OMGPOP just sold to Zynga for $210 millionSeven weeks ago, an obscure social gaming company call OMGPOP quietly introduced introduced an app called Draw Something, a sort of social gaming version of Pictionary. Almost immediately, the game rocketed to the top of the iPhone Apps Store and has been downloaded over 35 million times.

Of course success like this draws plenty of attention and, just last week social gaming colossus Zynga bought OMGPOP for around $210 million. Turns out that overnight success stories can still happen on the Web. Only it turns out that there was nothing overnight about OMGPOP’s success. In fact, their story reads like a case study in Startup 101 and there’s plenty that affiliate marketers can learn from the OMGPOP story.

Be Flexible and Open to Ideas

OMGPOP started out as a joke back in 2006 when the company’s founder thought that a dating site called, “I’minlikewithyou.com,” would be pretty funny. He was more than a little surprised when he noticed people taking his idea seriously. Since he already had the traffic, he shifted gears to social gaming, where those same would-be daters could connect over gaming apps.

The company slowly built an audience and while they weren’t blowing the lid off the web, they did command a healthy one million registered users and their own virtual currency system. Had they stuck with online dating, the story would likely be very different.

What’s important for affiliates to remember is that the road you start out on might not be the one you finish up on. Keep yourself open to new opportunities like  Binary Options and Bingo that might be out of your comfort zone.

Make a Good Idea Better

Draw Something takes two familiar concepts, Pictionary and Words with Friends, and blends them into something new and usable. Innovation has always been the hallmark of successful entrepreneurs and the OMGPOP crew is not exception.

Gaming affiliates might not be able to re-invent the wheel when it comes to online poker, sports betting and table games, but there are plenty of other opportunities for innovation on a gaming site. Don’t be afraid to build on previously successful promotions and marketing campaigns to come up with something new, and even more successful.

Value

Social games don’t take off unless people like them and most people who play Draw Something are in love with the game. That’s because it’s a good deal, free to download with advertisements, and it’s easy to play and share.

Draw Something fans are also impressed with the in-app purchase opportunities like new color packs that make the game even more fun. All this adds up to the big goal every entrepreneur should be shooting for, the value proposition. Happy customers who feel like they’re getting something worthwhile for their money, or time, will happily spread the word about your good product.

Listen to Your Customers

OMGPOP knows that success doesn’t happen in a vacuum. They closely monitor social media to find out what their customers are saying about their products and tweak them based on that feedback.

Affiliates can do the same things by regularly interacting with their players and building sites that are useful to them. Listening to your customers may sound simple, but it’s an idea that’s all too often ignored.

Finally

When you scratch the surface of a dramatic business success story like OMGPOP’s, what you’ll usually find is something not very dramatic. OMGPOP was built on a foundation of some very basic rules for business success that almost any business can follow. You may not get a $210 million suitor, though we hope that you do, but you’ll definitely see increased business over time.

Success hasn’t slowed OMGPOP’s commitment to flexibility. They still closely monitor social media to find out what their customers are saying about their products and tweaking them based on that feedback.


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