So…looks like Burning Man sold 40,000 tickets in about half a day. Well, technically, it’s more like a quarter of a day. My 2 tickets cost $785 net, so that’s $15,700,000 fattening up BMOrg’s account. Less probably 1.8% for Visa and Mastercard – yup, despite all the high rollers going to their event, they don’t take Amex.
How long did it take? The best reference we have is a tweet from @BManTickets at 6:24pm PST:
How efficient was this process? Let’s take a look.
For the sake of mathematical simplicity, let’s assume that the instant the last ticket was sold, the tweet went out. And, the first transaction went through at 12:00:00. 6 hours and 24 minutes = 23,040 seconds. So, that’s an average of 1.7 transactions per second. Not bad…but, not up to the standards of World’s Best Practice that are available in Silicon Valley. Visa themselves claim to offer their merchants electronic networks that can process 10,000 transactions per second. However, all around the world, there are many events larger than Burning Man that sell out within minutes. Maybe they use call centers and phone based systems, instead of the Internet – but they don’t require the fans to give up their whole afternoon.
Friends of mine who logged in within the first few minutes, spent pretty much the entire day waiting by the computer for their turn to come up. I got lucky: in there in 12 seconds, and it took 8 minutes (sounds like a good date!)
And what about the money? Burning Man had a good day: they just made a whopping $681 per second. This is a mega-payday even by the standards of Bill Gates ($117 per second), Larry Ellison ($25 per second), and Larry+Sergey the Google Burners ($20 per second).
Congratulations to Larry, Maid Marian, and the rest of the Burning Man team. You’ve got a helluva business on your hands. And suddenly almost all the Burner community have tickets – it’s gonna make it much easier to plan the rest of the year. Problem solved, check cleared, cha-ching!