If you had $2 Billion to invest in a company that was angling to be the Next Big Thing in online media, what would you look for?
Probably, you would take a look at what works on the web and start from there.
So what is the uinversal constant of the most successful online media companies?
Well, let's take a look at Instagram. TikTok, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Those are a good place to start.
So when you look at them, what do they all have in common?
Hint: They are all open platforms. That is, they allow anyone who wants to upload their content to do so without an editorial filter.
If the stuff is good, people go for it. If the stuff is bad, they don't.
As the Internet is space unlmited, what's the difference? Come one, come all. Let the public sort it out for you. No barriers to entry. They'll tell you what they like and what they don't like. You don' have to do a thing. See any Commissioning Editors at Instagram?
Do you have to wait to be invited to post things on Facebook?
Do you have to submit a budget and expect to be funded by TikTok?
I don' think so.
As a matter of fact, this model works not only for media companies, it works for any company. Airbnb, eBay, Tripadvisor. The more you look around, the more you see that this open platform is the heart and soul of pretty much every successful online business.
So when you go out and raise $2 billion from your best friends and not a few banks, what do you tell them your model is?
You say we are going to be a closed platform
We are going to be exclusive.
While the content on TikTok and Instagram and Facebook are provided free of charge, we are going to take your money and commission a whole lot of short videos from 'professional' production companies that are going to cost a fortune to produce and are going to look just like the kind of crap you can get on cable any day of the week.
How's that for an idea?
Stuff like this:
Then, as if that is not backward enough, we are also going to limit your seeing this to your phone - you can't put it on a TV screen AND we are going to charge your as much as you currently pay for Netflix to watch this stuff.'
Great idea, huh?
Ready to get out yoru credit card?
I bet not.
But people vote with their Apps, and the Quibi app has, in the first week, dropped out of the Top 50 chart on Apple. In fact, today it was just barely ahead of Offer Up - Buy Sell Simple.
And I bet they did not spend $2 billion to build that app. And, of coures, it is an open platform.
Well, when you look at the founders and investors, they are all the products of a now dead and dying era. The We Make It You Watch It World.