Is Jon Carder from Mars? The Contrarian Views of Mogl’s Founding CEO

2/7/13Follow @bvbigelow

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spin the business out as a separate company. “I came across this concept of game mechanics,” Carder said, “and why people are so fascinated with games—why they play and how challenges, the scoreboard, and rewards feed into it.”

With some 998,000 restaurants nationwide, and an estimated $760 billion spent in them annually, Carder said he reasoned, “If you could gamify the experience of eating out, you could create the most compelling loyalty program ever.”

He officially founded Mogl in 2011, incorporating gamification into a loyalty rewards program for restaurants by adding bigger incentives for those who use the program the most. Consumers who sign up for Mogl’s free rewards program can automatically get a 10 percent cashback reward by using a Mogl-registered credit or debit card to buy a meal at a participating Mogl restaurant. Users also are automatically enrolled in a contest that awards a monthly “jackpot” cash prize for the top three spenders at each participating restaurant. In September, Mogl said its members had earned more than $1 million in accumulated cash-back payments.

Mogl, Feeding America

Mogl Staffers at Feeding America San Diego

Carder said he also adopted the “one for one” business model made famous by Toms Shoes, so Mogl donates one meal to Feeding America for every $20 Mogl members spend at a Mogl restaurant. Mogl tracks the transactions and has gamified the results—so Mogl members can see how much cash back they have accrued in comparison to other Mogl members in general. Mogl members also can download a mobile app for iPhone or Android to track how well they’re racking up Mogl rewards, and to locate participating restaurants. Conversely, Mogl also offers data about customers to participating restaurants.

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Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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  • Aston

    Mogl.com employees should be polishing up their resumes right
    now, after hearing Jon already burned through the first two rounds of financing.
    With numerous paid trips to Necker Island, to party with Richard Branson and all those 12-cent donations per meal to Feeding America – the money is spent.

    The clock is ticking to see when Jon bails again to do something else. Anyone remember Mojo Pages? It’s like a Yelp but without all the users and revenue. Time to use Mojopages.com to search “life preserver”.

  • pattymelt20002000

    Who knows Pandora is still alive

  • Owner

    Absolutely the most obnoxious company I have ever dealt with!