Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Some people have a VERY hard time understanding Tucker's success. People I've talked to attribute it to sex or juvenile humor or simply understanding the male psyche. His "special" ability to channel the machismo element hidden beneath every man. Tucker is who every guy wants to be they say.

Here's my idea: Disruption.

Tucker's success thus far is due to his unrelenting ability to disrupt whatever system he in. As an example: guess how many major publications reviewed Tucker's book? One. The New York Times in a blurb mentioned Tucker's book in combination with two other books they labeled as "Fratire." Granted, the New York Times is the New York Times- BUT THAT'S IT. No major publication in the whole damn country!

Guess how many weeks Tucker's book has been on the bestseller's list? 63 weeks over a three year period and all of 2008.
THIS WEEK HE IS THE NUMBER EIGHTH BEST SELLING NON FICTION BOOK IN THE COUNTRY- three years from publication. How is this possible? Traditional media all but ignored Tucker (the scattered interview here and there). How did he solve this problem?

First, let's backtrack, and look at what has Tucker done proactively to ensure his book's success.

1. Access.

Tucker reads every single one of his emails. I know this. Don't believe me? Email him yourself- I guarantee he'll read it, although I won't guarantee he won't ridicule you. If you want to talk with Tucker about something intelligently chances are
he personally emails you back. By virtue of me being in Shreveport Louisiana right now, I am living proof of this. More importantly and to the thrust of my argument, Tucker has managed to foster the creation of a community of people with him at the focal point- his messageboard. Ask yourself- what is the common thread between these thousands of people, discussing hundreds of topics at a given time? What binds them together? Tucker. In essence an entire sub culture has evolved from the basis of one common interest; that interest being an author who, at his leisure, can and often does lead the discussion. Can you point to one other author who commands such a devoted and more importantly invested fanbase? Talk about "branding." This is branding re-defined, Tucker's brand has become the thoughts and ideas of his fans. This exchange IS his brand.

To wrap up my thoughts on access consider this- Tucker posts most of his content for FREE. Go to Tuckermax.com. Click stories. Read them. Guess what- you've just digested HALF of his bestseller I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell. HALF. Consumers know instantly if they want more Tucker Max. Traditional media can certainly provide them the paperback, but TUCKER provides: the stories, the movie, the blog, the message board and they can become a part of all of it.

They can be come invested in Tucker Max and the living, breathing community of Tucker Max all at once.

2. A tour (more an example than a reason, but worth discussing).

Book tours are mainstream. They happen all the time. How did Tucker mold it into his idea of new media?

From the beginning he did things on his terms. He announced it via his
personal website, kept a personal journal chronicling his adventures with photos and firsthand accounts. He personally invited his fans to come and meet him, buy a book, get an autograph and HANG OUT WITH HIM. (And when the fans were done seeing Tucker in person, they could go and post on the website and continue the discussion.)

If you love someone's content, (i.e. the way I love a Lee Child novel) you are invested to make a singular purchase (I will buy Lee Child's next book). If I attach
value to Tucker's tour ("Tucker had a drink with me" or even "I saw Tucker drink in person"), what are the chances I am more invested in Tucker and his success?

3. The movie blog. This may be the most paradigm shifting revolution that Tucker has incidentally started.

Consider this as also a reason for his film's (hopeful) success. Let's break this down very basically: the movie blog is Tucker's first hand perspective on making his first movie. He has blogged about financing, casting, pre-production, me getting my ass kicked, selecting a director, selecting the principals, etc. etc. I have personally taken over 1200 photos documenting every SINGLE aspect of Tucker's producing life thus far. I have had zero limitations placed on me or the photos I take. In fact, Tucker gave me this initiative: the only way to get fired is to NOT take the photo.

I could go on about the video, but it only serves to prove the same point. Look at the access you get on Tucker's movie blog. Look at the CONTENT. Ever seen a thousand stills devoted to a movie before? No. Ever seen a producer talk about riders on a blog- AT LENGTH?

Better question- do you know what an actor's rider is? If you read Tucker's blog you would. If you were curious why Tucker hired Bob Gosse of ALL THE DIRECTOR'S IN HOLLYWOOD, (this is actually extremely disruptive in and of itself, but that's a whole different post) you could merely click his site and find out. He will tell you exactly why he has made his choices.

He has created a world opened to everyone: people interested in him, people interested in his content and people interested in film or hell, people just interested in good CONTENT.

Show me ONE other movie or author that has done or is doing this right now.

Darko Studios has effectively given Tucker full creative control over this movie. Think about this: the money does NOT have control. Unheard of. Still curious why he didn't go to Fox or Warners?

And one day, if this movie hits like I think it will, this industry is going to have rethink the way things were.

One last thing to consider- according to Alexa's ranking the I Hope They Serve Beer blog is already in the top 100 movie blogs. Let that sink in. In two months, a website dedicated TO ONE SPECIFIC MOVIE, is in the top 100 of all movie blogs in the world... Food for thought.

Cast was announced, I went out to a bar with Tucker, Bob, Nils & fiancee and the "fake Tucker" Matt Czuchry. Here's the shot I felt I framed up best:

Hanging Out


Blogger rob story said...

I wondered who was behind the lens for the movie's flickr page. Keep up the good work; Ive been really impressed with the pictures that have been put up so far.

5:20 AM  

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