What angry birds can teach to angry producers?
This is the time of new frontiers. For long time, new frontiers meant some distant, savage land, where one can passing the wilderness, the desert or the ocean. Being on the frontier always meant that you are the underdog compared to the rich, developed centers, but you also had the opportunities that noone else had.
One can burn down cities, rob them blind, sell the survivors for slave. It is a simple business model, and the Spanish, Portuguese liked that and they could get the all silver and gold of the planet. The English had much less lucky with their colonies, yet in a couple of hundred years they and their ex-colonies ruled all land, while the Spanish and Portuguese are just PIGS. The secret is in the soup: in the business model. The English with the American colonies build a industrial trade route and built an exponentially growing economy on the cotton, sugar and the industries using them.
The entrepreneurial minds made fur, lumber and sugarcane trade a much more lucrative business than just mining silver. Killing millions of people, who work practically for free, in the dark mines of Zacatecas and Potosi and thus getting zillions of tons of silver is for free is for loosers! Yeah, cotton and sugarcane is the real thing – if you built working capitalism on it!
While the Greeks said you cannot step in the same river twice, it seems we do this far too often, not only twice. Guys, do not trust Greeks when it is about money! Or the Spanish and Portuguese… Hollywood seems less cautious implementing the Spanish colonial business strategy – instead of learning film-making from them.
As content providers, we are all in the new frontiers. Yeah, information is the new black! Let’s just forget for a second that both the music industry and Hollywood was practically build on massive scale copyright infringements of their own time. Let’s just forget, because the lesson is that they got lazy, and they also forgot it.
So for these smart guys, the business is to make something immensely original piece of art, like the “Return of the amazing Pirates of the Jurassic Park, Part II, 3D – The movie”. It worked for George Lucas, it must work for us forever, right? It is a no-brainer, the best business ever, just like sending some Indians to a silver mine and get the silver, let the Indians die, right? No, actually not.
It did worked for George Lucas, but this wasn’t his actual business model. Yeah, he made some incredibly crappy movie to push down on the throat of the audience, but his strategy worked not because he took them his pants off every time to rape the naked brain of his victim. He got his money not from the people who never saw his movies (ok, it is actually 1 move), but from the people who saw them 1000 times, and wanted to buy it again and again, and they want to dressed like Chewbacca, smell like Chewbacca, and play small plastic figures of Chewbacca.
So for all the producers, who haven’t heard about George Lucas and the Star Wars, first say thanks for God that you haven’t seen the young Anakin Skywalker on screen, then take a look at some other guys who are more articulate about their strategy: Angry Bird. Yeah, this is the one you are playing with.
Some times ago the Guardian published a great interview with Rovio’s Mikael Hed (Rovio is the company making the Birds) and how they fight piracy. The answer is simple: they do not fight it, they use it. They use it to build a bigger and bigger fanbase. Imagine that there were torrents at the time of the first SWs! Wow, it would have been terrible: maybe half of the people haven’s seen the movie in the theater, loosing a lot of money of ticket prices… Yet George would earn ten times more from this new horde of fans. They money is in the Pepsi Cola figures, the DVD boxes and in general in the fans. Many fan of the Titanic re-watched the movie twice or three times. Those who download the movie still potential buyers of the Pepsi Cola and the new box sets. Building a fan community and building connections with your fans are actually better business then robing them blind.