Louis CK: 5 Questions About the Value You Provide

Louis CK is one of those comedians who “looks familiar”. You’re more likely to know him from Parks and Recreation, than his stand up comedy where he has quietly built a huge fan base. However, while I’ve become a fan of the jokes, it’s the business side of Louis CK that got me hooked.

Like any stand up comic, Louis CK has hosted several comedy specials on networks such as HBO, Showtime and Comedy Central. It was his fourth event that changed everything. He decided to produce his own special “Live at the Beacon Theatre” and then offer it on his website at the price of only $5. Typically, these would be sold in stores  for at least $20.

A lot of his friends warned him that the show would become pirated and shared online for free. He told Jimmy Fallon “People told me everyone’s gonna steal it. So I just wrote a note that said please don’t do that … And they didn’t.”

The result was amazing. In just a matter of days, the sale earned him over a million dollars and that number continues to grow.

Louis figured he had been paid over and above the value he provided. He decided to repay the money he had invested and keep a fair return. He then announced he would donate over $280,000 to various charities, as well as provide over $250,000 to his staff as bonuses.

From a business and marketing perspective, Louis CK has pulled off the nearly impossible.

He’s successfully sold his show, gained a new dedicated fan base, received plenty of exposure and earned the trust and commitment of his staff.

What can we learn from Louis CK?

1. Can you earn more by selling your product/service at a fair price to many, rather than a high price to few?

2. How can you go direct to the consumer and allow them to share in the benefits of doing so?

3. Would a profit sharing business model create a stronger committment, sense of ownership with your employees?

4. Do you trust your customers? Are you spending a lot of effort and money trying to protect yourself just in case? What if you just trusted them?

5. Are you open and honest with your fan base? What if you shared your costs to produce a product? Would it allow your clients to realize that your price is fair?

More and more, consumers are buying products from people they like. People like to buy from good people. If you start there, you might wake up tomorrow with more money that you expected. It worked for what’s-his-name from whatever show that was. You know, the red headed bald guy.

This is where you can buy Louis CK: Live at the Beacon Theatre. It’s only 5 bucks.

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About Brin Werrett

REALTOR® Royal LePage Regina Realty. I believe it should be about you, not me. Our clients are the rockstars. I'm just here to help. Leading the Real Estate Revolution one fan at a time.

3 Responses to “Louis CK: 5 Questions About the Value You Provide”

  1. Wendy Joorisity February 25, 2012 at 7:51 pm # Reply

    Great blog as always Brin. #4, Trust is a wonderful thing. I would love to share a short story with you.
    My Grandfather owed a saw mill, north of what locals would know as Squaw Rapids (renamed E.B. Campbell) which is 50 kms north of Carrot River. Over the years all of the buildings came down with the exception of the one bedroom building that served as his personal “bunk house”. It became his Hunting Shack.
    Not a 5 star hotel but…a clean mattress, wood stove, cupboard of pots and pans, dishes and cutlery, small pantry with plenty of canned goods and a bottle of whiskey. There was always a dry pile of wood with matches and about 3 very warm sleeping bags… the reason I say about 3 is because this “Shack” was never locked.
    He used to tell us Grandkids if someone steals from me “They Must Need It More Than I Do.” The locals always knew where the cabin was, it’s been there for over 60 years.
    My Dad who has since passed as well, told me as an adult some of the stories of that hunting shack. How it was not uncommon for him and his father to get to the hunting shack only to find the wood pile three times as big. Canned goods had been replaced with newer product. A Big Jug of whiskey sitting by the little bottle of whiskey. And sometimes one of the sleeping bags was gone. Usually by the next visit a freshly cleaned or brand new one would appear. Sometimes a note was left, most times not.
    I have often thought about if a hunter had been lost in that vast forest and came upon this opening in the woods. What a God sent that hunting shack must have been to him.
    In business just as in life I believe we should all try to make everything we touch better, and to give more than we take and most of all be a blessing to those around us. Likely because of my Parents and Grandparents teaching I believe people often have a way of living up to what we expected of them.
    I expected you have just begun to impact our industry… looking forward to watching your journey. Keep up the GREAT work!

    • Brin Werrett February 25, 2012 at 8:02 pm # Reply

      Great story Wendy. Not going to believe this, but my great grandfather owned a little sawmill near Carrot River as well. I grew up in Nipawin and Dad worked every day out at EB Campbell. A lot more in common than we thought.

  2. Keith Andrade March 13, 2012 at 10:07 pm # Reply

    Great blog Brin! Great to see you writing man! Also, a solid point!

    Very cool man. Thanks for the great read.

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