Porn Wars: Part 1
My regular readers will know that I love the use of stories, parables, and analogies to convey the essence of my thought process, and this series will be no exception. While many of you are no doubt tired of all the talk of war that currently occupies the mainstream media – as well as our own message boards – it is the execution of the current conflict with Iraq which will provide a reference point to this intriguing look at the mechanics of my evolving adult business and marketing model.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately. I’ve been reading a lot of articles, visiting a lot of sites, talking to a lot of people, and looking at a lot of statistics. Overall, the impression that I’m getting of our industry is becoming rather grim. The gold rush is long over, the gravy train has run its course, and for many people, the market is drying up. Newbies spend less time trying before giving up, more adult Webmasters seem to be leaving than joining the industry, “generous” link trades are harder to come by, and everyone seems to be working harder for less…
Does this mean that all is doom and gloom on the horizon? No. What it means is that the old ways are now becoming ever less effective, and that new methods, techniques, and approaches must be investigated, adapted, adopted, and improved upon. There is still obscene amounts of money to be made in online adult entertainment: less for some entrepreneurs, more for others – and while the competition is becoming ever fiercer, the resources, knowledge bases, and talent pools grow ever deeper. It is not time for surrender, nor compromise – it is time for war – a war to the death! And your enemy? The competition.
Who’s Side Are You On?
This is not about your politics, agendas, or what your own personal beliefs about the current situation in Iraq are, it is a question of strategy, tactics, the past, the present, the future, and your ability to evolve in the face of changing circumstances. No less than your survival and long-term viability is at stake, and it is time to decide which role you wish to play: that of the Iraqis or The Coalition?
Confused? Here’s where I’m going; on one side of the current conflict, you have Iraq: An old, established regime, set in the ways of its past, and unable to face the evolving challenges of a changed and in many respects, unfamiliar world. Condemned to ignoring the realities of the situation it faces, Saddam’s forces have adopted a siege mentality, drawing an armored moat around Baghdad in an effort to fight off 21st century Crusaders by using the same basic tactics that besieged empires have used to defend themselves against invasion for millennia…
Against these time-honored fortifications comes the onslaught of a power never seen before – a force not only superior in firepower and technology, but in cohesive integration in a manner that takes the actual battle space out of the two-dimensional realm of the past (with its flat map tables and little flags pushed around like some sort of macabre board game), into a four-dimensional realm where assets are deployed from above, below, and around the battle space, all with split-second accuracy and precision.
It is a scene from the gym, if you will, where a well-trained boxer moves fluidly around a punching bag: jabbing, feinting, punching, and evading – unleashing a series of powerful hooks, uppercuts, and crosses, against a cumbersome weight which can do little more than absorb the blows…
Specialization and Exclusivity
What does this have to do with the porn biz? Wait, it gets deeper: No longer is specialization enough to survive in this business. Sure, there will always be holdouts that survive (and even thrive) due to their own particular set of advantages, but for the majority of “serious players” (and especially those venturing into this business), diversity will become an even more important ingredient for success. Consider the air war being fought over Iraq:
When you see those bombs going off in Baghdad, live on CNN, the reporter may tell you later that this or that type of aircraft may have delivered the blow, and while it’s interesting to note that an F-117A Stealth Fighter dropped a 2,000lb precision-guided “Bunker Buster”– that level of detailed information does not tell the whole story. You see, we do not just send in one specialized tool to perform a certain mission, we use what is known as a “package.” While that sexy Stealth Fighter might have delivered the actual blow, the process was enabled by an armada of other aircraft: radar-jamming “Prowlers” launched from Navy “carriers,” Air Force fighter aircraft flying combat air patrols high overhead, ready to intercept any Iraqi aircraft trying to interfere with the strike. Army helicopters lurk on the periphery, ready to rescue downed pilots, while AWACS airborne command and control aircraft choreograph the deadly ballet – and KC130 “tankers” keep everyone full of fuel as they continue their missions.
Groups of specialized tools working in harmony to achieve a common goal. And it doesn’t stop there – Navy surface ships, and submarines patrolling the depths, launch cruise missiles, while ground troops advance, using tanks, armored vehicles, and artillery to destroy their opposition. Special Forces provide target designation for laser-guided bombs – while verifying intelligence gleaned from satellites and other assets far overhead, and in some cases, on the other side of the world…
An integrated, top to bottom approach to making a stagnant and obsolete enemy their bitch, and using the best assets available from participants across the globe – all in a highly coordinated and precisely planned scheme to maximize resources while mitigating potential losses.
Can YOU as an adult Webmaster learn something from this example that will help you to build a stable, successful, and highly competitive business? I did – and in my next installment, I’ll tell you about it… Stay tuned! ~ Stephen