I’ve just had a weekend of movie watching and thinking..
Last night we went to see Bratt Pitt’s ‘Tree of Life”
It had won the Golden Palm or some such award in Canne at the Film Festival.
Brad Pitt was in it. Sean Penn was in it.
Assumption = it had to be good…
In my opinion…. WRONG..
Visually stunning… clever…
The rest of it…. artistically ostentatious…
Years ago, one of the founders of the National Speakers Association of Australia, Winston Marsh said we should create a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Innocent Audiences…
This movie would have been banned by that Society.
The audience actually clapped when the movie ended…
Not because they enjoyed it. Because they could now go home or go out to dinner.
Bratt Pitt was an Executive Producer. So he would have both put money in, or got other people to put their money in. And he would have had a large say in the creative control.
It was all about Bratt Pitt and the artistic team saying ‘how clever we were to push the audiences intellectual comfort zones.. how we had them watching movies of space, volcanoes and the Universe for 20 minutes and no dialogue.. How clever we were to break new ground..’
We call that FIRST POSITION INNOVATION…
Innovation from WHAT WE WANT… (not necessarily what the market wants..)
I know what they were up to..
They were using right brain, unresolved loop techniques to get people talking about the movie.
The right brain hates unresolved questions so the movie leaves you with tons of those.
A bit like those 10pm movies on SBS… or Vanilla Sky or some others…
But this one in particular drives people crazy..
Check out the article ’12 Reasons to Avoid Seeing Tree of Life’
SPEILBERG IN ACTION
On the other hand, my son was keen that we see Transformers 3 – Dark Side of the Moon (or some such title) this afternoon.
We saw it in 3D which made it even more of an event.
This movie was action, action, action all the way..
It was humour, good looking girl and bumbling male becoming hero to save the world.
It was good vs evil, world on the brink of disaster from Alien invasion.. etc etc
The theatre was packed…
Explosions. Buildings crumbling. Car chases. Car crashes and in the end….. (well, I won’t give it away…but lets say… boy gets girl, world saved, we all live happily ever after..)
Speilburg wasn’t trying to make an earth shattering statement other than providing good, old fashioned entertainment.
Speilberg and team were using 2ND POSITION INNOVATION.
They have studied what their market wants. Then they give it to them bigger, better, more enjoyably than any of the alternatives.
Who would you put your money with?
Bratt Pitt as Executive Producer or Steven Speilburg as Executive Producer?
THE BOTTOM LINE
Transformers 3 took $38 million on its opening day. The best opening day of 2011.
It did cost an estimated $195 million to make but its taken almost 20% of its budget on the first day.
On the other hand, Tree of Life took $372,000 on its opening weekend. It has taken around $26 million worldwide and cost around $35 million to make.
If you Google Tree of Life reviews audiences have been scathing.
Some of the critics have been adorning.
Who would you put your money with? Critics or customers?
WHAT’S THIS GOT TO DO WITH YOU?
So is your business a Tree of Life or a Transformers 3?
Are you doing what you want to do because you have something you want to prove to the world?
Or are you giving the marketplace what they want?
Are you the artist or the entrepreneur?
As an old colleague of mine, David Palmer once said in one of the Wealth Workshop weekends we used to run down at the Summer School at UWA:
‘You’re either an artist or a prostitute….’
(as you can imagine, that did raise a few eyebrows)
He went on to explain..
‘The artist say’s I don’t care about the money. I just want to express myself and if the money comes, that’s a bonus.
The Prostitute say’s, ‘I do care about the money. I’ll do whatever you want, if you’ve got enough money to pay for it..’
There is probably a third position in there somewhere that is not quite as confronting.
The entrepreneur who says, ‘I’ll find out what the market wants. I’ll find a niche I can exploit better than the competition, the alternatives in the marketplace, and I will aggressively look to dominate that niche. I will provide better value and market into that niche better than anyone else the customer might think of..’
That is what Steven Speilberg does so well..
Speilberg has made a career as a 2ND POSITION INNOVATOR.
(He has a personal net worth of over $3 Billion according to Forbes magazine and has made between $100 million and $150 million per year every year since 2008.)
He dominates the family entertainment niche.
So does Disney for that matter.
Dominating the family entertainment niche.
What niche are you dominating?
Can you be bigger and bolder than you are at the moment?
I THINK I’LL BACK SPEILBERG
Not only that, I think I’ll meditate just a little longer tonight on what else I can learn from Speilberg.
What might you be able to learn from the Pitt vs Speilberg weekend?
See you next week.