Rock Band Video Game Selling T-Shirts Of Fake Bands

from the lotttttts-of-t-shirts dept

When critics of our analysis of the economics of infinite and scarce goods want to mock our ideas or make fun of us, they often fall back on the false claim that the business model we advocate is "give away everything and make it up by selling t-shirts." Or, rather, if they're really in a mocking mood, they usually write "llllllloooooooooooooooooootttts of t-shirts." It's quite amusing, though, of course, it shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what we mean by scarce goods.

That said, t-shirts can make up one part of the scarce goods that someone sells, though, it will almost always be a small part of it. And, there's no reason to mock the contribution that selling t-shirts can make as part of a larger business model. Reader Aaron de Oliveira points us to the interesting news that the super popular video game Rock Band is now letting players who have uploaded their own fake rock band logo order t-shirts, keychains and other merchandise from their fake band. As de Oliveira correctly notes, not only does this make some money, but it also makes the gaming experience better, connects fans more closely to the game and their own fake rock band in the game:
The company realizes it's not in the music business or in the t-shirt business. Its business model is the custom experience and it uses music (fun & free or cheap) and t-shirts to improve that experience in such a way that people are willing to pay for it.
Bingo. So go buy llllllooooooooottts of t-shirts to make it work.

Filed Under: business models, economics, infinite goods, rock band, scarce goods, t-shirts, video games


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  1. icon
    Aaron deOliveira (profile), 13 Oct 2008 @ 10:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Financial Crunch

    all markets will suffer when expendable income dwindles.

    the point of infinite goods is that understanding them makes it easier to add value above and beyond your competitor.

    think of it more in terms of value. value that you can provide your customer and value that you can capture from your customer. both at little or no cost to your business directly.

    using infinite goods to add more value to something can justify it's current price or beat out a competitor in a recession.

    understanding where infinite goods add value also lets you diversify revenue streams. you're not dependent entirely on your ability to produce a good and collect from a single stream of customers.

    infinite goods produce value in new places in markets. learning how to capture them can help a business maintain its cash flows in a recession.

    i'm enjoying your questions. any more? (marroncito@yahoo.com)

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