Monday, June 25, 2007

Success of Webkinz

My daughter received a Webkinz as a gift this weekend. It's a stuffed animal that comes with a special code to access a web site. My kis love the web site. If you look up the business side of Webkinz, you find articles like this:

Time to play, money to spend

This is a web idea with a lot of resonance because the web site they created is so good. It's a way to add a lot of value to a stuffed animal. The purchase of the stuffed animal is essentially the "key" that unlocks the web site, and therefore provides a really interesting revenue model for a web site.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

How to buy 27,000 acres of land and no one notice

A friend sent this, and it is pretty interesting:

Walt Disney World History 101 - How to buy 27,000 acres of land and no one notice

It relates to the idea of "what do you do once you find an idea that really resonates."

From the article:
    Today, Disneyland encompasses fewer than 300 acres, which includes Disney's California Adventure and additional hotel properties. Relatively speaking, all of Disneyland could fit inside of Epcot.

    Regrettably, Walt Disney did not buy enough land surrounding Disneyland, and soon after the park opened it was surrounded by tacky hotels, tourist gift shops and restaurants. His dream of a completely contained theme park for families was now tainted with views of billboards and fast-food restaurants. Walt vowed that if he ever built another theme park, he would not make the same mistake twice.
Which leads to the obvious question: "But how does Walt Disney go and buy up thousands of acres of land without the landowners holding out for exorbitant prices?" The article contains the answer to that question.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


This is an educational web site that uses a subscription model to generate revenue:The price is really high - you pay $100 to get the first 40 lessons, then another $100 for the next 40. And the web site controls things so that, practically speaking, only one kid can use the lessons. Compare this to the cost of a typical educational computer game on CD at maybe $20 to $30.

Why do people pay so much? Because it is a really effective program. It shows that there is money to be made if you have a good product.