I heard Michael Acton Smith speak last week at Evening Standard Business Connections (ES_BC). For those of you who do not know Michael Acton Smith, he created Moshi Monsters is a virtual pet and social networking game which has captured the minds and pocket money of children around the world.
Moshi Monsters is a fun online world where kids can adopt their very own monster, go on adventures, play games, solve puzzles, be creative, and communicate with their friends. Over 65 million kids have joined the site online and Moshi is now expanding successfully offline into books, magazines, trading cards, toys, videos games, music, mobile apps and a movie planned for 2013. http://mindcandy.com/
Michael Acton Smith describes himself as an entrepreneur with a short attention span; he gave the eager crowd at ES_BC his success strategies in business:
1. Start with a great story.
2. Choose a good name.
3. There is no problem failing but fail fast.
4. Make it fun and you can change behaviour and the world.
5. KISS – Pet Rock made Gary Dahl a multi-millionaire.
6. Every industry is affected by moving innovation and smart technology.
7. Make it memorable and convey or idea through a story.
8. Partner with someone who has the skills you don’t.
9. Gather as much information of your industry, be humble and get feedback.
10. To raise finance get the idea live first, funded from friends and family.
11. As your business grows your role changes remain in touch with what is core to your business.
Moshi Monsters started slow, it reached a tipping point and growth has accelerated since 2009, within five years Moshi Monsters has extended into a multi-million pound empire. Michael Acton Smith said “Our ultimate vision is to create the greatest entertainment company in the world for this digital generation of kids.”
It is clear that a short attention span has not held Michael Acton Smith back. I think the real lesson here is that Michael Acton Smith combined his unique skills as a geek that loves games, his playfulness and curiosity, with the kept it simple (KISS) business idea (adopt a virtual monster). He knew children were comfortable with technology and had a short attention span, so he was his best customer.
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Janice B Gordon: The Problem Solver Business Growth Consultant, Mentor, Speaker and Author. Business Evolution – Creating Growth in a Rapidly Changing World will give you the guidance you need to evolve you and your business and exceed your customers wants and needs.