Are you ready for the dark side of success?

28 replies
Dong Nguyan was making $50,000 a DAY when Flappy Birds was at it's peak and he just gave it all up because he couldn't deal with the success.

Most people forget that with money, fame, and prestige; success often comes with critics, detractors, trolls, leeches, and strangers who want nothing more than to see you fall on your face.

The Life And Sudden Death Of 'Flappy Bird': How A Guy Making $50,000 Per Day Grew To 'Hate' His Own Game

Have you guys ever thought about the dark side of success and what you can do to stop it from affecting you?
#dark #ready #side #success
  • Profile picture of the author art72
    No. But I have thought about the dark side of poverty, and to piss away a $50,000 a day gig, is pure stupidity. Sorry, just my 2 cents... and I hated that game, only got to like 8 passes, lol.

    My daughter's high score is like 31, "no bronze medal for yu!" - lol. *She's playing it now.

    Interesting story, I remember a HBO special that interviewed the wealthiest heirs to major players in America's wealthiest families, and the one that amazed me most was an heir who had taken a $50,000 per year gig due to the inability to conceive he deserved to have as much money as he did, and claimed it didn't feel right, despite having 100's of thousands a month added to his trust funds.

    All sarcasms aside, the grass always appears greener on the other side of the fence. Even still, understanding or undergoing poverty, homelessness, or experiencing the disconnect of having zero money, is something I have undergone in the past after my business 6-fig per year gig folded (Economic downturns), and from that experience I can honestly say; I'll take the negatives of having money over poverty... any day!

    Heck, he could have changed his perceptions an became one hell of a philanthropist, if nothing less, but to each his/her own I guess.
    Atop a tree with Buddha ain't a bad place to take rest!
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    • Yes, I have. And I believe I would allow moderation to be the guide. I would know when I had had enough but I believe I would have acted in a different way to continue to monetize the game even if it went into someone else's hands.

      No. I think the creator of Flappy Birds was actually after the publicity because that is what he collected big time. I bet he will monetize his popularity one way or another soon. That is how creative minds do this stuff.

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  • Profile picture of the author Jager
    It's like anything in life. You deal with it. There's a shitty side to a lot of good things(and yes, making 50k/day applies as a good thing imo), but you deal with it. Just trying to remove the entire thing categorically is throwing out the baby with the bath water.

    I have to return some videotapes.

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  • Profile picture of the author Trey Morgan
    That guy is hilarious. So many people would've loved to create a successful app like flappy bird and then you have the guy that actually makes flappy bird who decides to take it down because he can't handle the criticism.

    For $50,000 a day you can criticize me all you want.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jolly Roger
      Originally Posted by tvon View Post

      For $50,000 a day you can criticize me all you want.
      Same here.

      I'd even hire a claim service guy and pay him $50,000 a month to deal with the unhappy crowd. Or just create another useless app to keep them busy:

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  • Profile picture of the author joesfortune
    I beg to make a comment. There is no dark side to success unless you have successfully struck up a deal to supply cocaine on the streets of your town and get away with it. But a lot of people do find it difficult to handle success. In fact some people don't succeed because they are afraid of it.

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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by joesfortune View Post

      I beg to make a comment. There is no dark side to success unless you have successfully struck up a deal to supply cocaine on the streets of your town and get away with it. But a lot of people do find it difficult to handle success. In fact some people don't succeed because they are afraid of it.
      Yup. There isn't a "Dark side to success" there are simply people that aren't prepared for the change. New responsibilities, people thinking of you in a way that you aren't used to. Maybe losing friends, who weren't dragged along for the ride. It's just too much for some people.
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  • Profile picture of the author tobyjensen
    It seemed the success of Flappy Birds brought its creator much more criticism than they wanted. Although we don’t know for sure all the aspects as to why Dong Nguyan shut down Flappy Birds there may be some hints in his tweets and other communication.

    Some people had told him that his game had ruined their life because they were playing it all the time. Only what is interesting is the critical nature of the gamer’s perspective is often portrayed as negative when in reality it is a compliment. The gamers “complaining” could just as easily been a compliment as to how often they were playing the game. Gamers often say negative sounding things which are totally meant as a compliment.

    Money only amplifies what is already there. He said he only wanted to do indie type games. The success of Flappy Birds destroyed that. He seemed sincerely depressed over Flappy Birds huge success. It truly didn’t seem like he wanted his games to be so popular. Just an indie type of approach was all he was after. I would be really surprised if he comes back around again to do a big time game. Many gaming companies have said they failed in getting him to return their calls.

    More to the point on this is the rest of the dark side of success. Carl Jung was instrumental in bringing this out. He did much work in dealing with the dark side of the soul. And I really enjoyed the book The Dark Side of the Light Chasers by Debbie Ford. This is dangerous territory. If you handle it wrong . . . Well, Debbie Ford just passed away from a decade long bout with cancer. Did it come from her work with the dark side of the soul?

    People don’t have success because they are afraid of it. Money amplifies what is already there. If you are already afraid more money will make that worse. If you have it together, can handle criticism, and enjoy life already then money will amplify that. Otherwise much more money brings about a whole new level of your problems to handle.

    We often don’t see or talk about the negative sides of success in life. Those who do and who have been highly successful are labeled as whiners and hated by many. We don’t like to hear movie stars and huge rock bands complaining about being bombarded by paparazzi, crazed fans, or working long hard hours. When they do, which is not often, they are crucified in the media and on the internet.

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  • Profile picture of the author justhumza
    Hmm maybe he just wasn't ready for that kind of success...

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  • Profile picture of the author shadeofinfo
    It all depend on the person really and how they're able to deal ... or not to deal ... with the sudden change in lifestyles. Sure 50K a day would be something that I would welcome and I'm sure that he did as well, but possibly didn't know how to deal with the immense success of it.

    Still, I wouldn't have left it all on the table and walked away from it. He stumbled onto a cash cow ... If I did that, no chance I'm walking away. I'll find some way to deal with it.
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  • Profile picture of the author JagSEO
    Maybe his success is affecting his family or his loved ones because of the money and the attention his getting.
    Hooked To Success -Personal development For People Who Wants Success.
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  • Profile picture of the author talfighel
    There is also the dark side of being poor.

    For $50,000 per day, I wouldn't care what anyone thinks.

    I would take 10% of it and give it to charity and then let's see what the critics say about that?

    That would probably shut them up for good.
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  • Profile picture of the author JakeRhodes
    It's important to remember that just because he took Flappy Birds down, people are still able to play it if they already had it and there are places where you can still download it. As far as I'm aware the ads are still on the game so he could very well be making $50,000 a day still or even more because this move has gained the game a ton of publicity.

    Also I believe the creator is from Vietnam. He will be set to live whatever lifestyle he wants to lead over there. If the attention was making him unhappy why not pull the plug and get out with your sanity intact and a nice chunk of change?
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  • Profile picture of the author BacklinksPlus
    Geez how sensitive he was. Let some Russian programmer would have created that, you would have been lucky to even get a tweet or response. Poor guy sure stumbled into success because he sure didn't have a cajones for it.
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  • Profile picture of the author C G Tsang
    Some people just can't handle fame.

    As long as his happy with the decision he took. I'm ok with that.

    Let's wait for his next game


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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    I have faced more criticism, resistance, self-doubts, anxiety, worry, resentment, and heartache at times.....and I have traveled the world for 3 years straight, and am as happy as I have ever been Part of the deal, this thing we call growth.

    I have been rich and I have been broke, and rich is better lol....I once had 4 cents. Those were the freakin' darkest days of my life. Now, I have seen the balance, ie dark side, of living in Bali for months, or Thailand, or Costa Rica...and it ain't that bad.

    Not as famous as the dude you noted above - in this moment - but the path becomes sweeter when you are more free, when you do not have creditors breathing down your neck, and when you are not worrying about where you will live next month...and I went through each terror.

    Of course the reason why I struggled to become successful is that I feared criticism, and other dark side aspects, but reaching where I am, now, it is a cake walk once you take ego out of the equation, stop taking things personally, and make your being happy the chief goal, along with making God or The Universe A1 in your life.

    Not judging the FB dude because he was obviously unhappy and not aligned for this way of living...he made the right choice. But as a dude who has seen some of the balance aspect of living a pretty dang cool dream life, it is a piece of cake, because I know the REAL problems I had 5 years ago pale in comparison to some angry, jealous person offering their angry, jealous, biased opinion of me.

    Go for your dreams. Make friends with high energy, loyal, powerful folks, surround yourself with positive imagery and the dark side will be a mere speck on your success radar.

    I am living in a beach front home on Fiji from July to November. If I have to be a bit busier, and field some criticism to do it, I take that over losing 30 pounds because I eat one small meal a day and having 4 pennies in my pocket, as was the case 4 years ago!

    Thanks for the thought-provoking share!!!

    Ryan Biddulph
    Ryan Biddulph helps you to be a successful blogger with his courses, manuals and blog at Blogging From Paradise
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    • Profile picture of the author Gregster
      Originally Posted by ryanbiddulph View Post

      ..... it is a cake walk once you take ego out of the equation, stop taking things personally, and make your being happy the chief goal

      Go for your dreams. Make friends with high energy, loyal, powerful folks, surround yourself with positive imagery and the dark side will be a mere speck on your success radar.

      Ryan Biddulph

      Well said Ryan. You summed it up well.

      As for the Flappy Birds creator: we don't know just what he felt most aggrieved by.

      In any case he made the decision he felt was necessary. Whatever the outcome. He may well be extremely happy right now.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        This fellow could have created the game - collected the money - and got on with his life. He didn't have to make 1000 tweets or talk about his game everywhere. It was his choice and taking it down is his choice, too.

        I doubt anyone's life will be the worse for not being able to play flappy-bird.
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    • Profile picture of the author aloeveraa
      Your identity should be internally based instead of externally based. He wasnt ready to cope with the overwhelming success, fame and fortune that he got.

      Im sure 99% of us wont mind being in his his scenario abd we'd think he's crazy for doing so but he's just not mentally prepared for this.

      To each his own.
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    • Profile picture of the author David Braybrooke
      Originally Posted by idesignbanner View Post

      Dont focus on the darker side.Just Keep shining
      I tend to agree with this. Or, be clearly aware of your own limitations and capabilities and structure your business goals around these. If you find it hard to deal with public criticism and product complaints then consider paying others to handle the PR side of your business.

      Dealing with other peoples' jealousies that arise from your success needn't be too challenging I believe. If you are attracting the negative flak of many then you just might be on to something really good! Revel in the moment.
      "The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage." - Mark Russell
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      • Profile picture of the author eric669
        'Dong Nguyan was making $50,000 a DAY when Flappy Birds was at it's peak and he just gave it all up because he couldn't deal with the success.'

        He clearly wasn't ready

        Give me $50,000 a day and I'd learn to be
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  • Profile picture of the author Young Financier
    The bright side of success far outweighs the potential dark side. People discuss the constant harassment and attention as if that stuff can't be avoided. It's different if you're a celebrity but if you're a person who doesn't have to be in the limelight, I'm sure that remaining low key is pretty simple.
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  • Profile picture of the author EPoltrack77
    Everything has opposites. Its what we do with it that counts....
    Working to achieve higher results...
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    I have a few thoughts on this that I think most miss.
    1. Flappy Birds is still out there.
    2. Flappy Birds is still as far as I know showing ads.
    3. Flappy Birds was a free app.
    I don't have flappy birds on my phone nor did I want to play so I can't personally confirm #2 but based on other apps that should be the case. So he in no way shut down his income stream. He may have "slowed" it - I don't think he did though.

    So if the guy is still making good money. The $50k a day number seems high but maybe someone in the app space can confirm if they think that kind of ad revenue is possible. Either way it is still pulling in money.

    Also remember the following
    1. He gave a warning that it would be removed.
    2. There were rumors that he got to the top due to bot downloads.
    Since he gave time loads of people downloaded it in those last few days. Everyone of those people added a real player to the game. Not I have no idea what the churn ratio is on the game but I am sure months from now it will still be producing income.

    So that leads to my theory.
    1. He used bot downloads to get to the top
    2. People download top apps.
    3. Game was decent so people start playing
    4. Guy realizes if he gets enough real players he could make a lot of money
    5. not everyone checks top apps in fact many never get an app unless they search for it
    6. He creates the stories of addicts and such to get it to peak curiousity.
    7. Right the viral on that peaks he announcing he will remove it in a few days.
    8. People on the fence or who would not have normally download it download it but not all play
    9. A few well places "auctions" for phones with it on there show that flappy birds is valuable.
    10. nearly everyone who downloaded it starts playing.
    11. The clones start flooding the market and make it appear that there is demand for the game so those with the game want to keep playing the original and start sharing how they are doing.
    12. This drive even more of the people who downloaded it for "later" to play it
    Rinse and will he repeat?

    Trust me if I am correct this guy was a smart marketer who understood how to use scarcity and exclusivity to increase the "value" in the app.

    Also since people feel like it was so hard on him and he gave up the income I am sure he gets a lot of people clicking ads to try and "help him" who normally would not click ads.

    He made bank and IMO most everyone bought into this hook, line, and sinker.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dain Supero
    Success has no dark side.

    You do.

    Success is fire.

    You control it. Use it to build or use it to destroy.

    Visit for proven advice and techniques to elevate your mind, body, and self-image.

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