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May 10, 2012
"The Mongoliad" As Business Model
I recently got to hear Neal Stephenson talk at MIT. As usual, he was a pleasure*, and the talk ranged over a wide variety of topics, from why America is in a massive idea deficit to why we should all stand up more and sit down less. What he didn't really discuss, to my disappointment, was the Mongoliad. Fortunately, Mark Teppo's "Big Idea" post in Scalzi's Whatever gives a little hint of what's going on here.
The Mongoliad on offer here is a book - a collaborative work. But what's of interest to Copyfight is the structure and entity that produced this book. To quote Teppo:
[W]e formed a company whose goal was to realize a new paradigm in publishing methodology, and to promulgate an argument that transmedia empires could be built using small, highly agile teams that could shift direction quickly and efficiently based on customer need and reaction. Do more of what the fans like; less of what causes them to make the ‘meh’ noise.
This could be very
interesting to watch. We're starting to see several individual names break out of the existing mold - Amanda Palmer obviously
, but also look at Rowling's decision on how she wanted the Potter e-books handled
. But these are all individuals. The obvious next step up is small groups of creative people, and seeing which parts of what business models scale.
*Though I was sad he utterly flubbed my question on design. He confused design aesthetic with implementation shoddiness. C'est la vie.
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