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He has 5 million to invest. What would you tell him?
Out of the blue, unexpected as it usually happens...I got a call. From an old, old friend. He needs help. Basic problem: Brother with five million to invest, and has invented/created a game. And wants to either FRANCHISE IT or run huge tournaments.
He called me because he knew I once consulted on such things, mainly in the role of the antagonist, asking the questions MOST don't want to hear, you know, the REALITY type stuff. Like who wants it and why?
Or, where do customers come from? All that reality based jazz that new inventors or idea people want so badly to ignore.
I've spoken with scores of inventors who have told me, EVERYONE will want this. HA! Reason I love the shark tank, REALITY.
So Barry has 5 million to invest in his game, which he says EVERYONE will want to play.
First red flag for me. His game, without giving too much a way, is a THROWING, tossing, target type game. Think bowling, horseshoes, skittles, bocce, corn hole (bean bag tosses and frisbee golf.
It can be competitive, or played for score. Take bowling, everyone knows what it is. You could compete in a weekend tournament, from single elimination to round robins, pay an entry fee and play for the pot. It could be one to one competition, or number of games rolled and cumulative score.
So, what Barry is thinking. Lots of space available. He has a plan which needs about 10,000 square feet. About the size of a small Rite-Aid or small grocery store, like a mom and pop grocery (IGA).
Anyhow, in this 10,000 square feet he can put 50 alleys (space needed for game about 3x20 feet. Think short shuffle board type area. And he wants a bar (which I advised against) and/or a food thing.
So, I have given it some thought. IF any of you have any ideas, let me know via email you have some thoughts, don't yet tell me, and maybe we can help the guy and who knows, get in on the ground floor of something.
MY advice so far: TEST CONCEPT. He needs a working prototype, and so some of his dough has to go to making the games, then manufacturing them.
All things he thinks will be easy. I suggested he lease a vacant bldg, get insurance, and run a tournament for a month, to see if it draws people in. Also I think he should check into FOOD TRUCKS, to see if they are allowed on the location, or some sort of kiosk like at Fairs to put inside or have outside.
He needs to have people playing the game. Find it fun, challenging, and competitive, but also needs to PROTECT IT. Some of it can be Trademarked, or Copyrighted, other more advanced notions need mechanical devices, which could be Patent protected, albeit, all this adds TIME to the plan.
He has two versions, one more like a course, think golf or frisbee golf or minature golf, and inside, I think he would need walls or nets to keep the "ball" in it's own fairway... OR, instead of a course, it can be done in lanes or alleys, or set up in rows.
I told Barry, half of his money should be put back for promotion. He squealed at that idea. But, it is just my advice.
TEST the concept, get proof there is a demand. PROTECT it best you can, be first to market with a PLAN TO SCALE IT UP RAPIDLY.
He is thinking franchise, another TIME strategy. I think POP UP tournaments, which he controls, and maybe offers games to players, with a MASTERS tournament set up once a year to hold the championship.
It isn't often I have to put my mind on ideas where people have 5 million bux burning a hole in their pocket, and with something, I am unfamiliar with.
Although, interesting enough, just recently I had a convo about CORN HOLE, (yea go ahead, make all the jokes you want), which has become a pretty popular game here in the middle. Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Mich. seem to be the centers of the corn hole world.
Interesting to give thought to bigger ideas, now and then.
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