Saturday, March 5, 2011

The HOPE poster, it is not...

Several people who apparently think I should be re-elected have been exercising their rights to free speech in poster form.  Enjoy!  Perhaps I should offer a prize for the best poster?

This is from famous shadowy Secret Master of EVE, Virtuozzo, a man renowned for never using one word where five will do just fine. The reference to "Team Awesome" is perhaps a bit rude, Virt...

Don's contribution will perhaps appeal to the more algorithmically-inclined voter...


  1. Heh. I must object to the part of "famous shadowy Secret Master of EVE", I'm a mere casual and mostly harmless capsuleer, but glad to see the poster is enjoyed =)

    I agree the term "team awesome" is rude, it is however not mine. I'm not entirely sure who coined the expression, but its origins are clear that of, the (retirement) home of those who grow with EVE (up but also sometimes bitter).

    To clarify for those who wonder what it stands for, it is quite simple. Like every company that does business, CCP is not simply "CCP", but an amalgam of people (human beings) with different origins and perspectives. Different views, wishes and wants, so to speak. Since the dawn of virtual mankind the people of CCP have given life to this game that is so much more than a game, and have together with their customers (it is after all based on - among others - the principles of sandbox and player driven events & trends) built an emerging dynamic.

    Yet at the same time, this group of people has grown, widened their own views and in many cases moved on as well as beyond the origins and original perspectives. Just like every company CCP has a "side" (so to speak) which is entirely focused on doing the new and shiny.

    Completely understandable, obviously. There are however elements in that which over time have contributed and even caused issues within and with the dynamic. Combined with the nearly decade long same message being repeated (and thus creating an overexposure compromising the message as well as its intent) which has served as both sales pitch and validation of decisions (and as made visible both by this side of CCP themselves as well as having become visible through interaction with the CSM concept) without much reasoning other than "because it is awesome".

    Don't misunderstand me, the reasoning is fine. Except when you're dealing with an immersive product marketed as a service model. EVE is not a can of soup, so to speak. Equally, it is not fine when the livelihoods of more than a small startup directly depend on it.

    Over the last 4 years (roughly) there has been an increasing amount of divide between the "awesome" presented, and the effective deliverables provided by CCP. While clear for these years to customers, this "awesome" syndrome was not recognised by CCP and thus it continued as a company to operate on what could effectively be described as "release regardless of whether finished or not, and do not look back".

    To be clear, in last years october events CCP was right to say that the data does not support that polished content sells better than new content / features. That is correct. But first of all that requires a different operational doctrine than the mere use of "awesome" as both validation and marketing presentation, second it is but half of the full picture. As a service model, if EVE is to continue to grow than retention is another big element for two very simple elements of focus. You want to grow your core long term user groups, and you want to keep all those who you sell to for longer and for more often.

    The term "team awesome" is used commonly to refer to this side of CCP which is segregated from the actual dynamic which CCP as a whole created (and continues to create). It has less to do with people or positions than with message management and the confusion of work with person. It is the side of CCP which shows up in interviews with statements along the lines of "we just want to do new awesome stuff, but well it sucks we have customers and they whine so you have to give them a rocket". Which is equally if not more rude than the term of "team awesome" itself.

  2. Continued.

    While we have seen CCP wake up, and embrace new challenges, largely because of the efforts of CSM 5 to establish and argue and translate the experiences as well as perspectives of customers to CCP (and doing so constructively and with direct focus) we have also seen that this side of CCP known as "team awesome" still persists.

    The December summit showed the risks of that side for the CSM concept, but also for customers, in the unfortunate events where the CSM was put under NDA without more visible validation or reasoning than "they do not agree with what is shown of Incarna nor subscribe to the reasoning that it is awesome because it is awesome" - this while (regardless of planning or screwup) CCP did take everything present of Incarna to the media.

    I don't agree necessarily with the validity of the phrase "team awesome", not because it is a side which has provided its customers with more or less the opposite of awesome for the scope of retention (of both core and casual customers). But because at the end of the day CCP can be truly awesome. They are one of the few in this industry who not only have a stable IP, but who are the big fish in their own lake and are not crippled by the presence of a publisher (yes, there is VC, but that is a long term challenge, unlike the challenges of having publishers).

    EVE is more than a game. The joke is often that EVE is a job, and in many ways it is. But that is ok, because EVE is a life. As psychologically unsettling as it is when we look at ourselves sometimes in that dynamic (:P) this is accurate, CCP created life. And together with them we all are a part of that. When we or CCP become segregated from this, well we have seen how that compromises that virtual life over time.

    This term "team awesome" is an amalgam of negative elements and events that arose from CCP over the years in both actions, inactions, tendencies and traps. It is understandable, but it is a shame. I for one applaud the efforts of CSM 5 in these regards, as with the advent of Arnar / Zulu as master of EVE it is visible that there is a clear potential for both customers and CCP to shun away from these traps of negativity. To truly and once again energise and grow the dynamic, properly, one step at a time.
    With both the eyes on the road, and on the horizon.

    It's a damn good pattern to keep in mind for the importance of making the best choices in voting for CSM 6 candidates.

  3. Well, you can claim you're not a "famous shadowy Secret Master of EVE," Virtuozzo, but I think you've just proved you're "a man renowned for never using one word where five will do just fine."


  4. Yes, well sometimes a wall of text is unavoidable :P

  5. I, for one, completely agree...
    (see, sometimes five words work perfectly)

  6. At least you're ON posters, so you shouldn't complain TOO much. ;-)

  7. Unless, of course, the poster includes the words "WANTED: Dead or Alive"

  8. ::chuckles:: Given the events of the weekend, I suspect you're going to be on that sort of poster too before long. ;-)