Last night while curating content on my ipad I came across a post on Empire. Eager to learn more on this fascinating virtual social stock market game I clicked on the link. What I found was not positive but rather a rant on how Chris Voss feels he is being treated by the moderators of the Chat Rooms of Empire Ave.
Personally I have never been a fan of chat rooms as I am too buzy minding my own business — if you know what I mean. While I do participate in the odd chat, like one last night organized by @mqtodd on Empire called #EAvchat which was about Tips on Tumblr – it must be highly focused so not to waste my time as my goal is to learn something new and maybe share something that I know…
Apparently Chris waded into some Empire chats and was not well received by the moderators who he says are biased – and being the big heavy weight that he is — in the role of a “serial entrepreneur” turned social media guru — he claims that he encountered the “dark side” of Empire Ave.
Well – Duh!
A few thoughts bubbled up in my mind after reading his post.
1. “Money & Friends don’t Mix”.
This is what Chris says.. I have no idea how many times he repeated this in his blog post – but I find this a very odd comment in the context of Empire Ave which is:
A. a GAME and
B.a SOCIAL media game.
Anyone who has ever played a game of monopoly with family members knows that it can lead to some very hard feelings – whether the money is real or not. As for friendships….games typically dictate that the strongest, fastest and or smartest will prevail based on the rules of the game – which have been set by centuries of conditioning in which military strategy has ruled our culture. From there was incorporated into business practices and now Chris is on Empire doing something that someone does not like. While the game maybe new old mindsets prevail—for most it is and always has been —about WAR.
With Empire Ave however, since it is a SOCIAL game – luckily, there is more than one to play- that’s what makes it so intriguing. Further, based on your goals you are either winning or loosing. The big difference is this – because it is social it is open ended. It is not just a “shot em up game” where winner takes all. One can dominate a leader board, say marketing, but not the entire network. Sounds like Chris got shot at a couple of times – and it hurt —but maybe he should have adopted a different approach – my guess is a soft sell might have been better received — as most users on Empire are not hard core “start up leaders” but folks who are looking to simply socialize, engage, share and have fun!
2. With respect to the MONEY issue (real and fake)
I think Chris suffers from what is known as the Sunk Cost Bias. A classic error in decision making – he sunk money into the game…REAL money… ouch…and now he feels he is not getting ROI. He feels that he is loosing although his share is 150 plus eaves – triple to my own, but he continues to play regardless…. Go figure.
While most of us play with the fake money we earn from making good investments in other people and use their dividends to buy more – he actually bought some attention with cold hard real world cash. Personally – I invest in Creatives, Social Biz and Good IP and hold for the long term. I briefly considered investing in Chris but decided not to as I felt that he is the kind of guy that would not reciprocate – any time soon – for 3 reasons – 1. He would not think that I can advance his position so he would not give me the time of day writing me off as being too artsy or some such stereotype. OR he would see me as being some sort of competition as we both have business offerings that have to do with “social Media”. 3. His website is in serious need of a make over — it is cluttered with ads and posts and no white space. What happened to Web 2.0 style?
3. Social Media Clowns
IF, as Gary Vee says, 99.5% of social media experts are clowns then where does that leave Chris? Working in a medium that is so new and which requires a new way of thinking on how to communicate in personal and business relationships can Chris say he has mastered the game of Empire Avenue after a few months and try to rewrite the rules on ETHICS?
Which leads me to the reason why I think Chris is swimming in a sea of red when he should be using the blue ocean strategy. The best strategy for a long term win on Empire comes from the book called BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY -How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant”. It is summed up as
“Winning by not competing: a fresh approach to strategy”.
Red oceans are all the industries in existence today—the known market space. In the red oceans, industry boundaries are defined and accepted, and the competitive rules of the game are known. Here companies try to outperform their rivals to grab a greater share of existing demand. As the market space gets crowded, prospects for profits and growth are reduced. Products become commodities, and cut throat competition turns the red ocean bloody. Hence, the term “red” oceans.
Blue oceans, in contrast, denote all the industries not in existence today—the unknown market space, untainted by competition. In blue oceans, demand is created rather than fought over. There is ample opportunity for growth that is both profitable and rapid. In blue oceans, competition is irrelevant because the rules of the game are waiting to be set. Blue ocean is an analogy to describe the wider, deeper potential of market space that is not yet explored. Like the “blue” ocean, it is vast, deep, powerful, in terms of profitable growth, and infinite”