Archive for publishing

will your app or product for these reasons?

* You Didn’t Understand The Problem You Were Solving
* You Asked Your Friends What They Thought
* You Listened To Users Instead Of Watching Them
* You Didn’t Test Your Riskiest Assumption
* You Had A “Bob The Builder” Mentality

“…Sharon says it’s as simple as validating, or invalidating, three core pieces of the plan: The problem (Is the app solving a problem people care about?), the market (Are there enough people who have this problem?), and the product (Is our product solving this problem for this market?).

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are you a whale or super fan?


Super fans take their hobby or passions very seriously. It doesn’t matter what the hobby, super fans spend heavily to feed their hobby. Doesn’t that make them whales?

Free to play whales spend heavily on their favorite game(s), and they spend a huge amount of time playing these games. Doesn’t that make them super fans?

“There’s a terrible habit of talking about F2P “whales” – a term which the industry itself doesn’t use so much any more, incidentally, having realised that borrowing its parlance from the morally bankrupt world of Las Vegas casinos probably wasn’t doing it any favours – in terms of condescension and pity. We act like these people have been hoodwinked somehow. They’ve downloaded a game for free and ended up spending loads of money on it, and for some reason we assume that they didn’t know it was happening – that they’ll reach some day, down the line, where they realise how much they’ve spent and have a terrible Road to Damascus moment that lays bare how empty and pointless the whole thing has been. Not like us and our expensive merchandise or huge collections of games half of which we’ve never actually played; nothing like that at all.”

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humility leads to…

“Humility leads to an earnest and perpetual desire to understand the people who want your app, and thus better understand what they enjoy. You should be hungry to support and understand them.”

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1st month

“The first month is crucial to paying; if a player hasn’t paid in that time, they are unlikely to spend money later on.”

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‘presumers’ = gamers

Presumer = consumer involvement with products and services pre-launch.

2012 data suggests that presumers have the same kind of profile as gamers

* Kickstarter users are predominantly (62%) male.

* 50% are between 18 and 34, and 20% are between 34 to 44.

* Almost half (48%) are college educated. That’s against 30.4% of Americans aged over 25 having a college degree (Source: US Census Bureau, February 2012).

* 45% earn more than USD 50,000 a year.

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people share emotions

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people share emotions

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evolving gamers assumptions and expectations

One of the unexpected consequences of social gaming has been a softening of the gamer’s expectations of tutorials, structure and rewards.

“Part of the opportunity for all of us over the next five years is how do we package those up in a way that can fit in this form factor [Pincus points to smartphone] of a very small screen, small attention span, and someone who’s not going to read instructions, not going to do tutorials, and it’s got to have a very, very light, soft on-ramp but have a lot of depth of where that experience can go. I think the opportunity is to continue to innovate – it’s a new kind of innovation.”

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enough semblance of truth

“The English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge once wrote that if authors could infuse their stories with enough "semblance of truth," readers would suspend their disbelief of the clearly fabricated tale.”

and advice on using suspension of disbelief in convincing others in business and life;

“In order to inspire others and convince them to suspend their disbelief, you must celebrate, through language, the idea above yourself. Treat the idea as if it were a character you were embodying on the stage. Compelling others is "a function of your capacity to imagine and to subsume one’s own ego in favor of whatever character or idea it is that you’re trying to portray," says Wright. "The idea becomes larger and more powerful than you and there is then hopefully some type of levitation that happens and the story touches people."

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tracking trends

  1. Know why you’re tracking trends
  2. Don’t get your trends mixed up
  3. Know a fad when you see (or smell) one
  4. Don’t apply all trends to all people
  5. Be (very) curious
  6. Have a Point of View
  7. Benefit from an unprecedented abundance of resources
  8. Name your trends
  9. Build your Trend Framework
  10. Start a Trend Group (even if it’s just you)
  11. Secure senior backing or be doomed
  12. Don’t worry about timing or life cycles or regional suitability or…
  13. Apply, apply, apply
  14. Have some fun
  15. Let others do some of the work for you in 2011

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on the run at home

“The myth that mobile players are experiencing games "on the run" is wrong, said Boatman. 47 per cent play when at home, 14 per cent at work and only 12 per cent whilst commuting.”

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are you tapping into something human?

“YouTube’s Margaret Gould Stewart broke down the appeal of viral videos as this: “Viral videos are always tapping into something human — love, food, sex, failure… Something that people can relate to and share with others.”


Viral videos are just a slice of word of mouth. The same emotive appeal that drives YouTube videos to share wildly will feed word of mouth in any format.

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dawn of the creator’s age

Tim Ferriss;

“We’re at the dawn of the creators’ age, when you don’t have to dumb down your material to have a bestseller; you don’t have to kow-tow to big media that wants to dilute your message so that it offends no one and interests no one.  The publisher — you — can decide the fate of your ideas.  That’s should be exciting to every writer and would-be writer out there.  The timing couldn’t be better.”

You can’t do something remarkable by trying to please everyone. Elements of the Long Tail targeting focused opportunities = best seller. People are more similar than we expect.

And 4 common ‘publishing’ mistakes in using social media & building an audience;

1. “Not understanding what type of headlines “travel” via social media. Study sites like and to see what works.”

2. “Thinking of “social media” as text only. My latest book “movie” trailer, which is only 50 seconds long, took The 4-Hour Body from #150 on Amazon to around #30, where it has remained until dropping to the top ten.  I believe this video was the primary driver behind making the book the #1 “wished-for” book on Amazon.”

3. “Overcommunicating. There’s no need to share every detail of your life.  On my Twitter stream (, I aim for 80% useful links vs. 20% insight into personal life and schedule.  There is no need to share minutiae unless it displays an endearing or grounding aspect of your personality.”

4. “Not measuring. How many books did promotion X sell?  I know, as an example, which offers in my “land rush” competition converted browsers to buyers most effectively, as I used SlideShare.  How many people watched the slideshow and then bought?  It was the 3-book and 30-book packages.  I could then focus on these for a follow-up promotion, which sold more than 4,000 books on Amazon in less than 20 hours.  Measure the ROI of your campaigns or fail — that’s the choice.”


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discoverability is problem number 1

The quality of being discoverable.

A critical issue for all digital publishing.

“9. Discoverability becomes HOT – Amid glut of content, discovery will become the new obsession of publishing. Publishers of all sizes will begin to realize obscurity is the biggest threat facing their business. Solution: maximize availability of product, leverage metadata, create books that resonate with readers, enlist fans as extension of sales force.”

Mark Coker founder of Smashwords

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game design is in no small part marketing


Two of the ten point in the HUGHTRAIN Mk II, that are directly relevant to game design.

“1. The market for something to believe in is infinite.

We are here to find meaning. We are here to help other people do the same. Everything else is secondary. We humans want to believe in our own species. And we want people, companies and products in our lives that make it easier to do so. That is human nature.

“7. Your job is no longer about selling. Your job is about firing off as many synapses in your customer’s brain as possible.

The more synapses that are fired off, the more dopamines are released. Dopamines are seriously addictive. The more dopamines you release, the more the customer will come back for more. Your customer thinks he is coming back to you for sane, rational, value-driven reasons. He is wrong. He is coming back to feed.

1 – get the subject, setting, story and situations right, so that people care about them and they have meaning.

7 – dopamine is at the heart of lots of human behaviour. Get your rewards paying out in dopamine, and create anticipation for rewards & outcomes to pay out more dopamine in advance.

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reasons people talk

Reasons People Talk;

  • They fully understand something
  • It enhances something about themselves
  • They are compelled to talk about something

Reasons People Listen;

  • They trust the person talking
  • They understand the backstory
  • It’s interesting which gets them interested

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good marketing or greedy promotion?

“Greed is quite a popular sin. Twitter by default is a self-centered tool. It’s about us. But it’s 100 times better if used as a conversational tool versus a dictation. I see people using Twitter as a glorified RSS feed for their blog or an ad-puker. So absent of personality, I wonder why they even try. Yes, they are in business, but if they believe that business is built on relationships, they need to make building them their business.”

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the key 16% & the diffusion of innovations

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what made you stop?

Understanding what made a player stop playing is critical in extending play times, or maximizing retention (and retention = cash in microtransaction or virtual currency models)

Why does someone stop playing each game session?

What is it that makes them put your game away for good?

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brands alone are not viral enough

“To date, having a strong brand doesn’t really seem to matter to Facebook app users. On the AppData Leaderboard, the big brands that we’re used to seeing in the video game space are nowhere to be seen. Will EA be able to change that? It’s hard to say, but it seems unlikely unless they’re willing to really invest in building their user base. The social game companies on Facebook have built their enormous user base both by building viral spread into their games through notifications and rewards for bringing in friends, but also by millions upon millions of dollars of Facebook ads. That’s why you can’t log on without seeing an ad for "Mafia Wars."

Since these games are social, building up the user base has a multipliciative effect on the value to the player and to the viral spread — when you see all your friends are playing something, you’re far more likely to check it out, and once you do, you’re more likely to have a good time interacting with your friends in the game. “

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