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Thursday, June 14th, 2007

Archives Games

nights of the roundhouse & super

Haiku Reviews

Knocked Up :)

Instructional guide
for couples planning to have
unplanned pregnancies.

First IT Professional

Tirade's Choice

Fun With Clouds

This week, check out the Testimonials section of Observations about our Market Segment for more Testimonials than you can shake a stick at!

Blogs, Brotchen and Propaganda

  • Sorry, I still haven't found the time to make another video...

Survey Results = Going Bi-Weekly

For almost ten years, I've been updating this page every week. Well, not every week... I usually take off a few times each year, for vacations and holidays. But it's been almost every week. But I've also been totally unreliable... the "Thursday update" rarely goes live while it's still Thursday, and often doesn't get published until late on Friday or even on Saturday. But it's hard work, every single week, finding things to talk about and make pages about. In fact, it's such hard work, we've decided it's time for me to scale back the effort a bit.

Here's the big news: starting immediately, this webpage will be updated every other week instead of weekly.

That said, I need to back up a whole bunch, in order to explain how I got here.

Although we are celebrating our tenth anniversary as a company, Looney Labs is still very small and our efforts to expand our sales and our market share haven't been as successful as we'd wanted them to be by this time. So, as part of our ongoing efforts to build a profitable company, we've been doing a lot of belt-tightening and self-evaluation, looking for any expenses we can cut, any processes we can make more efficient, and anything new we can do to help make Fluxx the breakout success we all know it can become.

A big part of this process has been the development of a comprehensive new Business Plan, which we've spent a lot of time writing these past few months. We've also been getting input from a team of industry professionals (our Board of Advisors) who've agreed to give us a little of their time each week to help advise us on how to tighten up our company while expanding our sales.

As part of all these efforts, we did a big survey a few months ago, to find out more about the people who love Fluxx and thus better understand who's most likely to be interested in our products.

We got a huge amount of really helpful info from these surveys... we were really pleased with the number of people who took the time to give us their opinions. Over 2400 people took the Consumer survey, and since I'm sure everyone's curious about what we learned from the thousands of responses we got, I've put together a page of Observations on the subject. (Mostly it's a massive list of unorganized quotes about why people like us and our games.) Thanks again to everyone who participated!

So far, all I've really looked at are the results of the Consumer survey, but I do have some information about the Retailer survey to announce. Here are the ten stores who will be receiving our Retailer's Prize of a six-pack of Fluxx: Comic Encounters, 3 Trolls Games & Puzzles, Modern Myths, Phoenix Games, Sammy's Collectibles, Comic Store West, Bad Moo Comics and Collectibles, Chinaberry, Game Depot, Myriad Games. We'll be contacting you in the next few weeks (or maybe not until after Origins) to arrange to ship you your prize. Congrats and thanks to everyone for taking our survey!

All of this brings me to one particular question on the survey: "How often do you visit" Sadly, only 216 people (less than 10%) answered "I visit each week." Much as I love you, my most dedicated 216 readers, the realities of our cost/benefit analysis is that y'all are taking up too much of my time.

It's all about the bottom line, and the bottom line is, we as a company are spending too much of our time and energy on fan-support efforts, such as this webzine (plus various elements of our Mad Lab Rabbit program) which really don't pay for themselves. Much as we love you all, our future hinges more, at least right now, on making and selling products than on so very actively rewarding our devoted fans for the cool stuff they do.

So, I've decided I can be happy enough updating this webpage only every other week. (In a related story, the LooneyNews is going to become a more occasional update.) Naturally I have mixed feelings about this... on the one hand, it'll be nice having more time to spend on other projects, but at the same time, I enjoy the weekly ritual of updating the webzine and I worry it won't be as good somehow being updated half as often. But at the end of the day, the fact that I'll be spending half as much time on web updates is more appealing than clinging to tradition. I really do need that time to spend on other work. So I think it's a good decision.

AndyThanks for reading, and have a great fortnight!

PS: Regarding this week's image: It's a mood illustration I did for my newest Icehouse game, which is included in 3HOUSE.

PPS: I'm still just super-happy to have finished 3HOUSE in time to be debuting at Origins. (I signed off on the proofs this week, manufacturing is underway!)

PPPS: A reminder for long-time fans who might not know/remember that we're planning to allow you to redeem that "Black Ice" coupon for a copy of 3HOUSE when it comes out. If you're coming to Origins, it's time to figure out where you left that coupon and put it in your staging area.

Thought Residue
I really enjoyed Republican Presidential Candidate Ron Paul's appearance on the Colbert Report last night. I've been a fan of Congressman Paul since 1998 when I first heard him speak out against the Drug War. He used to call himself a Libertarian, and now he's a Republican who voted against the Iraq War and whom I'd be pleased to vote for myself. Unfortunately, he's like the Dennis Kucinich of the GOP: too radical, too honest, and not among the top few contenders who get most of the press.

The resolution on whether to allow table games (including Texas Hold'em) at Charles Town Races and Slots was turned down by the voters of Jefferson County, 44% to 56%. But objections were apparently as much about greed as morals... many who voted no say they did so because they wanted the county to get a bigger piece of the action via taxes. So I think it'll pass next time they try it, two years from now.
"The telephone is an antiquity -- you never know who is calling, there is no image, it is an outmoded product [that] constantly disrupts work." -- Ralf Hütter, seen quoted on the Wikipedia page about Kraftwerk

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