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SSS was first started by a nine-year-old named Lavanya. It was originally a game of collecting certain types of stones. Soon, however, people began to trade stones for services, such as getting a stone sharpened. This slowly morphed into trading other things. But as stones were the currency, people would just pick up stones, rather than using the stones they had actually earned. This led to the creation of notes. And the rest, as they say, is history...
2008: Early Days Edit
Although there was no definite "beginning" of SSS, it is generally considered to have been started by Lavanya M.M. when she started her shop Rock Seller in 2008.
Before this time, Lavanya and her friends were making "rock gardens" in the Nesting Grounds, where they would collect and display any interesting sticks, stones, or other objects they found. It was Lavanya who had the idea of starting an exchange system, where people could take any stone they liked from her shop, in exchange for another one of the same size.
This exchange soon evolved into a system where people could take any amount of stones, and exchange them with another set of stones of (approximately) the same volume. Meanwhile, Lavanya started a stone-sharpening service, where one could get their (big) stone sharpened in exchange for two small stones. Soon, sharp stones became the unit of exchange, with people trading in units of small, medium, and large sharp stones.
Shops and products Edit
As the game progressed, the rock-gardens turned into "shops", where people could come and exchange stones or purchase any services (currently only sharpening stones) that they wanted. The shops soon started having names—usually stone-related, like H-Stone and Rock Seller. Some shops continued operating without names, however, and were still referred to as the shop belonging to that person.
The first non-stone to be "sold" using sharp stones was the Abramelin's Dragon Attractor, which was put on sale at 60 small sharp stones apiece by H-Stone, the shop then run by Hippo. After this other people also started making small things and selling them in exchange for stones.
After a while, Valles Marineris (now Ares Vallis), run by Pulippo, started selling "shops". This was actually a package of a few products (usually stones) that people could sell to get started with SSS. Some of the profits were to be paid back to Valles Marineries when enough money was made, and the purchaser could then continue their business on their own.
Establishing the Bank Edit
After some time, Lavanya came up with the idea of having a Bank, where people could store their stones if they didn't want to keep all of them in their shops. Originally, the Bank was simply an big rock under which anyone could come and deposit or take out their stones. People soon started making their personal "Bank books" so that they could keep track of how much money they had put in the bank.
Initially, people only withdrew stones that they themselves had put in; however this convention was soon relaxed and people could take any stones they wanted as long as they added up to the same amount.
After some time, it was decided that it would be better to have a Banker to manage the Bank and handle the transactions. The Banker wasn't actually chosen then; however an account-book was made by Lavanya and Hippo (now Cheetaplaza owner) to keep track of how many stones people were storing. Some conventions were also made, with 10 small sharp stones equalling 1 medium sized stone and 10 medium sized stones equalling one giant stone. These denominations were soon abbreviated to S.S.S., M.S.S. and G.S.S.
The setting of conventions was one of the first of a series of decisions made by the Bank. At that time, anyone could make up the rules of the game, but it was the Bank which seemed to have the most authority over the final decision. Even today, the Banker's job is not so much about managing the Bank as looking over the way SSS works and helping it to run smoothly.
Falcon Aviators: Paper planes, gambling, and "leaving SSS"Edit
In 2008, the shop Falcon Aviators was started by Abhay Regi. Falcon Aviators was the first shop to introduce paper-planes, which later became one of the main lines of SSS products. Most shops began selling paper-planes as at least one of their product. There was even a Plane Contest where people could show off their plane-making and flying skills, though some say it was just a gimmick to make people buy more planes.
Falcon Aviators also introduced the slightly more controversial concept of gambling to SSS, running a "contest" where people could pick a random card from a pile with positive and negative numbers. A positive number meant you would win that amount, while a negative one compelled you to pay that amount back to Falcon Aviators.
Falcon Aviators was also the first shop to "shut down". After a while, Abhay shut down his shop because he said he got "bored" of SSS, and the money he left was later redistributed among all the SSSians who requested it. However, the owner changed his mind later and restarted Falcon Aviators, albeit without his original earnings. This shutdown might have contributed to creating the idea of "leaving SSS", because until then there was no such concept. Anybody and everybody, whether they had heard of SSS or not, was considered equally "part of SSS", except that some people had money and followed the rules and others didn't.
Bank Interest Edit
It was Abhay of Falcon Aviators who suggested that the Bank start giving interest to its customers. Since it was in complete control of the money-supply, the Bank could print new currency to give out as interest even though it had no source of income. In keeping with the SSS tradition of doing some things at a crawling pace and others on a super-fast speed, the Bank started giving out 10% weekly interest to all its customers. To prevent people from getting too rich, interest was stopped if the account balance was at or over ᐁ1000.
Soon after the plane phenomenon began, Vallis Marineris, run by Chutty, invented a new type of plane called the Flipper which went on to become the most popular SSS product of all time. Even today, the Flipper is sometimes used to signify creativity, innovation, and SSS in general.
2009: Patents, Comics, and Online PresenceEdit
2009 was the first full year of SSS, and it saw many new people and shops joining in. It was also the year when the SSS Google Group was formed, and SSS and its shops began to have an online presence. However, most of the sales were dominated by what later came to be known as the Big Four shops of SSS: Ares Vallis, Vallis Marineris, Dracoshop, and Alpha Centauri.
Comic books and magazinesEdit
Sirius and CATS, the two main SSS magazines also started in the beginning of this year. Both of them introduced their magazines at the ultra-low rate of ᐁ6 per seven issues, or around ᐁ0.86 per issue. However, comic-books turned out to be more popular, and the magazines stayed stuck with under 4 subscribers until the magazine boom a few years later.
Patents and CopyrightsEdit
- Main article: Patents#History.
Unlike the Bank, the Patent companies didn't start for any particular reason, except to get copyrights into SSS. Patents and Copyrights were treated interchangeably at first, but now they are clearly different, with only Patents being handled by SSS companies.
The patents in SSS were not Bank-regulated. Instead they were simply listed by the private companies. If anyone violated the patents, the companies promised to "take action"; however as no violations were reported, nobody ever found out what that "action" was. The first patent company was started by Vallis Marineris, soon to be followed by its competitor Dracoshop. After a few weeks of competition, the two decided to team up and form a unified patent list. Alpha Centauri was not happy with the way its two chief competitors were monopolizing the patent scene. It first tried to sabotage the patent system by creating Alpha CopyCo, but was later allowed to start the third patent company, Alpha Patents.
Meanwhile, the Patent Wars had begun. This was mainly between the three patent companies themselves, who each tried to patent their own products and get around the patents issued to the others.
Despite the disputes, patent companies encouraged the use of Creative Commons-style copyrights for their patents. These patents are less restrictive, with conditions like "give credit to the original inventor" or "do not use this invention for commercial purposes", making them more open than normal patents. This is a distinction that is usually missed by adults when discussing the usefulness of patents in SSS.
Websites and the Google GroupEdit
The SSS Google Group was created in mid-2009. Most of the early posts are by the Big Four, though there are some by other people, too. The purpose of the group was to have an easy way to discuss and announce new developments to those SSSians who had an email ID. It was also partly to figure out how Google Groups worked, and some people went on to create their own Google Groups on other topics as well. Since a majority of people didn't have email IDs at all, the Google Group was never considered the primary way of communicating with other SSSians, and most transactions were still done through the postal service or face-to-face.
The old version of Google Groups allowed people to set up website-like pages as well. Several of these pages were created for documenting the history of SSS and tips for how to do various things like starting a shop.
Soon after that, Dracoshop released SSS's first shopping website, at http://dracoshop.tripod.com. Customers could browse through products and add them to their shopping cart, and at the end they could place an order which they paid for by cheque. The website is still open for browsing, though the shopping cart may not work due to outdated scripts. Dracoshop was followed by Alpha Centauri and later Callisto and Vastitas Borealis.
Plane Contest Edit
The Plane Contest was started by Dracoshop in 2009 as a way for people to try out new planes and display them to each other. Entrance was free, but everyone except the winner would have to pay ᐁ5 after the contest was over. The winner would get all the profits from the contests. The reason Dracoshop and Vallis Marineris supported the contest was that it would also increase their plane sales. In fact, part of the reason for the Flipper's popularity might be that fact that it once won 30 points in the Plane Contest in a single flight.