fbpx

MoviePass Wanted to Disrupt Movie Tickets, But Then They Did the 1 Thing a Business Should Never Do

MoviePass Wanted to Disrupt Movie Tickets, But Then They Did the 1 Thing a Business Should Never Do

A report in Business Insider tells the story of how MoviePass got to this point, and while it's certainly an interesting tale of big ideas and broke

No, Apple Isn’t Calling to Alert You to Suspicious Activity. Here’s How to Protect Yourself From This Sophisticated Scam
Microsoft’s New 6-Word Remote Work Policy Is Brilliant. Here’s Why Your Company Should Steal It
A Recent Windows 10 Update Raised Concerns. Here’s What You Can Learn From the Mishap

A report in Business Insider tells the story of how MoviePass got to this point, and while it’s certainly an interesting tale of big ideas and broken promises, one detail stood out. 

According to the report, which cites former employees, at one point MoviePass’ CEO, Mitch Lowe, “ordered that the passwords of a small percentage of power users be changed, preventing them from logging onto the app and ordering tickets.”

Umm, I’m pretty sure you can’t do that. I mean, if you charge people a monthly fee for an app that allows them to buy movie tickets, as long as they keep paying the monthly fee and aren’t violating any of your policies, you can’t just lock them out of your app. 

A math problem.

In MoviePass’ case, the problem wasn’t that users were violating any terms, the problem was just simple math. 

At one point, according to Business Insider, MoviePass had a quarter of a million new subscribers signing up each month. That sounds great except the math was never going to add up, which means that while the $10 a month price point was a total disruption to the traditional model of movie tickets, it was never a long-term business model.

I reached out to MoviePass’ parent company, Helios and Matheson Analytics, but did not immediately receive a response to my request for comment.

Here’s the thing: If you plan to be a disrupter, you should probably have, you know, a plan. 

Being a disrupter only takes you so far, and then you have to figure out how to translate that into a viable business. Clearly, MoviePass never made that leap, instead taking it out on their customers. 

“We all knew we were selling something we couldn’t deliver on,” Business Insider quotes a former employee as saying.

Promises you can’t keep.

This isn’t complicated, but if you find yourself in a situation where you’re making promises that depend on all sorts of external circumstances to perfectly align in order to be true, you have a problem. 

Sometimes, pride keeps us from clearly seeing the right thing to do. But most of the time it simple keeps us from doing the thing we already know is right. It also tempts us to make promises we can’t keep, while telling ourselves we’ll “figure it out later.” 

That’s not a plan. I mean, sometimes it works to figure it out later. If you’re taking a road trip, for example, and have no intended destination, but are simply up for a drive. 

“Where are we headed?”

“I don’t know, let’s just drive and we’ll figure it out later,” is a perfectly adventurous response for a road trip. But a business is not a road trip, and your customers are not carefree passengers just along for a ride.

Fortunately, the “right thing,” isn’t that hard. Be honest and transparent, keep your customers’ best interests in mind, admit when you’ve made a mistake, and when you do– make it right.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

This article is from Inc.com

Do You Enjoy This Article?
Sign up for our newsletter and receive FREE access to download SuccessDigest Digital Weekly Edition for attainment of your financial freedom in the new digital economy!

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 0
DISQUS: 0
%d bloggers like this: