing them, and still do.
fast-forward. times have changed. i grew up a little. and i actually conduct those things now. so i can’t support lying to be a participant. but if i were to support it, like New York magazine, i’d help people figure out how to make a living off them too. who knows, at some point i could probably write a book about it. and sell a couple hundred copies. maybe it would just be a downloadable .pdf, for the greater good.
read this article, it brings back some serious memories of money-making.