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$.99 Killed the Zero-Sum Game: Why “Competitors” Should be Colleagues

Andy Russell / 05.14.2012 /  1

KidTesting $.99 Killed the Zero Sum Game: Why “Competitors” Should be Colleagues

When I worked in the Toy Industry, we spent a lot of time figuring out ways to convince Mom (yes, Mom) to purchase our product. We figured we had about 20 seconds in-aisle to sway her to buy Playskool over Fisher-Price, Spiderman over Batman. At $10, $20, and $30 dollars per toy, Mom was buying one or the other – a classic Zero-Sum game. The only way to get more pie for yourself was to steal it from your competitor.

Working through the business side of Launchpad Toys, we’re often asked who our biggest competitors are… which gives us pause. I can rattle off any number of apps or developers in our space, but we don’t actually think of them as competitors. At $.99 on a $500 platform, Moms AND DADS (praise be!) aren’t choosing one app over another – they’re buying EVERYTHING they can get their hands on. Our biggest hurdle as developers isn’t overcoming our competitors, it’s rising above the noise of the App Store and convincing parents to hand over their phones and tablets to their kids!

We stand at a critical juncture in Children’s Media: Competition or Collaboration. As developers, we can either continue to operate as individuals competing over the same small sliver of pie or we can work together to champion best practices, promote one another’s work, and build the ultimate platform for fun, engaging, and empowering children’s media. At Launchpad Toys, we choose Option B – and like many other developers each May we celebrate that choice with a pilgrimage to the Dust or Magic AppCamp in Monterey, CA to work with other developers to realize the incredible potential for mobile platforms to change how kids play, create, share, and learn.

Are you with us? Follow along on Twitter this weekend at #dustormagic or check out the talks at We hope to see you there!


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