The speculation around Sphero's BB-8

Alain-Patrick Umucyo By Alain-Patrick Umucyo, 23rd Nov 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Business>Analysis

The days leading to the release of 'Star Wars : Episode VII The Force Awakens' are moments for preparing an effective speculation strategy around Sphero's BB-8. Even though the start-up company has anticipated the ordinary purchasing surplus of the holidays, there is still room for an overwhelming demand. The speculator has to develop the right tools to take advantage of the extra-ordinary.

1 The Sphero's part

“To prepare for the holidays, the company expanded staff, including web, operations, support and marketing teams, by about 30% this year, shrank its production cycle to 10 months from 18 months, and fortified its manufacturing pipeline so it could step up production when it needed to.”(1)

These measures of anticipation may contribute to an improvement in meeting the demand but they will not be enough to satisfy everyone. On 16 October 2015, in addition to the minimum of 2 weeks delivery time via Sphero's website, the French version of Amazon notified about the BB-8 : “there are only 4 items left”(2). A supplementary notification indicated that “other items are on their way” without any precision as to when they will be available.

"The marketing that's happening through evangelism has been really great"(3), noted Rob Maigret. The effect of that evangelism will be the key in producing a demand for Sphero's BB-8 that the “five-year-old startup”(4) will not be able to meet.

2 The speculator's take

Whichever strategy is adopted by speculators, three actions have to be considered. The first one is the monitoring of the prices of Sphero's BB-8 for the retail and the reselling.(5) This will enable the constitution of a chart which will be a valuable tool for the technical analysts.

The second action is the monitoring of the news related to the selling of BB-8. A good way to operate may be by creating a dedicated folder in Feedly containing feeds from Twitter, Instagram and other relevant sources. This second action is a helpful way to spot potentially interesting targets. For example, French tech bloggers have expressed their interest in the Star Wars universe and, among others, the BB-8.(6) Though not surprising, this represents a noteworthy indication as to which type of consumers would be more incline to buy Sphero's BB-8.

The last action to consider for managing an efficient speculative strategy around Sphero's BB-8 is the sustainment of the buzz. Not only should the speculator monitor what is being said about the robot but contributing to the conversation, with a clear goal in mind, will favour the speculation strategy. Such contribution may be developed on social media. It is important however to maintain a real world presence, spreading the word in the entourage is paramount.

The present article was first published in the newsletter 'La Nouvelle Union'


Chart :
BB-8 Price Index (online). Google Docs. <> accessed 28 October 2015

(1)RODRIGUEZ Ashley. How the Startup Behind the Hottest New 'Star Wars' Toy Preps for the Holidays (online). 11 September 2015. Ad Age. <> accessed 07 October 2015

(2)AMAZON. Sphero Drone BB-8 Star Wars (online). 16 October 2015. Pinterest. <> accessed 16 October 2015

(3)RODRIGUEZ Ashley. How the Startup Behind the Hottest New 'Star Wars' Toy Preps for the Holidays (online). 11 September 2015. Ad Age. <> accessed 07 October 2015


(5)BB-8 Price Index (online). Google Docs. <> accessed 28 October 2015

(6)@LEGOLAS & @SAROKOR. Twitter conversation of 01 October 2015 (online). 01 October 2015. Twitter. <> accessed 04 October 2015

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