Get Rich Slowly

Wishing well entrepreneurism for the homeless in Frankfurt


WUNSCHWAHRWERDGLÜCKSWASSERGELDMASCHINE's philosophy revolves around the concept of getting rich slowly. Our team of learned scientists performed social experiments in the city of Frankfurt to best determine how people interact with money.

After a battery of tests, we concluded that people were largely suspicious of altruistic behavior. However, while many were hesitant to interact with us, the highest percentage of our subjects were curiously enthusiastic about interacting with passive elements of their environment.

Thus it became the team's goal to find a way to reform public perception of objects and monuments and to do so in a manner that could benefit disadvantaged members of the community.

The Process

We met with bankers from Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley, as well as economists and professors in order to get a stronger grasp of the financial system.

Their lectures inspired us to collect a small amount of money from our peers and put it into the German market (DAX) using EZTRADER.

Our goal was to explore the DAX using game theory; by flipping a coin and using random numbers, we hoped to understand market receptivity.

That, and we wanted to make some easy money.

We quickly realized that EZTRADER is about as close to gambling as you can get without going to a casino. We made a profit and everything. It was fun.

We were faring well in the market and were motivated to arrange a mobile gambling troupe to parade around Frankfurt, making money off of unsuspecting citizens.

To mimic our approach with EZTRADER, we wanted to play games that had largely random outcomes.

Furthermore, we thought it would be interesting to provide the gambling money to anyone who agreed to play with us.

If someone played and won, they would earn one Euro. If they lost, we kept our Euro.

People were remarkably unresponsive to having money handed to them.

We were rethinking our strategy in the Goetheplatz when it hit us. DOG IN THE FOUNTAIN

At first, we considered designing our own wishing wells. We accumulated dozens of ideas and spoke at length about various designs.

Instead, we decided to alter existing fountains. We researched wishing wells and learned that their origins are rooted in Germany. What a coincidence.

Germanic peoples were known to throw the armor and weapons of defeated enemies into bogs and other pools of water as offerings to their gods.

We thought that was pretty cool, and since it’s already in their blood, we figured the Germans would catch on to our scheme pretty easily.

So we made these plaques and designed a uniform for the well manager.

Now these fountains are wishing wells.

Go throw some coins in them.

Liebfrauen Brunnen

In the Middle Ages, the Liebfrauenberg was a large marketplace where people gathered for trade. It was tradition to scatter breadcrumbs into the water of the fountain and it was a widely held belief that if passing birds ate them, fortune and fertility would come to the city. The water symbolized the rivers Main and Rhine which were the blood lines for the region. Nowadays, denizens of Frankfurt cast coins into the fountain for good luck.

Gutenberg Monument

Since the Gutenberg Monument was built in the year 1840, passersby have stopped to admire the tribute to the 400th anniversary of the invention of printing from movable type. Seated in the center of the fountain are four allegoric figures symbolizing theology, poetry, natural sciences, and industry. To support German advancement in these studies, Frankfurters tossed coins into the fountain, placing them into one of the four wells that corresponded to the direction of their hometown.

Marshall Brunnen

Erected in 1963, the Marshall Fountain represents the economic miracles made possible by George C. Marshall. The fountain features three bronze nymphs that represent giving, receiving and thanks. To respect these beautiful charites, the people of Frankfurt offer their coins with the hope that they will achieve great fortune in return.

Opernplatz Brunnen

The Opernplatz fountain found its popularity as a wishing well almost instantly after its construction. Visitors to the opera often threw a coin into the well to wish the performers luck before the show started. To this day, opera goers still throw coins into well, many with their eyes closed to highlight the importance of listening closely during the performance.

The Kit

The Wells