Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A new business idea, again

I saw this post on the BBC news page on-line. Download an App to follow gorillas in the wild on your BlackBerry or iPhone. Simple fund raising App to help different gorilla groups in different regions. And the user chooses which of 4-5 groups to follow and receive updates from. No, the gorillas don't write the updates themselves.

It reminded me of an initiative on which we partnered with P&G way back in 2001. Here is a WSJ article from that time. Annoyingly they want a credit card number before revealing it in its entirety but you will get the gist of it.

The idea wasn't too different the iGorilla. We followed a bunch of households from around the world for three days each and captured anything and everything we saw and heard. No brief, no objectives, just random households. Then we sat through the footage, sorted it by theme, cut it into short viewable segments, subtitled it, tagged it and posted it to our EverydayLives website. That's right, EverydayLives wasn't a company name to begin with. It was the name of a subscription service.

For £1,500 per month, clients would be able to search and view an ever growing archive of fresh family life happenings. It was beautiful. And clients couldn't get enough of it. We even traveled to places like China to conduct training with a partner who wanted to learn how we captured our everyday life footage.

In the end, production costs killed the service. By not working through how many clients we would need to break even and and much content we needed to make the service genuinely valuable, we tripped up. And since then all of my various initiatives including Immersion Tank (it's on page 15) have been stepping stones (very expensive stepping stones) to the EverydayLives App which we are now calling EthOS - short for, Ethnographic Research System.

By the way the latest on the App is a rather large study we are conducting in SA over the World Cup Period. And, no, we don't need any assistants. Thank you.


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