Digital media & ecommerce

Digital media & ecommerce

Picking NAICS codes for digital technology business plans

One of the cornerstones of the business programs at Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business is entrepreneurship. Students have to perform advances industry and market research to write a business plan. I often have to assist them in determining the “main business” they are engaged in, specifically which industry code(s) to pick as the basis of their project.

Firstly, I like to point out that projects spanning multiple industries, markets, trends or technologies will probably have to pick a few codes, at least 2 or 3 of them. That is the only way to capture the complexity of disrupting an industry – by looking at a few angles.

Secondly, entrepreneurs researching a business plan will have to adapt existing reports and data to their unique idea. Dealing with imprecise information is not easy and simply looking for “perfect” information will usually not yield a comprehensive and authoritative project report. So, cast a slightly wider net and pick the best tidbits, rather than being too discriminating.

Thirdly, I have created a comprehensive 9-step research protocol for business plans, supported with 19 YouTube tutorial walk-through. I recommend that any entrepreneur go through this protocol to research their business idea.

Early in this process, entrepreneurs are asked to pick an industry code from the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) to guide their exploration of many tools. These code have 2 to 6 digits, the more digits you have, the more precise the industry (say from “41” for “Wholesale Trade” to “419110” to “Business-to-business electronic markets”). Usually, having a 5 digit code is best.

A common problem entrepreneurs bring to me has to do with picking the right code for emerging technological fields. Here are the most common NAICS codes in the tech industry and how to navigate between them, drawing from a non-exhaustive list based on my experience:

335 Electrical equipment, appliance and component manufacturing
4541 Electronic shopping and mail-order houses
5112 Software publishers
5182 Data processing, hosting, and related services
5415 Computer systems design and related services
61142 Computer training
Digital media & ecommerce

Example from CARD

This image is taken from the last printed version of CARD: Canadian Advertising Rates and Data. It presents the cost to advertise in various media outlets, this case is Maclean’s a popular news magazine mostly read in Ontario.

20130124-144053.jpg

Notice how you have various costs, from black & white, 1 color and 4 colors. Also, some other options such as free standing inserts (FSI) and classified ads. The readership of Maclean’s is the last thing showed, including total paid, complimentary and newsstand.

Digital media & ecommerce Gamification

Independent video games short bibliography

Here are short bibliographies generated from Library sources.

EBSCO’s Business Source Complete from peer-reviewed journals. The search query was simply for the terms “video games” industry. I picked the most interesting that touched upon “indie games” or labour issues for the past 5 years, 7 articles from about the first 40 hits.

Title: Under the radar: Industry entry by user entrepreneurs.
Authors: Haefliger, Stefan shaefliger@ethz.ch; Jäger, Peter pejaeger@ethz.ch; von Krogh, Georg gvkrogh@ethz.ch
Source: Research Policy; Nov2010, Vol. 39 Issue 9, p1198-1213, 16p

Title: User Communities and Social Software in the Video Game Industry.
Authors: Burger-Helmchen, Thierry, Cohendet, Patrick
Source: Long Range Planning; Oct2011, Vol. 44 Issue 5/6, p317-343, 27p

Title: The orchestrating firm: value creation in the video game industry.
Authors: Mikael Gidhagen; Oscar Persson Ridell; David Sörhammar
Source: Managing Service Quality; Jul2011, Vol. 21 Issue 4, p392-409, 18p

Title: Computer Hobbyists and the Gaming Industry in Finland.
Authors: Saarikoski, Petri1 petri.saarikoski@utu.fi; Suominen, Jaakko1 jaakko.suominen@utu.fi
Source: IEEE Annals of the History of Computing; Jul-Sep2009, Vol. 31 Issue 3, p20-33, 14p

Title: The business of playing games: players as developers and entrepreneurs.
Authors: Chazerand, Patrice1 patrice.chazerand@isfe.eu; Geeroms, Catherine1 catherine.geeroms@isfe.eu
Source: Digital Creativity; Sep2008, Vol. 19 Issue 3, p185-193, 9p, 1 Chart, 3 Graphs

Title: Work and Employment in Creative Industries: The Video Games Industry in Germany, Sweden and Poland.
Authors: Teipen, Christina1
Source: Economic & Industrial Democracy; Aug2008, Vol. 29 Issue

Title: Digital Consumer Networks and Producer–Consumer Collaboration: Innovation and Product Development in the Video Game Industry.
Authors: ARAKJI, REINA Y.1; LANG, KARL R.2,3,4
Source: Journal of Management Information Systems; Fall2007, Vol. 24 Issue 2, p195-219, 25p, 1 Diagram, 1 Chart, 1 Graph

Books from CLUES, Concordia University Catalogue, search on “Cultural Economy”:

>Creativity, innovation and the cultural economy [electronic resource] / edited by Andy C. Pratt and Paul Jeffcutt : Creativity, innovation and the cultural economy [electronic resource] / edited by Andy C. Pratt and Paul Jeffcutt

The cultural economy edited by Helmut K. Anheier, Yudhishthir Raj Isar ; Annie Paul, associate editor ; Stuart Cunningham, guest editor : The cultural economy / edited by Helmut K. Anheier, Yudhishthir Raj Isar ; Annie Paul, associate editor ; Stuart Cunningham, guest editor

The Blackwell cultural economy reader edited by Ash Amin and Nigel Thrift : The Blackwell cultural economy reader / edited by Ash Amin and Nigel Thrift

Digital media & ecommerce

Video games industry in Canada

These are some interesting reports that cover the video games industry in Canada. In addition, you may want to search for articles that cover this topic.

Reports from Governments

Federal

Provincial – Quebec

Municipal – Montréal

Reports from Trade Associations

Entertainment Software Industry Association of Canada

Alliance Nuérique

Reports from Market Research Firms (Concordia Authentification or on-campus access Required)

IBIS World

Euromonitor

  • Sign on to Passport GMID and search (top right corner) for “video games canada” (provides industry reports, consumption statistics and company profiles).

PMB Print Measurement Bureau

  • PMB Product Data provides results of a yearly survey of over 11000 Canadians’s consumption habit.
  • Look under “Home Electronics > Video Game Systems” as well as “Computer, Phones & Internet > Cell Phones/Smartphones/PDA”.

Ipsos news center

Trends or in the news

See this contest from Creative Commons: Announcing the Liberated Pixel Cup: an epic contest for gaming freedom :

And this is where you come in: “Phase one” of the competition will then be building artwork that matches that guide that should then be uploaded to OpenGameArt and dual licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 and GPLv3. This part of the project will run from June 1st through June 30th. “Phase two” of this competition will be building GPLv3 or later games that incorporate artwork from the artwork building phase of the project. People can work in teams or individually, and this portion of the contest will run from July 1st through July 31st. [read more]

See also: OpenGameArt.org for open licensing digital assets.