The Idea Dude


Thursday, June 14, 2007

What should Guy do next?

I watched in amusement the world's reaction to Guy Kawasaki's latest experiment, Trumors. What's remarkable wasn't the experiment itself, it was Guy's flair for the dramatic and his astute understanding of market dynamics. Guy could have picked up the phone and raised $10 million dollars without blinking an eye. He could have created a profitable business in the traditional sense. Instead he broke every rule in his own book. He built a Web 2.0 experiment for $12k. Why, because Guy is more about his building his brand than creating the next Facebook. He points out that it was his years of schmoozing that resulted in Techcrunch breaking his story 3 times and over 200,000 visitors the first day. People who critiqued the experiment missed the mark. I'm sure Guy is grinning all the way to the bank.

Let's see, Guy probably generated more traffic to his own blog than ever before. In addition, I'm pretty sure the whole thing kicked his Technorati ranking up a few notches. How did he do that? He made sure he was as contentious as possible and that started the conversation going. The seeming outrageous legal fees, the cheap cost of start up, the registration of 55 domains, paying so much for a mediocre logo, it was all carefully orchestrated to generate a buzz.

Here's what was missing from the equation:

  • Opportunity cost. I don't know what Guy is worth from a speaking and consulting point of view. Let's say it's $1,000 an hour conservatively. He must have easily put 100 hours into the project. Cost of opportunity to him in reality. $100,000.
  • Latent costs. Being Guy with a great network, he probably got a couple things done, gratis that the rest of us would have to pay for. Probably worth another $10-20k.
  • Running costs. Starting is just beginning, as it gets successful, he'll need more moderators, system administrators, bigger servers, someone to sell his ad space, and the cost of his own time. In 12 months, if he was serious about taking it to the next level, $100,000 - $200,000 if you factor all of the above.

What Guy did in itself wasn't remarkable, there are probably another 1,000 ideas jumpstarted the same way. What is remarkable is that Guy did it and that's why the world cared. If Truemors is around in the next 12 months, it would be a business otherwise it was terrific marketing initiative from one of the best in the business.

The question is, what will Guy do next?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish I could tell you I had this all planned and the goal was to enhance my personal brand. And that the I did things in controversial ways on purpose. It's just not true. This might make you think I'm dumber than you thought, but I'm certainly not as clever as you're making me out to be.


6:54 PM  
Blogger The Idea Dude said...

Thanks Guy for popping in and sharing your thoughts!

Often, we do things with one thing in mind and the unexpected results come from another quarter. I think there are many positives that come out of any experience, my point really was that regardless of the outcome of Truemors (which I hope will succeed for you), the worst case scenario would be it was the best marketing bang for the buck you could hope, even if it was not intentional.

As an avid follower of your career and you blog, I eagerly await what's next for Guy Kawasaki.


9:20 PM  

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