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Thread: Entrepreneurial Idea

  1. #1
      Karro is offline
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    Post Entrepreneurial Idea

    So... I'm currently knee-deep in an evening MBA program, and right now I'm taking this entrepreneurship class. On Thursday I have to submit an assignment where I detail a few entrepreneurial ideas, and we were given a creativity-aid to help get us started.

    In flipping through that aid, I came across an idea that suggested using your hobby as the basis for a business plan - but you can't just use your hobby, you have to come up with a unique angle, and think about the problems that exist in the way things are currently done in your hobby and propose a solution that would add value.

    So... my favorite hobbies: writing and reading fantasy & science fiction, producing and appreciating art with a fantasy or sci-fi theme, and enjoying all other forms of media where I might find a fantasy or sci-fi theme. So, I've been pondering how that could translate this into a business, particularly on the "production" side is where my interest most specifically lies. So, I've been trying to get my head into this, and figure out what the problem is, currently, with the production and distribution of fantasy and sci-fi themed media.

    The only idea I've come up with so far is something like IP/license management, based on the idea that (a) sometimes creatives in one medium have a great idea but lack the skills to fully express that idea across multiple media and (b) the traditional method of "licensing" popular IP in one medium to other media often produces lackluster results in the alternative media format, I suspect due to a lack of passion for the IP/project from the non-originating creatives in the other media to whom the license is given. Still... I'm not sure how to monetize this concept.

    So... I thought I'd ask you guys, where there are many professional creatives/producers of fantasy and sci-fi themed media, and where there are many ardent consumers of the same. In your opinions, what are the major problems, currently, with the production and distribution of fantasy and sci-fi themed media - novels, short stories, games (Video/Computer, RPGs, Board games, etc.), art, films, music, etc?
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      Diamond is offline
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    I think one of the problems lies in the marketing. People have always seen scifi/fantasy as a brand of geekitude. Well, fair enough. I'll admit to being a part-time geek. But the problem with that is, it's not going to draw in a huge general audience. Things are starting to shift a little, with Peter Jackson's LotR movies and now the increasing popularity of superhero movies, drawing in folks who otherwise would've just sneered at actually reading LotR or a comic book. But it's still not enough to push the genre into full-spectrum acceptance.

    So... maybe something with a marketing angle? Something designed to make scifi and fantasy appeal to a broader spectrum of folks?

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    Guild Artisan Greason Wolfe's Avatar
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    In all honesty, I'd have to mimic what I've read in several of the writing workshop type books for sci-fi and fantasy in that there is a lot of stuff published in the genre that doesn't exactly fit. For me, it's become really bad as of late. Every time I walk into my local Borders or Barnes and Noble, half of what I see in the sci-fi/fantasy sections are pesudo-vampire/romance novels. Not that there's anything wrong with such novels, but, IMHO, they just don't fit in the sci-fi/fantasy category. I mean, seeing something like The Vampire Kama-Sutra on the shelf next to LoTR causes my eyes to bug out and such. So maybe something along the lines of an independent book store chain that has tighter categories . . . I dunno, maybe that wouldn't work.

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      Karro is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diamond View Post
    I think one of the problems lies in the marketing. People have always seen scifi/fantasy as a brand of geekitude. Well, fair enough. I'll admit to being a part-time geek. But the problem with that is, it's not going to draw in a huge general audience. Things are starting to shift a little, with Peter Jackson's LotR movies and now the increasing popularity of superhero movies, drawing in folks who otherwise would've just sneered at actually reading LotR or a comic book. But it's still not enough to push the genre into full-spectrum acceptance.

    So... maybe something with a marketing angle? Something designed to make scifi and fantasy appeal to a broader spectrum of folks?
    Yeah, I agree fantasy & sci-fi have gotten short-shrift, culturally and in the marketing universe. But as you say, with the immense popularity on a global scale of the LotR movies, the Harry Potter books, and Superhero movies... the landscape is starting to shift on this one. Could do a marketing firm devoted exclusively to sci-fi and fantasy IP, though... Not a bad idea, and in the changing cultural context, might even be feasible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greason Wolfe View Post
    In all honesty, I'd have to mimic what I've read in several of the writing workshop type books for sci-fi and fantasy in that there is a lot of stuff published in the genre that doesn't exactly fit. For me, it's become really bad as of late. Every time I walk into my local Borders or Barnes and Noble, half of what I see in the sci-fi/fantasy sections are pesudo-vampire/romance novels. Not that there's anything wrong with such novels, but, IMHO, they just don't fit in the sci-fi/fantasy category. I mean, seeing something like The Vampire Kama-Sutra on the shelf next to LoTR causes my eyes to bug out and such. So maybe something along the lines of an independent book store chain that has tighter categories . . . I dunno, maybe that wouldn't work.

    GW
    See... I kind of think of it the other way, where Vampire Romance serves as a kind of trojan horse for acceptance of "speculative fiction" as a whole. I see it as one more example of something from the fantasy/sci-fi world catching hold in the general public and making our stuff that much more credible.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, guys!
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      Koor is offline
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    I would have to go with quality of product when dealing with an off media, as being the biggest problem. We all know games based off movies have a history of being terrible, and movies based off books tend to leave the readers frustrated and annoyed.

    The solution to this would be having all of this done in house, using the same creative minds in all aspects of production. Obviously you aren't going to have the writer of the series being forced to handle all aspects of game production and movie proofing, but if that writer had a team of the most die hard fans acting as a quality check on the different products, then that would probably result in far better products. Of course the downside of that could be that the QA people were too picky and the products took too long to release.

    To some extent George Lucas did this with Lucas Films and LucasArts, which allowed him to retain control of the games based off his movies and IP instead of just signing over the rights to some 3rd party and having a crap game released.

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      ravells is offline
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    The people who made the 'Magic - the Gathering' Cardgame who went on to become 'Wizards of the Coast' did quite well for themsleves. a model to follow perhaps?

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      Ascension is offline
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    Hook the tweeners, hook the world...or at least make a lot of money.
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      Talroth is offline
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    One thing that has been bugging me is the whole idea of a Sci-fi/Fantasy section,... Those are two different sections, like a self help/home repair section.

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    Self Help and Home Repair are the same thing, aren't they?

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    Post The genre are huge actually...

    I've read where fiction writers trying to break in various genre is a tough life, unless you've got some great material, the timing is right and you have a good publisher to work with, however, once they start getting work writing sci-fi, fantasy and horror, these writers get "type cast" as sci-fi/fantasy writers only. Now if they had plans to expand upon wider literary horizons, its harder to do, since you're already known as a sci-fi/fantasy writer.

    On the positive side, as already been hinted in this thread, sci-fi/fantasy covers a huge amount of material, scenarios, all real and imagined history to work with. You can write sci-fi/fantasy westerns, historic, comedy, romance, parody, high adventure, erotica, drama, the available material is endless.

    While Vampire/Romance is not my cup of tea, I don't begrudge the genres from being able to support that fringe as well. Our favorite genres cover everything.

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