I wonder: How do we measure the success of a product, an event, author, or a publisher?
There are a lot of models in our little community. A lot of different events, cultures, conventions, publishing houses, etc. A lot of these seem to have different intentions. Some examples off the top of my head:
- authors and publishers that intentionally and meaningfully publish women and PoC in an attempt to make gaming more diverse.
- An author who uses harassment as a advertising strategy, and generates a reasonable amount of cash before being excused from the community. [ Probably the least said on this one the better, but it is a model.]
- Talented people designing games and living in poverty and near-poverty, reliant upon the continued investment of a community built off DIY principles.
- A DIY camping and gaming event that meets every year, has some ups and downs and generates a lot of community love while relying on all volunteer labor. (BTW: campnerdly.org, reg is open)
- A con company that uses a lot of volunteer and near-volunteer labor, that espouses and lives values of inclusivity
- A con company that has large scale cons for thousands of people while generating boatloads of cash for the investor class.
- A community’s expensive, well-designed, and well-modded forums intended to advance a community spirit and spread a particular cool culture of gaming.
- a gaming table that uses it’s own material and is diverged from all published material over the past decade.
These are not meant to be exhaustive nor inclusive; there are more models and I have intentionally fictionalized these to highlight the differences. These are not meant to refer to specific people and organizations, but to highlight the difference in models. And in particular, these are not meant to cast aspersions at anyone (well, one. You are not him.)
Which of these can be called successful? What are the relevant components to these being successful? Is there a difference between a successful business and a successful community? If so, what is it?
Can an organization consistently be both a successful community and a successful business?