“I put out a new product a couple of weeks ago. This new product has so far won 16 different awards and recommendations from software download sites. Some of them even emailed me messages of encouragement such as “Great job, we’re really impressed!”. I should be delighted at this recognition of the quality of my software, except that the ’software’ doesn’t even run. This is hardly surprising when you consider that it is just a text file with the words “this program does nothing at all” repeated a few times and then renamed as an .exe.”
It got me thinking about the potential of a website that catered specifically to non-English speakers trying to learn to speak and possibly write English. A Google search on “online english classes” returned 905 hits.
- Does the market for such a type of service exist?
- If such a market exists, are there unknown barriers to entry?
- If such a market exists, is it already saturated by bigger, better funded players.
- If a business model could be found to sustain such a business, could it be bootstrapped into operation?
I’ll have to email Phil about this and possibly research it further based on his comments.
“With companies like Westwood’s Turbine Inc., Lexington’s Blue Fang Games LLC and even Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios LLC in Maynard generating attention for their entertainment-based games, New England is developing a reputation as a hot spot in the gaming industry.
But just below the surface of the multibillion-dollar game technology industry lies a group of [New England] entrepreneurs working with similar technologies and ideas, but different goals. Instead of entertainment, these entrepreneurs want to apply game technologies to ‘serious’ industries such as training, product testing and education.”
Links to New England game companies mentioned in the article
From TrackSuit CEO
“Many entrepreneurial types will recommend going for broke on one project or will go after projects that require going all-out on just one thing. Not me. The business models I endorse take family into consideration and never recommend going for broke on just one thing. I have tried going about business the all-or-nothing way and it just requires too much selfishness for a family man.”
(via Coding Horror)
“I originally discovered the fiendishly addictive Tower Defense as a multiplayer game modification for Warcraft III. It’s a cooperative game mode where you, and a few other players, are presented with a simple maze. A group of monsters appear at the entrance and trudge methodically toward the exit. Your goal is to destroy the monsters before they reach the exit by constructing attack towers along the borders of the maze. As you kill monsters, you gain cash, which you use to purchase more powerful attack towers and upgrades for your existing towers. The monsters keep increasing in power each wave, but if you’re clever, you might be able to survive all the waves and reach the end.
I can’t explain exactly what makes Tower Defense so addictive, but man, is it ever. Perhaps it’s the collaborative gameplay, along with the “just one more time” element of different tower arrangements and greater income to build ever more powerful towers. Remember, this is a game mode not created by Blizzard, but invented by multiplayer game modders using the tools provided with Warcraft III. It was completely unique– I had never played anything like it. After about six months, I completely stopped playing traditional multiplayer games of Warcraft III in favor of user modifications like Tower Defense. As a hat tip to the community, Blizzard included their take on tower defense as a hidden mission in the Frozen Throne expansion.
I suppose it was inevitable that this new, addictive Tower Defense game mode would jump from the select audience of gamers with gaming-class PCs to simpler Flash implementations everyone can enjoy. The low-intensity, puzzle-like gameplay of Tower Defense translates well to the broad audience of casual gamers. And the most popular version, by far, is Desktop Tower Defense.”
“Make a Flash mini-game, let people play it for free, and watch the ad revenue pour in when the site gets 20 million pageviews a month. That’s the option Paul Preece took with his phenomenally popular Desktop Tower Defense, and though he has no professional experience with game development, the Visual Basic programmer is now making, by his estimate, high four figures monthly for his ferociously viral little game.
Preece explains some of the secrets to Tower’s success.”
- Take a well-known genre and make it better
- Promote through web aggregation sites
- Profit through ad revenue and keep the budget low