How do you make a million dollars in less than a day?
There’s only one reliable method that I’m aware of.
When Obsidian Entertainment launched their Kickstarter yesterday, I committed $20 without even reading the copy or playing the video.
They convinced me to give them money today roughly 12 years ago, when I was 14 years old. I faked a stomach virus so that I could stay home sick to get through the Underdark in Baldur’s Gate 2. The development team that made that game has long since dissolved. The company that published it has gone out of business (I wrote about why, recently, for some reason). I gave $20 because I remember navigating Minsc through the beholder maze with Balduran’s trusty shield to protect him from their deadly eye-beams.
I gave $20 because I still remember Ravel Puzzlewell asking “What can change the nature of a man?”
These are good tests of whether or not a product is any good, regardless of whether it’s for consumers, small businesses, or humpback whales. Is anyone going to remember this product in 10 years?
At least 25,000 fans had similar experiences to mine. The veteran developers who worked on some of the most beloved software of the 1990s and 2000s capitalized on their long careers and good reputations to collect over $1m in pre-orders with little but some some well-crafted pitch materials.
You never know when the good work that you’ve done in the past will pay off. Some Swedish Java programmer who liked your game in 1998 might hit it big and give you $10,000 on the day that you need it.
You make a million dollars in 24 hours if you start working towards it and keep working towards it as early as possible. Skipping that decade (or longer) is almost never an option.
All the “fast viral growth hacking” in the world seems pathetic next to the tested and reliable method of satisfying many customers over as long a period of time as possible, listening to them, improving your products based on their feedback, and retaining focus on the customer.
If it were more complicated than that, human civilization would have already devolved into rival motor cycle gangs clobbering one another with tire irons.
Ten happy customers is worth infinitely more than 100,000 robot retweets. A hundred happy customers are worth more than 10,000 spam back-links. A thousand happy customers are worth more than 15,000 identical Facebook profiles operated by small armies of offshore laborers all with Myspace-angle profile pictures of bleached blonde ladies sharing your precious ‘content’ onto 20,000,000 news feeds. I’d even take 50 happy customers over 200 hyperactive fake five-star review copywriters.
Twenty thousand happy customers are good for at least a million dollars in less than a day.
One set of methods is great for making charts with erection-shaped curves.
The other is a reliable way to get customers to give you dollars, which you can use to pay for rent, salaries, and other goods and services.
Dollars or faked chart-boners? I’ll go after the money every time, thanks, and you should too.