Oatmeal

When Matthew Inman politely asks the world for $10,000 to make a dodgeball card game, he gets more than $1,500,000 from 30k+ people.

First reaction: “Wow.”

Second reaction: “OK, it’s funky and delightful. Kinda awesome. I wish I could have that kind of following and influence!”

Third reaction: “There’s a nice story behind the Exploding Kittens and Throw Throw Burrito brands, namely ‘making games that bring friends and family together around a table, away from their screens.’”

Existential crisis mode: “What story could I tell and have thousands of people buy in? What would I want a group that size to actually do? And how on earth would I direct millions of dollars of cashflow?”

Solution: pop open a Facebook tab and scroll to my heart’s aching content. Yes, I know, this is not really a solution.

Sad reflection: Facebook has so many ads. The 6th conversation on Messenger is telling me about the harmful effects of secondhand marijuana smoke. I go to these platforms to see my friends, and the interruptions are really annoying.

Conclusion: My business needs longevity, real audience love, a product that shares itself through people’s raving experiences. Facebook or The Oatmeal: which is more relatable as a success story? Which has more resonant impact per unit effort?

Matthew Inman: a shining example of capitalism fulfilling the human spirit. It took years to carve out that market niche and build the engine. And it didn’t start with a Facebook ad.


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