Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cuusoo User's Guide: Part 1, What is Cuusoo

Welcome to the Unofficial Cuusoo User's Guide.

This is a Part 1 of a short series of articles about Cuusoo for beginners through super users.  It is derived from the presentation I gave at Brick Fiesta earlier this year.

The purpose of the document is to introduce people to the ins and outs of Cuusoo, provide some tricks and hints interacting with the site, and clear up some of the misunderstanding and confusion that people have about what Cuusoo is all about.

Although each entry is mostly complete, this is a living document.  I will refresh and update they various parts as new details come to light (or I notice typos).   

As always, feedback is welcome!

Part 1: What is Cuusoo?
Part 2: Finding Projects
Part 3: Supporting a Project
Part 4: Comments, Reporting, & Feedback
Part 5: Monitoring Activity and the My Page
Part 6: Creating Projects and Verboten Subjects
Part 7: Creating "Successful" Projects


Section Descriptions

Part 1: What is Cuusoo?
Just a general instruction and why you should care about Cuusoo.

Part 2: Finding Projects
This section explains how to navigate Cuusoo and find projects that may interest you.

Part 3: Supporting a Project
Supporting a project is easy, but this section explains what that really means.  It also tells you more ways that you can support your favorite projects indirectly.

Part 4: Comments, Reporting, & Feedback
This discusses the social elements of Cuusoo and how to tell Cuusoo what you think about the site 

Part 5: Monitoring Activity and the My Page
How to follow Cuusoo content and what the different settings mean as well as User profiles.

Part 6: Creating Projects and Verboten SubjectsHere is where we discuss Cuusoo's rules for posting projects as well as covering what Cuusoo will and won't let you post.

Part 7: Creating "Successful" Projects
Currently Unpublished.  In this section I will talk about what is common in the "successful" projects (those with high support, not necessary those at 10k),and ways to help you get there.


What is Cuusoo?

Cuusoo means "Wish" in Japanese

But what is it Really?


Cuusoo is a site where people can suggest new Lego products.

 

How does that work?

A person posts their concept on Cuusoo.  If they can get 10,000 other people to support their idea, then The Lego Group (TLG) will review the viability of the idea.

This review will be based not only on the marketability of the concept but also how well the concept fits with TLG's brand standard and their access to the intellectual property.  If the project passes the review stage then TLG will create a product based on the submitted idea.

 

Why is this SO AWESOME?

 It should be obvious to anyone who visits this site that I am a BIG fan of Cuusoo.  Why is that?  I am amazed TLG even considered doing this!  Really, just think about it...TLG has given us all a platform in which we can tell them, in explicit details, what we want them to make AND they give us a forum in which we can try to get support for that idea to PROVE that it is marketable.

What other company does that?  Seriously, think about it.  What other company says "Do you want us to make something for you?  Put it on our website and if enough people support that idea, we will give it some serious thought." 

 

Why should I care?

Since you are on this site I can make two reasonable assumptions.  First off, you probably really like Lego.  That is an easy one with a very high likelihood (who doesn't like Lego?).  The second assumption, which is a lot less likely though still probable is that you are not German.  I know this because I monitor my website traffic and the majority of my traffic is not from Germany.  Sure, some of you are and I am glad to have you, but most of you are not. 

It might sound like I have gone totally off the rails here but this is important to my point actually.  Many fans of Lego, many U.S. fans that is, don't realize, that the U.S. is NOT the primary market for Lego.  TLG sells more Lego to Germany than to the entire U.S.  In FACT, the U.S. is not even second, it is third!

TLG, like any intelligent business, designs their product to appeal to its primary customer, in this case Germany.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, its how business works.   Does TLG ignore every other country? No, of course not, but your market is given the respect it deserves.

So, Why should you care about Cuusoo?  You should care because Cuusoo is your direct line to TLG.  When you support a Cuusoo project you are telling TLG, "I am a Lego customer and THIS is what I want you to make for me."  How COOL is that?   

Cuusoo Trivia

As of the creation of this document 11 projects have reaches the requisite number of votes to be reviewed.
  • 3 projects: the Shinkai*, the Hayabusa*, and Minecraft have made it to the Product Stage
  • 3 project: Serenity, The Winchester, and The Dark Bucket made it to the review stage and were rejected
  • 4 projects: Western Modular, Eve Online ship, Legend of Zelda, and Back to the Future are currently being reviewed
  • 1 project: Portal 2, is pending review
* Note: The Hayabusa and Shinkai predate the "Global" release of Cuusoo.  They were only required to reach 1000 votes to get reviewed, but at the time, Cuusoo was limited to Japanese users only.