Stop Wallowing And Start Doing Cool Stuff With Business Models, The Wil Wheaton Edition

from the excellent dept

We gently knocked Wil Wheaton recently for saying some things that we thought were a bit wrongheaded in terms of dealing with people copying his work -- while noting that for the most part he absolutely seemed to "get" where things were heading and had a long history of embracing that. Whatever you think of that minor blip, it looks like he's definitely got the right idea when it comes to new business models. Reader Avengingwatcher alerts us to a recent blog post by Wheaton where he's inspired by the fact that people can just "get excited and make things" if they have an idea, rather than having to go through the old gatekeeper model that so many were stuck in for so long. Specifically, he talks about print-on-demand solutions that take much of the upfront risk out of creating just about anything -- since you no longer need to pay for massive production at the beginning, and can just see what people want and order:
This is incredibly inspiring to me, and I hope that it's just as inspiring to indie artists everywhere. Why not take a creative risk and see if it works out? Unlike the old days, when we had to purchase a lot of stock ahead of time and hope we could sell it, we can just Get Excited and Make Things, knowing that the very worst that can happen is that nobody likes that thing we made as much as we thought they would.
Much of this is inspired by some experiments some friends are doing and discussing -- and one of the links he puts forth tries to tackle the "but this only works if you're big and famous" fallacy that we've debunked in the past.

I have to admit that 2009 has really become the year of creators embracing cool, working business models. These days, we get probably five to ten submissions per day of more artists embracing these sorts of business models that we talk about. We used to write about many of these, but it's reached the stage where we really only pick and choose to write about really interesting or unique ones, even as we see that many of these are working wonders. But the key point is the one that Wheaton hinges his post on, which is that more and more people aren't worrying any more, but they've decided to

Get Excited and Make Things
Is there any better motto for what's happening these days?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Robert, Nov 25th, 2009 @ 9:49pm

    ...

    Got to say, I've never heard the word "wrongheaded" before. Nice work.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2009 @ 10:01pm

    I think wallowing in self-pity at the government until they change laws in your industry's favor is the only business model some of these people are capable of employing.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2009 @ 10:27pm

    Re:

    What do you expect? Half of them ARE lawyers.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2009 @ 11:04pm

    The interesting thing is, the reason the various incumbent industries hate so much new technology is precisely because they no longer have the exclusive in publishing stuff, now anyone can self publish with relatively no fixed costs, only costs per unit (and in plenty of cases, even that is negligible, such as the case of digital). Hwil Hweaton has it right.

     

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  5.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Nov 25th, 2009 @ 11:06pm

    Re:

    Ugh, signed off automatically again. Maybe there should be a checkbox to "post anonymously" that is off by default so at least we get a warning...

     

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  6.  
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    Chris Maresca (profile), Nov 26th, 2009 @ 2:44am

    Distributed light manufacturing...

    ... it's one of my pet theories that the cost of producing sophisticated stuff has gone through the floor in the past 5 years and a lot more technology to 'make stuff' is available to average people.

    Everything from on-demand parts manufacture (eMachineShop & Shapeways) to sophisticated electronics and communications hardware (SparkFun) to low cost microcontroller platforms (Arduino). All this has lead to some crazy attempts at creating insanely complicated things like UAVs and cars through variants of crowdsourcing (DIY Drones and Local-Motors).

    And I think we ain't seen nothing yet. Talk about an industrial revolution...

    Chris.

     

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  7.  
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    hypotheekrente, Nov 26th, 2009 @ 3:25am

    Exactly, stop thinking, start doing.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2009 @ 3:47am

    You know life has turned to crap when we are learning from Wil Wheaton.

     

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  9.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 26th, 2009 @ 8:27am

    Re:

     

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  10.  
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    Gene Cavanaugh, Nov 26th, 2009 @ 8:48am

    Is there any better motto for what's happening these days?

    Yes - "Do something useful!"

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2009 @ 8:52am

    Re: Is there any better motto for what's happening these days?

    "push copy, add yeah yeah yeah and you are an artist!"

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2009 @ 9:40am

    http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/index.php/archives/2009/11/25/john-mayerbon-jovi/

    "If older folk still buy music and younger people steal it, why did John Mayer sell almost twice as many albums the first week out as Bon Jovi?

    Yes, according to hitsdailydouble.com, John Mayer sold 301,204 copies of his new album, "Battle Studies", this week. Whereas last week, Bon Jovi moved 165,871 copies of "The Circle".

    Ready for some truly horrifying news? This week "The Circle" fell all the way to number 19, selling 50,153 copies, a whopping drop of 70%. Whew!

    What’s the difference between John and Jon?

    One is living in 2009 and the other is living in the last century."

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2009 @ 10:01am

    Not sure why, but their current shirt of the week is not one that I believe is a sure-fire winner....

     

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  14.  
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    Planetwebfoot (profile), Nov 26th, 2009 @ 10:08am

    Re:

    While I agree in theory, there are already enough folks who don't think, I would prefer if the creative ones just kept on thinking while they are doing!

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2009 @ 10:54am

    If you listen to lawyers litigations is what you get.

    Here is an idea.

    Go to Second Life and create a virtual bar, studio or anything really and sell virtual merchandise to your fans, you can even get them to your virtual store that will sell everything including real merch with virtual performances LoL

    Go to any social network and create a game, I hear its getting big the social game thingy lately and with in game accessories so people want to by for pennies accessories for they characters or give your songs as gifts(oops somebody patented that didn't they?)

    This days you can even use your own face to make a virtual doll(thatsmyface) of yourself of course they will call it avatar.

    People are not exploring the possibilities with the eyes of real entrepreneurs they got stuck with the lenses of lawyers and that can kill you financially.

    If you want to make it in the digital age you have to understand the digital world first to see where it is going, where people are and what they are doing.

    People that don't use the digital means should never be in a decision making position they don't experience it, they don't know anything about it, they probably don't even use a social network and can't see the opportunities and so they are irrelevant in this age because they can't see what is happening while being run down by new behaviours that they missed while saying how they are proud to be Luddites.

    If any one wants to make some money you don't listen to people who don't understand the market is that simple.

    Would you trust lawyers and managers to fix your car?

    So if you want a part of the digital age you listen to people who are immersed on it.

     

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  16.  
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    Eric Stein (profile), Nov 26th, 2009 @ 2:20pm

    Print on demand

    I'd like to tell you about a guy who's been a print on demand guru since the '80s when he had a section on GEnie. Don Lancaster, who also has a lot of useful things to say about patents.

    http://www.tinaja.com/patnt01.asp

    About book on demand
    http://www.tinaja.com/bod01.asp

    I think he'd agree that you can't let the preconceptions of publishing (or any) industry keep you from getting your stuff out there.

     

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  17.  
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    Bill Pickett, Nov 26th, 2009 @ 7:56pm

    Its nice to see people innovate, talk is cheap: use as much of it as you would like. All you have to do is cull the detritus in a debate with another who is not you. This provides the reality check to validate your suspicions.

     

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  18.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 27th, 2009 @ 8:51pm

    Re: Re:

    Actually they are middle to upper management. Which means no creativity, no ability to adapt, and no want to do anything more than they have in the past... hence the whole we need to be protected attitude you are seeing in all the media distribution industries... News/Music/etc

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2009 @ 6:23am

    Let's all enjoy the business model that says you can take a 5 day weekend. All the technology in the world, and Mike can't manage to release a post or two each day over the weekends.

     

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  20.  
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    Gozza, Nov 28th, 2009 @ 6:43am

    Are you going to post any new articles in the near future? This has been top of my rss feed for days! I'm getting extremely bored with the headline...

     

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  21.  
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    nasch (profile), Nov 28th, 2009 @ 2:33pm

    Re:

    Maybe you should ask for your money back.

     

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  22.  
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    nasch (profile), Nov 28th, 2009 @ 2:34pm

    Re:

    These complaints could be from outside the US. This weekend is a major holiday in the US (Thanksgiving), many people have Thursday - Sunday off work.

     

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  23.  
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    mertz, Nov 28th, 2009 @ 2:49pm

    Re:

    seems to be thanksgiving weekend in america. surprised the blog hasn't been updated since wednesday and that this is still the top story on the frontpage, but it's okay. it's a holiday. sometimes people need breaks and need to live their lives. happy thanksgiving mike and the rest of the techdirt crew.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2009 @ 3:18pm

    Why hasn't the site been updated for the better part of a week? Has something gone wrong? It usually gets 15-20 posts a day every day except weekends, but now it's coming up on 4 consecutive days of complete inactivity.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 28th, 2009 @ 5:27pm

    Re:

    It's Thanksgiving in the US. We are taking a break, as we've done every year since we started the site.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2009 @ 7:31am

    Re: Re:

    Oddly, the internet doesn't shut down. I am surprised you don't have the technology to stock a few posts and let them loose over the weekends, rather than piling in a bunch of posts late friday and then ignoring the site until monday morning.

    But hey, it's your site. congrats to the winners.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2009 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Given that this is one of the few opinion piece blogs that hasn't stagnated in the pit of "0 comments" horror, I'd say that the majority of readers don't really care that much about the writers having normal work hours.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
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    ethorad (profile), Nov 30th, 2009 @ 12:06am

    Re: Re:

    I was wondering if someone had paid for the Shut Us Up level of your CwF+RtB!

    Happy get-rid-of-the-puritans day from the UK :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
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    BobinBaltimore (profile), Nov 30th, 2009 @ 4:14am

    Re:

    I get your point, but the comparison is fallacious. John Mayer is a current artist. Bon Jovi saw their best years literally 20 years ago. And they are in different genres. Comparing their sales numbers is problematic. That aside, your point *might* still stand, if you can find a contemporary to make it valid.

     

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  30.  
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    chris (profile), Nov 30th, 2009 @ 8:42am

    Re: Distributed light manufacturing...

    And I think we ain't seen nothing yet. Talk about an industrial revolution...

    it gets better:
    rapid prototyping - http://www.makerbot.com
    (3d printing for $750)

    workshop collectives - http://hackerspaces.org
    (find one in your home town) - i helped start one in cincinnati.

    laser cutting market place - http://www.100kgarages.com
    (buy laser cut stuff on demand, sell stuff you can laser cut)

    some of us are calling it IR2: the second industrial revolution:
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125798004542744219.html#articleTabs%3Darticle

    there will always be a market for big factories that can make millions of widgets for 10 cents each, but they are all in china and you need to order at least a million units to get them to take your calls. this fills the gap between the factory and the garage inventor.

    another way to look at it is a rebirth of cottage industry:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cottage_industry#Cottage_industry

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 11:01am

    Re: ...

    Yes Mike, "Nice work on inventing that word", I guess is this guy's point?

    I've heard the word "wrongheaded" at least 100 times in my life. What rock did he crawl out from under?

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2009 @ 11:16am

    Re: Re:

    It's hard to find contemporary artists who don't embrace technological trends.

    Although I still find it funny that Mayer has over 2.5 million followers on twitter and Bon Jovi has 2500.

    Although, one uses it to communicate while the other to sell merchandise.

     

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  33.  
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    sky insurance, Mar 11th, 2010 @ 4:25am

    Exactly, stop thinking, start doing.

     

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  34.  
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    American Girl Online, Feb 15th, 2011 @ 12:27am

    I was wondering if someone had paid for the Shut Us Up level of your CwF+RtB!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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