What we have learned in the past year is that the future of entertainment is not #transmedia… As has been taught and preached. It’s hokey marketing aspects and comparatively minimal adoption of ARG’s (because they are work (-like a weekend club sport 99.99% of the time) -not entertainment that fits generally with the mass film/tv audience). The future of entertainment is something more complex, more integrated and basically more structurally based on a unified form… .. The storycube was invented as the foundation for that structure.

(In other words… Yup… I was right.. ..trying not to sound like a jerk here but it is frustrating when the “experts” really aren’t experts in audience and story first.. This future is not about marketing or complex game mechanics …or hokey role play… It is about interface without disrupting [or best attempt] the 4th wall).

Really don’t mean to be a jerk but Kickstarter, et al. May do what 3 decades of all the problems Sundance’s market created…still hadn’t done. …dried up and created apathy in family & friends funding in a mass effect.

The model is wrong and unfortunately we won’t learn what the effects are until mass saturation. When someone invests…even a small pool they need to see a reward. Whether that be just seeing a great product that lives up to most of the hype (which is almost impossible when you pitch as loud and far as these campaigns are doing). Or you have to get something worthy (& not just another signed copy).

After another year this bad model will have ramifications. Industries and innovation may seem like the great white hope, until, no one really wins who bet on these things. Because the hype of the abilities, without a “fighter trained”, will turn the buzz about betting on fighters sour. The industry will be hurt.

The pools will be poisoned. I just hope it won’t be too late.. And like I said… Do what all the hype of the 80’s,90’s was only starting to do… Sour people on a mass hyper-local level to crowd-funding.

Call it cynical but I already see the effects. Like a pyramid scheme early first adopters may still be praising but they fearfully know deep down the well is shrinking. If the model had been done correctly we would see the opposite effect. Return enthusiasm.

I write these posts not to hurt Kickstarter but my industry has/had an opportunity and this may significantly damage that opportunity if not kill it. All because people who don’t have a record with general population crowdfunding in a public hyped setting won’t look at the history and common sense of examples and their effects in other industries that they don’t have experience with. You want this architecture to work you can’t just talk to people who got it right. (BTW -I did… raised a half million for my first film with crowdfunding without an Internet).

Content first, platform second… and in the ten years since I started this road..made sure we are protected.

I am never aggressive in protecting this initiative and the things I thought up… but when someone or some company/organization tries to pull crap thinking we are nothing… …Yeah I have learned in my last 20 years in corporate dealings, humans are human and to have stuff in my back pocket that protects us from being squashed.
“Who I am” makes it only to be used in extreme situations when people may come to act like jerks to our team or our partners.  But…my long resume/experience makes sure that we have it.  It makes business dealings much easier, no matter what anyone likes to say otherwise.  I don’t push too much secrecy or anti-sharing (on occasion after something bad happens) but there are people who can excuse any behavior.. often on both the liberal and conservative sides.  Good people who have never lost a decade’s work.  Good people who think a piece of paper gives them the right to own something..if you (who created it) don’t.
People can fight legal protections on intellectual property and say they are horrible… …but when you put time in… (like uh…a decade unpaid, every dime going back into the work lol) into building/inventing things, solving problems, those legal protections are there for a reason.  You may not use them, but as someone who has had to have the lesson hammered home, over and over…You should have those protections for extreme cases where someone else who has had access to your IP suddenly says it’s theirs.  Happens …and often you watch as they close you out. It’s not a popular stance but I know first hand what can happen.  As do many in the film and television industry.  We have just started to see the legal fall outs that are going to happen with all of the seed start-ups. Lots of initial success’ in tech sector (and some film) were people who hit it right luckily on first swing.  That is not the case when a market opens up 95% of the time.  Early initiatives in a paradigm shift are very different after the shift starts to slow. Lessons (messy, extremely painful, common and time eating)  from Sundance and indie film in the 90’s I predict will be repeated in the tech sector.
I protect us from the beginning to keep things clean.  I also avoid people who are extreme on both sides of this issue because they have not lived long enough to see what clean, freedom and loyal team collaboration means yet.  & I don’t want to go through their learning curve.

Tech, Gaming, Social and Film/Video Start-Ups and the new economic hype.

Reading flurry of articles calling Groupon essentially a pyramid scheme… Exactly why I said our model was solvent. #’s work for everyone in a well thought out balance of the market & industry that we are entering/trying to transform. Many(more and more it seems) start-ups are just self hype before they realized, for them to make $ they have to destroy any good they do. Why “worrying about $ model later & make a good product 1st” works only for art…and even then..doesn’t really.
The emperor is starting to hear the crowds giggle and feel a chill. Lots of emperors can make a quick buck in the “new” of a paradigm shift. A lot of these enterprise start-ups aren’t sound in the economics of the industry “they are transforming” …Seed hype needs to stop…take a breath. In the long run seed investors buy into new tools for industries they don’t fully understand …then stick loyally to them in the mass blind rush of hype. No one will see the cliff. A lot of tech start-up investment and start-ups are starting to look a whole lot like the economics of mortgage-backed securities. Gambling on hype and trade. How fast and hyped you can get other investors to salivate rather than customers salivating on paying for something that fulfills a market and real human need. Luckily, I have learned in the past few days I am not the only one who thinks this.

Looking at the new WebVTT possibility with AR & browser layering.

It has to be layered, interoperable, scalable, dissectible, SIMPLE to use, synced and pipe deliverable. This is why it’s not the question of flash or not, but “pipe sync” and “clocks”… Once technologists, browser/HTML(5) gurus and developers get that, (and understand delivery has to be “multi-pipe simultaneous”) we/they will finally make the jump into the future instead of diddling around thinking only about sitting 20″ from a computer or staring at a mobile texting screen. The future is all about layered clocks, maps, portholes, and sync. & doesn’t burden the system by bad pipe flow/constrictn or slow users. But the work on the WebVTT is a step in the right direction. Cloud security, interconnection and local presence also key.

Diaspora unfortunately, is the perfect example of why we should not be pre-pushing hype based on anything outside existing/completed quality, and only releasing stuff into the wild when it can take the “cut both ways” sword of hype.

We are not in the age of a tech demographic roll out that takes years.  Hype can be built quickly and massively (over 10,000 is fairly simple at this point with intense, focused time, pitching and effort).  Tech companies have shown how mass quick adoption is not the same for a Diaspora as it was for the years in the making Twitter roll out.
(Twitter made many mistakes with smaller /tiny audiences at a time that was slow adoption and limited audience awareness…so they could adapt.  As opposed to the work Diaspora put in front of themselves by building a massive tribe and expectation before they ever had a product).
One of the problems with “pre-building” a tribe for undiscovered indie talent/filmmakers… you are not basing the public pitch on the quality of the product but what you hope it to be.  You are not doing it just to investors, but your future (most likely first) audience.  You are giving yourself a false (easier) bar on the quality side because you are thinking it is about getting eyeballs and not the emotion, character and mind behind those eyeballs that gets the expanding audience.  The problem often with the crowdfunding models & tools that we/others are using most often right now- you have to hype a project before it is done. Hype like that almost always backfires.  In old indie media models crowdfunding was one-on-one not in public… now that pitch is public hype.
VERRRRY Destructive expectation to have been pitching to the same people who will be your first audience. They may have a feeling of ownership but as anyone who has worked on a film for a year or two…everyone has an opinion of how it could have been done better.
& to be honest I am seeing one or two good projects come out of the crowdfunding, but most of them (not all) are not living up to the energy & hype that crossed my computer in their pitches.  Good films, but my expectation was to love them.  The pitch screwed with my head.
It hurts the ultimate roll out of the product…so short term great…long term…shoot yourself in the face, the foot and like lying on your dating profile (worse)… it will backfire.  Even if you don’t think you are hyping, you are basing it on a best case scenario to get people to buy in.  That sales pitch if done in public will only disappoint on a grander scale 99% of the time.
We are working on fixing that.  We asked some of the crowdfunding sites to understand this and work with us…but arrogantly they did not understand these basic concepts and refuted there would be an issue with individual “expectation”and cannibalism of poor community funds… inevitably hurting an industry or drying up the opportunity of community funds/support.  Crowdfunding (as I have stated many times in the past) can become a pseudo-pyramid scheme to some industries …feeding off “intramural” industry funds from people who need funds themselves trying to support their colleagues. Basing it on first to the plate pitches.  Right now we are at the beginning of that cycle… the structure of crowdfunding needs a better net.  We have always crowdfunded (we raised 500k crowdfunding for The Autumn Heart in 1998).  We have new tools now, created by people who do not know the fall out from not living up to the expectations of the pitch or the “one shot” investor …& Much of the community intramural investment has to do with both hype of a new format and hope for themeselves (if you look closely at the #’s you will see early and slowing redundancy in community reciprocity).  That is not a long term financing win. Both in casting wider and catching/slowing the fall before investors eat it. 
This structure  is not new…and most likely these sites are not the final format because of these issues.  These new sites may learn the lessons many have learned about these things long before they came along,  I just hope they do not damage the opportunity and access to a deeper bigger reach with what may be a badly structured, planned, & public bubble in Crowdfunding.  Crowdfunding for new/undiscovered/indie artists’ art is different and funders’ expectations should be kept separate more often than not from that of the audience.  Funders also should be dually incentivised rather than just expectation of film or $$ income reward.  Again, we are working on all of this.