Timing is Everything

donkey kong

Timing is everything. Like Mario jumping the barrel at just the right moment in an effort to defeat Donkey Kong and save the Princess, getting attention online is a matter of timing.  For personal branding, moments to jump onto a current trend are rare and fleeting.  Jumping at the right time is a crucial step to launch an individual into the spotlight.

A prime example of this is occurring right now.  Let me start by introducing to you Billy Mitchell, the bad boy of 1980’s arcade games:

Billy is a man who is so dedicated to the 80’s that he still plays in the same arcades and still rocks a sweet mullet.  Billy was the star of the 2007 documentary, The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, where he was the antagonist in the pursuit of the world record score for the Donkey Kong arcade game, which he eventually obtained.  In February this year, however, news came out that he had doctored the recording of the game that he submitted to obtain the world record.

So what?  Why does this story even really matter?  It matters because it just might prove that Billy Mitchell is an absolute marketing and personal branding genius. As mentioned before, it was discovered in February that Billy is a fraud, so he was stripped of his Donkey Kong world record.

Note in the Tweet above from April 13th that Billy is only now addressing the issue.  Like his prowess in prompting Mario to jump barrels, Billy knows that proper timing is critical.  Right now there are two major motion pictures that rely heavily on 1980’s video games: Ready Player One and Rampage. And Rampage is about a giant ape, just like Donkey Kong.

And in case you are uncertain how the movie correlates to the video game, this might help:

Billy understands the importance of timing.  If he had chosen to address the issue in February, the story would probably have barely been a blip on the internet’s radar.  He has chosen instead to wait to come forward and make a statement until Rampage is about to be released and there is a buzz on the internet related to 1980’s video games. He clearly understands the importance of a personal brand and apparently does not mind being painted the bad boy of 1980’s video games.  This is a perfect case study in making oneself relevant via association.  Timing is everything, and when an opportunity arises to attach yourself to a trending story, you can make yourself relevant in the world.  In today’s world, where stories come and go with the blink of an eye, Billy had better make the most of it.


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1 Response to Timing is Everything

  1. sydhavely says:

    Malcolm Gladwell calls this “context” in the three “law of the few” of things going viral, the other two being “stickiness” and salesmen, mavens, and connectors. Mr. Mitchell seems to be a master of the moment. And indeed your post, “timing is everything” makes that point using Billy Mitchell as an example. Well done.

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