Survivor Games

December 13 is the Survivor finale and a chance to highlight the different ideas of the blog.

Sampling. These people are not “representative samples“. Survivor hosts a casting call for people with good stories. Like Bob Iger’s big lesson, entertainment isn’t about reporting so much as stories.

Incentives. Like the many games of Jeopardy, Survivor has layers of games. When there are layers of games it’s difficult to judge actions. Is someone trying to win the game or claim later fame?

Business models. Thanks to MTV in 1981 and then Real World in 1992, one entertainment business model is to create value by editing rather than crafting (unlike Seinfeld). Put regular people with backstories (hence sampling) in interesting situations and things will happen. Edit a month of island living to a few dozen hours and viola.

Customer acquisition costs. Sequels – it’s season 43 for Survivor! – have lower CACs. Consumers don’t need to be educated.

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