Sunday, September 12, 2010

I hear the barrier to entry to getting into the car manufacturing business is low, too

This article is hilarious. It sounds like a perfectly normal business-y article until to you get to this gem:
The barrier to entry on the Instant concept is apparently low, and Yahoo and Microsoft's Bing have both tested the waters, according to a report in Search Engine Land.
(emphasis mine)

So apparently Dawn Kawamoto, "Technology Reporter" for Daily Finance, thinks the barrier to entry to searching the entire internet instantly is low.

I don't even know what to say.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

How to make a terrible landing page

I'm interested in advertising Kittyball to help promote it to a broader audience than "people who search kitty in the App Store and scroll waaay down", so I was looking to spend a few hundred dollars on ads. I happened to see an ad on Gamasutra for GAO, so I clicked it. Here's what I got:

Admire the graphs! Gaze in awe at the pile of logos! Marvel at screenshots of tables! Apply for GAO advertiser account!


Why should I apply if I have no idea what I'll get?

So I sent GAO this email with their "contact us" form:
RE: GAO: your landing page sucks :(

I clicked an ad banner for your site from Gamasutra ( )
and *nothing* on the landing page tells me why I should do business with
you. What will it cost me? What benefits will I get? Why are you better
than your competitors? I have no idea!

I see that you've got some reach, but I have no frame of reference for that
so I don't care.
You've got some clients, but they're not me, so I don't care.
You've got "cutting edge functionality" but I don't care.
I can apply for an account, but why?
and they helpfully replied with:
Good day,

We are pleased to have confirmation that our landing page only appeals to
people who care.

Best Wishes,

Valera Koltsov
Game Advertising Online
Thanks guys! Guess I'll take my money elsewhere!

A good landing page should directly tell the viewer what benefits they will receive. A good landing page answers the question of "why should I give you my money?"

Friday, September 10, 2010

Project Ten Dollar

EA has begun a new initiative to try and stop (or at least slow) used game sales  I don't think this is going to work as well as they hope.

A and B go to GameStop to buy a game:

Here's the old flow:
1) A buys game for $60
2) A beats game and sells to GameStop for $40, game "costs" him $20
3) B buys game for $50 from GameStop, GameStop nets $10 for holding the game and B saves $10, and most importantly EA thinks they're losing $60

Here's the new flow in EA's magical fairyland:
1) A buys game for $60
2) A sells game to GameStop for $40
3) B buys game from GameStop for $50, goes home and sees that some of it is disabled, missing, or inaccessible, curses GameStop, never buys a used game again, and only buys New, Quality Electronics Arts Games(r).  EA Wins, hooray!

Here's what is going to really happen:
1) A looks at used games price list, sees that game is only worth $10 used in buyback, now he can't save anything by selling back, so the game is worth less to him
2) A buys a different game
3) B is faced with a choice between "broken" used games, or used games that have full functionality, B buys a different game.  EA blames pirates for drop in game sales.