What do Betamax tapes, MiniDiscs, and Memory Sticks have in common? All were hubristic ploys by Sony to corner some market or another by limiting their products to their own proprietary formats. And all were massive failures, as consumers turned away from their 800-lb. gorilla tactics in favor of more open, more versatile standards. The Sony Walkman 2GB MP3 Player we're selling today plays regular old MP3s, but their first digital music players could only play files in Sony's ATRAC format - another brilliant idea that lost them untold millions of dollars. Imagine what a mess it would be for companies in other fields to try to apply the same model to their businesses. And then make a picture illustrating what you imagined. Your challenge:
Show us what happens when a corporation tries to limit its products to only work with that company's own official accessories.
OK, this one's a little hard to grasp at first, so examples are in order. What if GM cars ran only on special GM gasoline? Or if GE microwaves could only cook GE food? Or if a dog breeder's puppies could only gain nourishment from that breeder's brand of dog food? No, it won't be easy to turn that concept into a compelling image, but if you can, brother, you got it made. Or sister, you also got it made.
Post your entry here by 11:59 PM CDT on Sunday, May 13, 2007.
Prizes are $20/$50/$100 for 3rd/2nd/1st. The rules and criteria for
winning: our panel of geniuses can and will make stuff up as it goes
along. Use Photoshop, pen and ink, collage, MSPaint, scrimshaw carving,
tattoos, ice sculpture, whatever, but it’ll only be judged if it’s
visible in our forums as a jpg, gif, or png. As we are fond of saying, try to keep your maximum
width to 450px. If you need a place to host your pictures, try www.imageshack.ws or www.photobucket.com.
We have no connection to either, but they seem free and easy to use.
And if you want us to be sure your entry was indeed your work, post
links to your source images. The more sure we are that you did your own
work, the more likely we are to consider it for a prize.
Past money winners:
If you'd like to nominate any entries from this week's contest, email
your selections (with links to each individual post) to Jason Toon at email@example.com by noon CDT on Monday, May 14.