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Alok's Posts / Startup

Will a Rubik’s Cube be a success today?


For some reason, I remembered the Rubik’s Cube today. 

Looked up some stats to find that upto January 2009, upto 350 million cubes have been sold to date. 

Assuming a price of 7-8 US$ a piece (not adjusted for infation), that a 2-3 BILLION DOLLAR business in gross billing up to date. 

Note that Rubik’s Cube remains the best selling puzzle of all times AND it is considered to be the Best Selling Toy ever in the history of the world. 

The question I ask in the middle of the Internet Renaissance of 2010 is: 

– IS the Rubik’s Cube worthy of the same success TODAY? 

For the first time I AM NOT SURE !!!  


– Competition 

Once a concept like Rubik’s is released in today’s market ( and I assume this will be online/mobile etc also), it will be replicated. 

Now, you can have a patent on a design and process, but there are many ways that people cover just to be on the ‘did not infringe’ side. 

During the 1974 era when the cube was invented, very few options existed to ‘replicate’ ideas and spread them in the world in a matter of hours. 

Having said that, why wasn’t angry birds replicated? I mean everyone is creating ‘throw and smash’ games, but there is ONLY one ANGRY BIRDS 

So, I dunno what competition could do to such a powerful idea. 


Rubik’s Cube and Angry Birds have ONE BIG THING in Common. And that is BRAND. 

God forbid if the Cube was called ‘cube’ or something weird, there was a chance of poor brand recall. 

LEGO is the BRAND. It may have lots of extensions, but again it exists as almost the BIG GORILLA in physical toys and is finally a thriving business again. 


Funnily, the big bad world of the Internet could FUEL a MASSIVE SUCCESS like Rubik’s cube and make it HUGE – given that word of mouth, virals, e-commerce orders and global deliveries etc would be instant. 

I mean it could be bigger that Angry Birds just because its a REAL TOY that makes you think and keep on the shelf and play repeatedly over and can be played by the old and not connected also. 


The ONE BIG failure Rubik would have had is the ‘TRY FIRST, BUY LATER’ model that most toys and games have standardized today. 

Every one has PLAYED Angry Birds – very few have PAID for Angry Birds. Having said that just the 2-3% and the massive consumption have made Angry Birds a MASSIVELY VALUED BRAND. 

Rubik could not have shipped cubes on trial. 



So, what side are you on? What do you think and more importantly – why?! 






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