Thursday, December 02, 2010

Take the skinheads bowling

One of my alltime favorite bands is Camper Van Beethoven. Turns out their front-man, David Lowery also has a head for business, as he was involved in the founding of Groupon which just sold itself to Google.

Here is Lowery on the subject:

"In 2008 I was appointed to the board of advisors of a small web startup called www.the point.com. The site the brainchild of Andrew Mason was a " tipping point" mechanism, a social networking site that allowed people "commit" to take group action. In particular the hope was they would take group action for social change. The investors quietly noted there was not a clear way to monetize Andrew’s experiment. However they hoped that by watching the way users used the tipping point mechanism, a viable way to monetize this website would present itself.

I was asked to start a campaign on www.thepoint.com."To get a feel for it". Not being very socially conscious I decided that I wanted to use The Point for my own narrow self interests.

Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven have a festival, The Campout. It’s rather remote and since we produce the small festival ourselves we take considerable financial risk. While the previous years had been marginally successful we were worried about the rapidly deteriorating economy (I believe Bear Stearns had just gone bankrupt). So I started a campaign to get a "break even" amount of CVB and Cracker fans to commit to attend the festival. In this way our fan’s promises to attend would become a sort of promissory note. no pun intended. While you couldn’t exactly peg it’s value, these collective promises to attend at some point seemed to be worth enough to go ahead and book the flights, PA, lights, and port-o-potties.

Other successful "campaigns" on The Point also involved similar commitments for group purchasing. It wasn’t long before The Point became Groupon."

Wow, Elvis Presley died and David Lowery got paid?

Hat tip to DG!




2 comments:

BR said...

Lowery is awesome. I used to live a few doors down from him in Westover Hills. Funny to watch the guy pushing a baby stroller. Next time you visit Richmond, be sure to eat at Mama Zu's in Oregon Hill (best restaurant in Richmond). Experiencing that unique neighborhood gives you some insight into Cracker's unique music/lyrics.

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