As I sit here filming background extraction/maps for augmented reality integration in projects we have been filming for nearly 8 years. Content and architecture that we don’t show because it is not “right” yet (or actually the viewing technology is not quite there yet).. I can’t help but add 2¢. I am old school. I do not buy into the idea of “get it out there” before you get it extremely close to getting it right.
John and Om are both right aren’t they? There have been many 2ndary iterations of companies in the past few years that did well. Only now, in the age of Facebook, Twitter and “tribing” we have created this culture of instantaneous testing in front of a huge audience that you were supposed to have built a “relationship” with. We have marketers and venture capitalists who have spread out their investments saying you have to get out there… and we reward people who have those large networks by trusting they will come up with the best product.
…and you have to do it with as big of a “tribe” as you can. We are now in a day where a tribe can get a new technology and blow it up, or trash it, so quickly it may be nearly impossible to fix or scale in a slightly rough manner. Facebook, Twitter, Firefox/Mozilla… had second and third chances because they rolled it out slowly. As “new’ as our newfound virtual society is… compared to how fast it is moving now, 2 years ago… it was a walk.
So the point of me writing this little 2¢ is to compare to film and tv (which I know pretty well) as Om did.
If you have an experimental film or pilot, not a safe film, but what you think could be a paradigm shifting moment in the industry or a classic on your hands …something that people have never seen before,..
…you roll it out slowly. That does not mean just show it with test audiences at a few festivals and then launch it on 5,000+ screens, with Harvey Weinstein’s tribe backing you up (btw Harvey would not do that unless he KNEW that it was accessible to general audiences) … it means small roll out. Let the reasons it is game-changing be absorbed, before people adopt because they are part of a tribe. They may not see the “game-changing” over what they see as problems. On a massive scale that is difficult to counteract and change a tide of negativity toward the title for a company or production that has not built the capital trust needed to counteract such a large scale tide. Go read the history of the roll out of “Bonnie & Clyde”.
I know “beta” is the web’s chance/form to test new ideas/innovations… (It’s test audience form) but there has been historically a test between that and “success”. A test we don’t necessarily have the time or architecture to come naturally anymore. Not purposeful …but a discovery period that was forced by the pace of discovery in culture. I would argue that most technology that has succeeded in a second, third, fourth iteration… as large as they may have been at the time had a social culture that made the roll out slowly. They had smaller tests in the slower roll out, that tested the companies ability to fix the bigger tests… they had time for that. “Strangers” were adopting at a word of mouth pace …that continued to be about the product… not because of the pre-existing relationship with “the tribe or the brand of the tribe.”
When people pressure you to “build your tribe” before you know if your product is any good & you spend 40% of your time building your tribe (which is a guesstimate of what I watch people do now at a minimum). Please stop listening. The only way to know if your product is good, is for numerous strangers to tell you so because they used it and liked it. Done well, if they don’t that “quick scale” we now have… is not the same as a grown scale. Reputations are already built at inception, never mind the moment of inception now is sociological and not individual.
If you build a hyped tribe for your product before it is done… and then launch…even to a small group of 10k. It is like long form film/tv… if you are going down this road, please go watch The Phantom Menace, Batman Forever, anything with Jude Law from 2004 and think how each was hurt by having a tribe and hype, before they got it right.
We need strangers and we need to do pre-Broadway runs.
We do not have that culture anymore so we need to figure out where the line is for those things, and just being polite to people and socializing with them is not going to make you successful… We need tribes to be built on the strengths of the actual subject and utility… …not personality.
I think both John and Om are two of the smartest people I listen to. When they debate… it means we are progressing.
When I spout 2¢ …take it for what it’s worth…2¢ …that I probably owe you. I may be wrong but these are where my paranoia(s) and my experience come to meet.