Most DRM solutions diminish the value of the product by either directly restricting a customer’s use or by creating uncertainty. Our goal is to create greater service value than pirates, and this has been successful enough for us that piracy is basically a non-issue for our company. For example, prior to entering the Russian market, we were told that Russia was a waste of time because everyone would pirate our products. Russia is now about to become our largest market in Europe.
Our success comes from making sure that both customers and partners feel like they get a lot of value from those services. They can trust us not to take advantage of the relationship that we have with them.
We usually think of ourselves as customer centric rather than production centric. Most of our decisions are based on the rapidly evolving opportunities to better serve our customers, and not on optimizing to be a better game company or digital distributor. The latter focus would be more of a straitjacket than conceptual aid. Gabe Newell, co-founder and managing director of Valve (via ckoitz3)
The Fans Are All Right
For any bookmarking site, the fan subculture is valuable because it makes such heavy and creative use of tagging, and because they are great collaborators. I can’t think of a better way to stress-test a site then to get people filling it with Inception fanfic. You will get thoughtful, carefully-formatted bug reports; and if you actually fix something someone might knit you a sweater. And please witness the 50 page spec, complete with code samples, table of contents, summary, tutorial, and flawless formatting, the community produced in about two days after I asked them in a single tweet what features they would want to see in Pinboard*. These people do not waste time.
Usually when a website starts commenting on fandom, I cringe. (We want to use your services, but we don’t actually want you to acknowledge us!) But so far Pinboard has been cool with us. I just hope we don’t break them.
I’ve been very impressed with Pinboard so far - mostly because its programming allows us to run our newsletter from it, since Delicious broke everything that made us run. But the guy who runs Pinboard has been super cool this past week, and his blog post from today (from which the above quote comes) really felt like, for one of those rare instances, someone outside of fandom does genuinely get what we are. It’s nice. I don’t expect Pinboard will be perfect - there are features it doesn’t have, and they won’t be able to institute fandom’s entire 5-page wish list, and whatever they don’t do will cause someone somewhere to grumble - but I give them points for the way they’ve stepped up since Delicious was reprogrammed. This guy clearly knows who his ideal consumers are and doesn’t hesitate to market to them when the opportunity arises. Good on him.