Last week, Doug Levin, the CEO of Ayeah Games and a leader in the Boston start-up community, posted an article about the drivers behind the massive disruption that virtual goods are causing in the interactive entertainment and social media worlds.
In Virtual Goods Cause Disruption, Doug cites six factors that are changing the landscape of the consumer Internet. These factors include the emergence of social gaming, the transition of gaming from a niche activity to a mass media service, and the influx of capital from investors hungry to replicate the success of Zynga, Playdom, and Playfish.
In the past, disruptive innovations have generally taken the form of new technology that has a transformational impact on an industry. The classic example is the development of mini steel mills that eliminated economies of scale from steel production and allowed smaller companies, such as Nucor, to compete effectively with incumbent players. Doug’s article highlights the fact that disruptive innovations need not be limited to new technologies—innovations in distribution and business models can be ever bit as powerful.
People value entertainment, and thanks to virtual goods, we’ve finally entered an era where content developers can profitably develop and distribute their creations.