What is the humble bundle business model?

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by zoombapup, Apr 23, 2011.

  1. zoombapup

    Moderator Original Member

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    After they got that 4.7? million in funding, I'm struggling to see exactly what the business model is meant to be. I mean as an indie thing it works, because the word of mouth and the "you can give to charity" thing is good.

    But now that its got this funding, what else is there? I mean they can hardly call it "indie" anymore.

    Maybe theyre thinking of indie MUSIC bundles and indie VIDEO bundles?

    Theyre probably not thinking of something to compete with steam for the digital download market are they?
     
  2. Over00

    Over00 New Member

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    Did Twitter ever managed to make money yet?

    Seems like the recipe is:
    1- Get massive traffic
    2- Get funding
    3- Buy big pillows to hide the money inside it

    Or something like that. Not quite sure about #3 but I guess once you've past #1 and #2 that you can take your time to figure out what to do next... or not...
     
  3. Dan MacDonald

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Let's just say, I don't think it's to build a better humblebundle.com site. It's already working just fine.
     
  4. BigB

    BigB New Member

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    maybe more publicity..., we shall see
     
  5. bantamcitygames

    Administrator Original Member Indie Author Greenlit

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    the only thing left to do is... rinse and repeat.
     
  6. vjvj

    Indie Author

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    I admit this question enters my mind a lot as well. It does seem to be solely intended towards generating traffic, without much regard for how it positions products in the marketplace.

    It's kind of irrelevant though IMO, because Twitter has nevertheless established significant brand positioning as a social networking platform. In contrast, the HIB comes off more to me as a big cash/traffic grab. It's been very successful in that regard, though I worry that it just reinforces the mentality that indie games should be cheap/free/$1/set your own price. This is all amateur hypothesis though, so debate is welcome.
     
    #6 vjvj, Apr 24, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2011
  7. Morgan Ramsay

    Morgan Ramsay New Member

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    Why is being able to lay a claim of adherence to some interpretation of the "indie" label important to you?
     
  8. Game Producer

    Moderator Original Member

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    I was sort of kicking the AAA butt: "look how we do millions without funding" thing.
     
  9. meds

    meds New Member

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    This is how business works, people are truly indie for exactly as long as it's beneficial for them to be as such.
     
  10. Adrian Lopez

    Original Member

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    Putting aside what it means to be "truly indie", please keep in mind there are benefits other than monetary ones.
     
  11. Grey Alien

    Indie Author

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    So is it to make an Indie portal?
     
  12. meds

    meds New Member

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    Well indie is shorthand for independent, it's someone who makes content, whatever that content may be, without the benefit (and accompanying restrictions) of third party investors.

    What other benefits are you referring to?
     
  13. zoombapup

    Moderator Original Member

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    I personally bought all of the bundles because:

    a) I wanted to help charity
    b) I wanted to help indie devs make a living

    I didnt download the games, I didnt actually do anything but give the money over. They couldnt realistically monetize me any other way. I know LOTS of people who did the same. Which wouldnt work if I knew that underneath the "lets give to charity" was some microtransaction gold farming shill that wanted to milk me for every drop.

    My point being that the perception of the bundle as a "lets do something good for each other" played a significant part in my participation with it. Lose that and you're changing the percieved value model and the dynamic of the offer. My question is about what the new offer might be and how that might shape my/others perception.
     
  14. Adrian Lopez

    Original Member

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    When you say that "people are truly indie for exactly as long as it's beneficial for them to be as such", the underlying assumption seems to be that benefit = money. People may benefit financially by giving up their independence, but keep in mind that a number of indies have given up high-paying jobs in search of that independence. Independence for some is a greater benefit than making X more dollars a year.
     
  15. meds

    meds New Member

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    They probably just had exceedingly shitty jobs.
     
  16. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

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    No, not really. Some had high paying job. It depends how you're made. Some people care only about money and being robots commuting to work all days from 9 to 5, being under a boss (in most of cases total idiots) and so on. Others realize that there's much more in life than money: being able to just say "fuck! today I'll go to the sea instead of staying inside the office staring at monitor" is something very important for those kind of people.
    Not saying one is better than the other, but just that depends how you're made and what you value in your life, there is no "better" or "right" answer.
     
  17. meds

    meds New Member

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    So you work some place where you can't get up one day and say 'I'm taking a day off'?
     
  18. vjvj

    Indie Author

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    Exactly, which makes it hard to believe a VC would come along and go "Yeah, let's invest $4.7 million into the future of that business model!". Business model of what? One-off, low-margin sales that are positioned as fundraisers? I agree there has to be something more here, an indie portal like Gray Alien suggested would be the direction I'm thinking, though I think $4.7 mill wouldn't be enough for that. Should be interesting to see what comes of it either way.
     
  19. Morgan Ramsay

    Morgan Ramsay New Member

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    You said that you are motivated to help indie developers make a living; however, your definition of "indie" imposes a constraint on who qualifies for your aid. Assuming that you agree with the notion that indie is merely shorthand for independent, why does the involvement of external investors in a venture necessarily imply that a company is any less capable of determining its own fate? Does funding negate the need of those involved to make a living?
     
  20. zoombapup

    Moderator Original Member

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    No, but it definitely plays a part in my perception of wether I'm making an altruistic choice versus a consumer choice. If I wanted to buy cheap indie games, I'd get them from the author or from steam already. I bought the bundles because of the charity angle and because it was mixed in with helping indies. To be honest I'm not entirely sure I would have bought the bundles without the charity element. I certainly wasnt into giving any money to the EFF thats for damn sure.

    What I'm saying is that people's perceptions of the purpose and motives behind the bundles are likely to change and its a pretty far stretch from charity auction mentality to anything I can see being a reasonable investment on 4.7 million. But then I dont know what the plan is yet.
     

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