OMG! Ponies!


Each night before I go to bed, I check in on Hacker News to get a brain dump of  the latest Internet geekery.  The last story I read before drifting off was a fun post by John Skeet titled “OMG Ponies!!! (Aka Humanity: Epic Fail)”.  And when I woke up this morning, I was pleasantly surprised to find a fully-formed startup idea in my head.

I’ve been really good lately about having concrete ideas based on solid business rationale.  So was it about a new idea in the financial services space, or a killer take on the mortgage sector?

Nope.  Unfortunately, it was this:  “OMG!  Ponies!”

Thanks, Jon.

Today’s idea is a social game called “OMG! Ponies!”.  The premise is as follows: A new Facebook poll indicated that ponies had dropped from first all the way down to eighth on the “World’s Cutest Stuff” list.  Understandably, the world pony population was pissed, and is now exacting revenge by seeking to eradicate each of the top seven cute items on the list.

Your job, as commander of an elite group of pony assassins, is to prep your squadron for an epic cute-on-cute battle for world domination.  Train your pony in mixed martial arts to take on the Fluffy Bunny in the Octagon.  Earn enough money to buy a blowtorch for your showdown against the Teddy Bear.  Gather your friends and level up your squad for the final fight: a wicked chainsaw melee against the Magical Crying Unicorn.

The game play would be  similar to other social games on Facebook, such as Farmville.  Players work to level up their character to unlock new challenges, and can earn (or buy) in-game currencies to purchase new weapons.  Users can team up with their friends to build bigger squads.  It’s sort of like Mafia Wars, except replace “violent gang banger” with “adorably precious pony”.

Despite the initial WTF element of this idea, I do actually think there is some merit here.  The game would have a mixture of humor and violence, which are two good elements of a successful viral social game.  Plus, the uniqueness of the idea would be enough to get an initial kick start of buzz.  Finally, now that Facebook is flooded with overly cheery, cute cartoony apps, this could capitalize on the counter-culture app backlash that is almost certain to materialize.

I’d definitely love to hear your comments on this one.  And if you’re not already, you should follow me on Twitter at @astartupaday.


4 responses to “OMG! Ponies!

  1. This is why we can’t have nice things :'(.

  2. I love you!

  3. ROFL

    Ok so my Ma is hopelessly addicted to farmville. Its hugely ironic that the woman who nagged me about being online 24/7 is now growing make believe beans 24/7.

    That being said…… if your goal was to make a game I would play, you would fail. But if your goal is to make $ I find it difficult to think the crowd I see frequent farmville etc wouldn’t use this.

  4. I like it! You are right, when people realize that farmville is a thing of the past they are going to want some pay back. And there will either be OMG Ponies! waiting for them or they may take to the streets. The last thing I want to see is a bunch of angry virtual farmers loose in the streets of Miami. There is enough hostility on our roads already thank you very much.

    I was toying around with another facebook app for painttwits. But with mine you need to replace “World’s Cutest Stuff” with “Worlds Greatest Art”. Also replace ponies and teddies with great art and not such great art by current artists. Mine isn’t a war game though. Just put the two images next to each other in little pop up voting boxes and give people a choice. A”Which image is more appealing to you?” kind of thing.

    That way the software could start to filter the “best” art and painttwits could invite those artists to be part of the bata group. Its not science, its Painttwits!

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