Hype, The Business Model.

I’ve talked about hype before, but I was talking about fog. This time, I’m not going to beat around the bush. Hype kills. Plain and simple.

Best thing I compare this to is “The Apprentice.” Not only is it one of my favorite reality shows, but it really goes to show you how cut-throat business can be. A few million people sign up every season to become Donald Trump’s apprentice and as many of you know, only a handful are picked. Once the process begins, the candidates are hauled through many rigorous tasks that test their mental, physical and social skills. Maybe it’s for ratings, but they always seem to have a good mix of the players that can produce and players that can talk. As an entrepreneurship graduate, I take great interest in seeing who gets through. I get very passionate about who I feel should move on and who should get axed. Two players in particular, Omarosa from season 1 and Toral from season 4, win the award of “hype machine.” As Donald would expect, if you want be successful, you better produce. The winners of the past three seasons, Bill, Kelly and Kendra, were all silent performers that did their talking on the battlefield. On the other hand, Omarosa and Toral, did their talking everywhere else. They talked and hyped themselves to death, and produced nothing.

Hype is a double-edged sword, and I don’t understand why people are so eager to wield it. The more hype you generate, the better that product has to be. There’s no doubt or second chance, it is a requirement. It’s cliche, but the bigger you are, the harder you fall. Let’s go back to Toral, who was thankfully taken care of early on. All she did was talk, and put herself higher than others. She would defend herself in the board room using her “experience” when working with “presidents and business leaders.” But you know what, when it came down to it, it was all a lie. Everybody expected so much out of her because she talked so much, but in the end she did shit. Now take that image, and focus on the year of the AJAX.

The mainstay of internet companies these days is their splash page. Hell, I know of a few splash pages that were up longer than the product offerings themselves. And all it is a “coming soon” image and an email input box. But people go nuts over it. “Hype it up.” Even Jeffrey Veen said that it is a viable way to gain some early supporters. Give the public enough information and they’ll go nuts. Especially in this area of blogs; news spreads within minutes. People get more excited about products when they’re “coming soon” rather than when they’re released. It’s a sad sight, because most people get stabbed by the rusty end of the hype sword on release. I don’t need to name any, because you have your own opinions.

My thoughts on this might be a bit cliche, but this cliche doesn’t seem to want to be remembered. If you talk the talk, you better walk the walk. Do not take advantage of people’s curiosity only to release a product that you think is “fuckin’ awesome.” For God’s sake, test it first. Do studies. Do marketing research and demographic tests. Study your market until you can come out with a product that is certain to fit a need. Why don’t people study their market? I don’t understand it. It’s entrepreneurship 101. If you have a great idea, research it before going nuts. Hype is NOT a viable business model. Come on guys, don’t run blind. Don’t be stupid. Don’t be deaf.

I’m really fed up. Can’t you see the anger?

Finally, live up to the hype you create. If not, you deserve to go down, and I’ll be saying bye while you’re on your way.