“The best investor is a social scientist.”
From 2006-12, we experimented with production and distribution tactics until finding our product/market (or platform/format) fit. In doing so, we built a massive evergreen back-catalog while fine-tuning the production model. But what were the underlying trends and opportunities we saw?
- Geek Culture Would Become Pop Culture
Kids who grew up reading comic books were now working on Madison Avenue, Wall Street, Hollywood, Silicon Valley — and one by one, they would start to introduce those franchises and icons into their daily work. If 15 years ago I told you Big Bang Theory would be the #1 rated show on TV, or Marvel Universe would own the box offices, those would have been ruled out as geeky, niche franchises. Read more.
- Format: top 10 lists
Mankind has been drawn to lists, especially in an ever-increasing short attention span environment. Wayne’s World, Letterman, Moses and his Ten Commandments, recognized formats that work is part of the game in storytelling.
- Fair Use is Freedom of Expression & Press
Sure we leveraged our relationships with rights holders to wade increasingly into using clips in our editorial. When we focused on YouTube, a search for Batman delivered thin results. We changed that before the traditional media companies woke up to… the Fair Use archives here.
- Platform: power & promise of YouTube
Above and beyond the data, it was clear that YouTube had moved from pariah to the belle of the ball, and few noticed. Time and time again, YouTube was being falsely discounted. Echoing Warren Buffett’s “you don’t know who’s swimming naked until the tide goes down,” we were confident that given YouTube’s authentic and highly engaged audience, the ad dollars would follow – and they did/have. Read more on why YouTube became our favored trading partner here.
Entrepreneurship is like cooking: you can have a recipe, a bunch of ingredients – you have to bring them all together and make sure the timing is right.