05 May 2009

Communication technique: never fight people if you want them to do something to you

I am reading this famous book How to Win Friends & Influence People (which is a somewhat terrible title, let's face it). I am still on the first 3-4 chapters, but what I can say is that it really makes a lot of sense, it's a very light reading and is very useful. Each chapter talks about one principle to be great in the art of influencing people and so on. The book refers itself as the bible of good human relationship and I think I kind of agree.

One of the chapters talks about the principle of never criticizing (or something like that). Which is to never fight anyone about anything, because it won't change the person opinion about it. When you fight, people fight back and justify themselves, even if you get them to understand if they are wrong, you won't get anything from them. We are all surrounded by lots of proofs:

- no dictator ever changed his mind when people were fighting his regime, instead, he fought back harder
- People never gave any single coin to a thief, but lots of people donate much more money to charity or give away money to beggers
- I couldn't change the mind of the local committee presidents on the financial situation by fighting their lack of responsibility

Fighting just doesn't work. But how not fighting will help them?

This week I came across a very interesting example of when people do not fight, how they win the fight anyway:

We all know how piracy is a problem for the entertainment industry and they keep fighting (with no success) with their lawyers, copy protections and so on. So there's this little game company that produced an independent game that was just released called Zeno Clash. Of course in a couple of days it was already available for illegal download at any torrent site. What the producers did? They did not fight, instead, they posted this kind of comment on the illegal file:

"I am one of the developers of Zeno Clash. I would appreciate you read this if you are about to download this file.

Zeno Clash is an independently funded game by a very small and sacrificed group of people. The only way in which we can continue making games like this (or a sequel) is to have good sales.

I am aware that at this moment there is still no demo of the game, but we are working on one which will be available soon.

We cannot do anything to stop piracy of the game (and honestly don't intend to do so) but if you are downloading because you wish to try before you buy, I would ask that you purchase the game (and support the independent game development scene) if you enjoy it. We plan on updating Zeno Clash with DLC and continuing support for the game long after it's release.

Thanks for taking the time to read this... hopefully it will make a difference.

Carlos Bordeu ACE Team"

The answer from the people downloading the game? You can see some here:

"Wow, okay Carlos, I'll buy it off of steam. Thanks for being straight up."

"Hi Carlos Your forthrightness is appreciated, and I can 100% guarantee you I have no intention of playing through this game without PAYING for it. I can only hope everyone else on the torrent will do the same!"

"Will buy If I like. If I dont like it I won't play through it! Most likely buying before I even download it XD"

"Wow this game is amazing, and very cheap, I've bought it and dont regret it. Guys buy this if you like it after trying it because even though the easier way might be downloading, think about the people that invested time and effort in making this great release for us and buy their game, so that they may keep on doing so... otherwise we'll never get anotehr great game like this one from these developers again. Once again, brilliant game well worth the money. (I mean come on, if you have the money to buy a computer that can run this, an internet connection that can download this, and can pay the electricity bill even after u left your PC on long enough to download this: I doubt $20 will be much to ask for will it???)"

"Hi, I bought this game after playing it for an hour(I always need a demo of some sort before I purchase), and I don't regret it at all, I look forward to your future games.

The graphics are simply magnificent."

"good to see you actually appealing to the people instead of putting drm on it. i dont play pc games any more but i do play console games and always d/l the game first if it doesnt have a demo. if i like it i'll buy it. most games that i d/l are crap so they dont get used for more than an hour."

"I was looking for a demo and couldn't find one, but after looking on steam the game is only $20 USD, which is a steal I spent more on beer last night, even if I only get a few hours of game play out of it, it's still worth the money."

"I too was looking for a demo before buying but I realized it's only 20$ on steam or direct2drive so I just bought it. It's cheap and have good reviews, so why not? Can't wait to try it."

Not fighting wins!

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