I heard some good advice once:
“Money goes where energy flows.”
I’ve since reframed it to:
“Money goes where enthusiasm exceeds it.”
Think about it for a second:
If demand for something is excellent, supply shrinks, and the value of said good increases.
It’s 101, which I know you’re all across so I won’t bore you with it for another second.
But have you thought about the real implications of this?
Here are my thoughts on it.
Above all else, we must become “students of the markets”. It’s not enough to just pay attention to products in our industry or techniques that are effective at making sales right now. Or even more broad topics like marketing or copywriting.
Of course, all these things are super important — but the first and most important thing we all need to learn is what people want to buy.
And that is relatively simple — just look at what people buy to observe what people want.
Now while that seems simple enough…
We have to be careful.
Because what people SAY they buy is not always what people ACTUALLY buy.
Case in point — woke movies.
If you were to ‘survey’ the market on what they want to see more of, you’d get a massive chunk of the market to tell you that they want to see females replace men as the lead, more actors of colour, more LGBTI representation and less “cys, white men.”
Except as the markets continue to prove, what people ‘SAY’ and what people ‘DO’ are two very separate things.
So why does this happen?
Well surveys, given they are in question format, create an environment where people feel they need to provide the ‘right’ answer.
And the ‘right’ answer is often decided by whatever the social zeitgeist is at the time.
But it explains why agenda-free action movies like ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ have absolutely crushed it at the box office, while Warner Bros have pulled movies like Supergirl and Batgirl before they even got into proper production.
It’s the same reason why the Ghost Busters 2016 remake flunked or why Rings of Power is being reported as garbage with damning reviews.
And it’s also why Disney (with the deepest of pockets of all) will still pander to the CCP and remove any evidence of gay romance from Star Wars despite being advocates for such causes on the other side of the Pacific…
All I have to say is that I pity the fool who goes into a business venture because survey respondents indicated it was a great idea.
Anyway, I don’t think you can’t beat the market… you can only win WITH the market.
If you want to win the infinite game of business (as Simon Sinek puts it), then you must embrace this.
You need to know how things are… not how people wish they were or think it is.
I said you need to become a “student of markets”…
But maybe another way of thinking about it is a “student of reality.”
Take from that what you will.
– Karl Goodman