Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Why Asian Culture Killed the $50k/Day Mobile Game App Flappy Bird

Warning: This is my pure personal opinion. Not of this site, where I’m guest posting. Plus I’m making lots of generalizations. Read at your own discretion.

If you haven’t heard yet, #1 mobile game “FlappyBird” that was making over $50k in ad revenue per DAY was taken off the app store… by it’s creator.


Who knows? The Vietnamese app creator won’t say.

There are lots of theories rumoring around the net as to why

1) Lawsuit – Looks way too similar to Nintendo’s stuff

2) Bots – He got to #1 by fake bot downloads on the appstore and he felt ‘bad’.

3) Marketing ploy – Get bloggers to write about it to get more downloads (and got his other app downloads to shoot up)

4) Creator felt he lost his privacy because he got too popular.

Now, all of these are just theories, and unless this dude comes out and tells otherwise, they are all guesses.

As a fellow Asian man and an entrepreneur, my guess is … it’s self-criticism.

Land Affects Culture

Ever wonder why Asians (in general, except my mom) tend to be so quiet & passive? It has to do with LAND.

Yes, land.

See we live in US.. where there’s shit tons of arable land (i.e. land that grows food). Don’t believe me? Drive cross country.

There’s nothing but corn & stuff growing everywhere. How on earth is anyone going hungry in this country, according to Rachel Ray’s non profit ad campaigns? Who knows.

In fact, according to the World Bank , the arable land per capita for US 0.51 hectares (10k sq. km). China? 0.08. Korea – 0.03. Vietnam – 0.07. Japan – 0.04.

That means,

  1. US has one of the best & most fruitful land on the planet.

  2. While it’s big, Asia has bunch of land that is pretty much useless. That’s why you city such insane crowding in Asia.

If you are growing a country, the best way to expand a country like US is by encouraging people to spread out as much as possible. To have that kind of thinking, you have to instill “rugged individualism” so people take on the responsibility and opportunity for themselves. Ever hear of the song “American Badass”?

But in Asia, there isn’t much room to expand physically so they have to live in smaller shared areas within a community. Can’t have Lone Rangers taking over land, driving gas guzzling hummers that go off-road, being wild cowboys and shooting them guns into the air … or gyrating hips in an elevator with another heterosexual man underneath your crotch:

No, the need of the groups exceeds the need of the individual in Asia.

To do that, you need to develop this culture of group over individual, which tends to stifle individual expression and radical innovation. Asian societies encourage scholars that benefit the society. We don’t like stuff that causes ruckus.

Ever hear of Jin, the Chinese rapper who won crazy number of freestyle rap battles on in a row on national TV (BET)?

(Here’s a clip of him battling & “killing” his competitors.)

Imagine if he tried to do that first in China. They’d laugh his ass off. He’s a celebrity in Asia now because he’s made a name for himself in US first.

No, we don’t really celebrate individual expressions. In fact, innovation gets stifled because status quo takes precedence.

Culture Affects Entrepreneurs

Among Asian entrepreneurs, part of our mantra is to create useful stuff that benefit the society. Stuff like buildings, cars, electronics, business software,.. you know boring but useful stuff.

Not addicting games where you mindlessly click on a virtual bird to fly.

Yeah, Asians love to gamble and drink and all that crap too, but owners of those businesses are highly frowned upon. It’s way different.

(Asians are laughing at that pic above. You may laugh too. We give you permission.)

Here in US, we say that a girl works at a bar, you imagine a girl serving drinks. If you say that a girl at a bar in Asia, people assume that she is involved in drugs or prostitution.

Different culture, different set of mental filters.

So when this Flappy takes off, my guess is that he somehow felt bad that his success was nothing more than a cheap thrill for most people. Granted he was raking in $50k/day, but deep down, it was conflicting with his inner need to service the “group”.

I don’t blame him. When I was promoting weightloss products, I was doing $10k/day in revenue with one other business partner (who was white), but I was more miserable then when I was making $0/day.

Why? All I could think was that I was using all this brain power and tech to sell sugar water to overweight women in the ‘burbs.

Somehow, I felt like I was doing the society wrong.

Of course, I could be just talking some crazy shit out of my ass…

So i’d love to hear what you guys think.

Source: ShoeMOney

Why Asian Culture Killed the $50k/Day Mobile Game App Flappy Bird

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