In a Nutshell: Gener8 is a browser extension that allows consumers to reclaim control of their online data and earn rewards for viewing advertisements. Users install the software, tailor advertisements to their interests, and earn points for each ad displayed. Now, they can redeem those points for products and vouchers in the Gener8 online marketplace. Gener8 also offers other free web apps, including Tabs and Sentinel, which provide additional opportunities to earn rewards, secure data, and safeguard online privacy.
The more users browse the internet, the more they notice how certain ads will follow them across the web. They may look at a page for a specific product or service, and, regardless of whether they purchase it, ads for that — and similar — offerings will start popping up on other sites. That isn’t a coincidence; it’s the nature of advertising in the digital age.
“An open secret within the ad industry is that it’s built on using people’s data,” said Sam Jones, Founder of Gener8, a platform that lets users control what ads they see and earn rewards. “Everything that happens online is being tracked. For example, the majority of websites you visit essentially follow your movements and understand your behavior. Those trackers collect your information to sell it and make money.”
Jones previously worked as marketing manager at a popular beverage company, where he saw how that system worked from the inside. He opposed the practice, so he left the company to pursue a different vision of digital advertising.
His goal was to leverage ads to help people earn money, not spend it. Instead of encouraging consumers to rack up credit card debt, Jones wanted to help them avoid irrelevant, intrusive ads — and even pay off some of that consumer debt.
“I believed people should have a choice to either stop this from happening or, even better, to earn from it themselves,” Jones said. “I had a vision of building a company that would enable people to control and earn from their data. And I believe that as more people become aware of the value of their data, they will want to control it.”
Gener8 helps consumers do that. The browser extension allows them to choose the types of ads they see, and users earn money directly from the ad revenue.
They can use their earnings in the Gener8 marketplace to eventually help them eliminate credit card debt instead of accruing more through an endless advertising cycle.
Ads Offer Privacy and Payouts for Browsing the Web
Gener8 users share their preferences with the extension so its software can tailor ads to their interests. In exchange for allowing companies to advertise to them, users earn rewards.
“At scale, our model is that we’ll give 80% to users, and we’ll take a 20% cut. The more that we grow, the more users we have, the stronger our proposition is in the market. Right now, we give 100% of the revenue to users — plus more,” Jones said. “We give people more value than we create right now, but we know that as we grow, we can deliver more value, and people will get more back.”
Gener8’s ultimate goal is to pay users directly with cash instead of rewards, but in the meantime, users can redeem their reward points for items in its marketplace. Consumers can purchase a variety of products, vouchers for streaming service subscriptions, or donate money to charitable organizations.
According to Jones, the average user generates 5 to 10 points per day through regular browsing habits. In the marketplace, 100 Gener8 points are equal to about $13. So within a month, users can accrue a fair amount of points to redeem for goods and services instead of relying on credit cards, a typical staple of online shopping. They can also use the money they save to help pay down their debt.
Users download the Gener8 app and view some ads — which, if they’re using the internet, they’re going to be doing anyway.
Tabs Expand Opportunities to Earn Online
The average internet user opens around 25 new browser tabs per day. When they do, they spend four to five seconds on that blank tab before navigating elsewhere. Gener8 found a way to leverage that space to provide users with even greater earning potential.
Gener8 Tabs, like Ads, is a browser extension. Whenever a user opens a new browser tab, it displays a piece of artwork as the new tab’s background, and it shows an unobtrusive ad at the bottom.
The arrangement offers multiple benefits. First, users can enjoy some artwork instead of a blank page or their browser’s homepage. Second, the artists receive some exposure, which may also bring them business and revenue in commissions and prints.
Third, it presents an opportunity for the viewer to generate even more income just by opening a new tab. As with Ads, users earn cash back by allowing an advertisement to populate in their browser. That means an additional 25 — or more — opportunities to earn points every day, just for browsing the internet.
“Ultimately, that means the average person opening 25 tabs per day will naturally see 25 adverts here, and that means we can create more revenue to share back with them,” Jones said. “It’s passive. It’s pain-free. You’re not going to pay your mortgage with it, but you are getting something back that you didn’t earn before.”
Sentinel Enhances Security with Data Breach Transparency
One of Gener8’s most attractive features isn’t digital but psychological — a sense of empowerment. By using Ads, users can regain control of their data and prevent it from being exploited by advertisers who keep all the gains for themselves. Users enjoy controlling their information and leveraging it to earn rewards, but protecting it from malicious actors is another matter entirely.
“A lot of people hear about data breaches and hacks, but it’s hard to know what that means, how it affects you, and why you should care,” Jones said. “So we built a tool called the Gener8 Sentinel.”
Sentinel is a free web application. Users simply enter their email address and the tool checks that address against every known public data breach in the last few decades and tells users if their address has been compromised. Users also receive guidance on how to protect their email account and their data in the future. The service is especially useful in safeguarding financial information, protecting funds from fraudulent activities, and avoiding hits to their credit scores.
“It’s a really straightforward tool that, on a high level, allows people to very easily run this security check against any of their email addresses,” Jones said. “And this is completely free.”
Sentinel returns information on significant, high-profile data breaches and also informs them about those that were never widely publicized. Many companies downplay breaches to protect their reputations.
“How do we not get notified about stuff like this?” Jones asked. “Why do you have to use a tool to find out? I think it’s nuts.”
Gener8: Reshaping Advertising to Benefit Consumers
Most of Gener8’s growth is organic. Users install the extensions, earn points, redeem them for vouchers, and tell their friends about their experience. That word-of-mouth advertising brings in 5,000 new users per month, and Gener8’s own advertising efforts bring in another 5,000 users.
“I think this will grow over time when people start to realize they can be a part of this conversation,” Jones said. “They can take back control. That’s where I see the future going.”
Gener8 is interested in expanding into the United States, but its primary focus in 2021 is strengthening its presence in the United Kingdom. The company is positioned for additional, explosive growth due to some media publicity.
“We’ve been involved in a large program on the BBC and in the UK, a big channel, which will air in late January and early February 2021,” Jones said. “That will be our first big national awareness campaign. We anticipate that we’ll get a large spike in growth very, very quickly.”
New and current Gener8 users can quickly increase their earnings by harnessing the value of their day-to-day internet browsing behavior to earn rewards.
Eventually, they can earn money to help them deal with their debt and regain their financial independence. They can use Gener8 to regain control of that data and proactively protect their online security.