The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

August § The Common Test / 2016-02-16 21:04:46
Robin § Unforgotten / 2016-01-08 21:19:16
MsFitNZ § Towards A Theory of Secondary Literacy / 2015-11-03 21:23:21
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 18:39:56
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 16:32:50
Matt § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-05 01:49:12
Greg Linch § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 18:05:52
Robin § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 05:11:02
P. Renaud § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 04:13:09
Jay H § Matching cuts / 2014-10-02 02:41:13

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A lot of straightforward but not-always-obvious wisdom in this 37signals post, “Don’t just try to steal a share of the existing market, create a new one“:

Nintendo goes after people who aren’t using other video game systems. While Xbox 360 and Sony one-up each other trying to reach experienced, demanding gamers, Nintendo goes after newbies. The Wii’s controller makes video games so simple that a three year-old can play it. And the company is thriving because of it…

Nearly half of all undergraduate students in the US now attend community college. Why? They are more affordable, have more lenient admission standards, offer online degrees, and focus on market-driven degrees aimed at nurses, firefighters, law enforcement officers, and EMTs. All that means they are able to enroll students who otherwise might never wind up in a classroom.

You could take this lesson to politics, too – especially local politics, or anywhere you’re trying to outflank an entrenched establishment. Don’t go to the usual power brokers, making the same speech in all of the same places. Put together a coalition of people who don’t usually bump up against each other. And especially, make sure you get all of the people who haven’t been successfully targeted by a political campaign before. Don’t fight the same battles if you can redraw the map.

Come to think of it, I guess that’s how Obama did it. Smart guy.

3 comments

I’d say the iPhone did this in some ways, too.

Not so sure about Nintendo’s sustained success though, unfortunately; 37signals links to a piece from 2006, and in the time since, the Wii hasn’t proven as durable as Nintendo (or any of us Wii boosters!) expected.

But I don’t think that in any way undermines the big point. Nintendo’s mistake wasn’t the Wii’s premise; it was steps 2, 3 and 4 after the Wii started to get traction.

Tim Carmody says…

Right! It’s almost like Nintendo didn’t know how to keep selling games to those newbie console owners, who were happy to jam on Wii Tennis like it was never going out of style (because it isn’t).

Wii Fit was probably the big second-wave purchase for many of these folks; really, Nintendo needed three more Wii Fits.

Again, once you’ve sold these people, you have to keep them. You can’t win a primary with a liberal coalition and then turn around and govern for the status quo — and then NOT expect your hardcore support to waver.

You could take this les­son to pol­i­tics, too

If you can take it to politics, you can take it to journalism. Reminds me of another smart guy around here. 😉

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