My Gamification TEDx speech in Switzerland reach 100K!
A few years ago, I went to Lausanne Switzerland to do a TEDx speech on my framework Octalysis Gamification. It was my first time visiting Europe, and it was a huge blast.
It was a pretty difficult speech to do, since originally this talk was a 5-hour workshop, and I had to shrink it to a 17 minute talk. Not only that, I had to include a bunch of videos and fun things to share to make it dynamic. Of course, a TEDx talk is more like a brochure instead of a manual. The goal of a brochure is to get people to want to learn more. Therefore, a lot of the deeper knowledge, including Level II and Level III Octalysis couldn’t be covered, but I had to make it fun.
Little known fact – I said the first sentence incorrectly, and for the first minute I was simply trying to recover from that. Usually I just intuitively do my talks with my slides, but TEDx asked me to memorize my lines and rehearse with them a few times. I was all ready to go, but then when I was onstage, the lighting was MUCH stronger than I expected. It threw me off and I uttered the sentence wrong. It was supposed to be, “Imagine a world where WORK is obsolete – where LABOR is a thing of a past.” I said, “Imagine a world where LABOR is…” and then I felt sad. It took me 1-2 minutes to pick myself back up again and be on my flow again. I always wonder if the talk would have been more successful if I maintained strong energy from the very beginning. Of course, we would never know.
Successes in Gamification after the Gamification TEDx Talk
Since then, I published my book Actionable Gamification, and have won two Gamification Guru of the Year awards by the Gamification World Congress. Many fans, book readers, and clients have contacted me after watching that talk. I am grateful how much this talk has contributed to my accomplishments today.
Thank you TEDx, thank you Lausanne, and thank you Switzerland.
Now that we have covered the different implementation methods for gamification, we will explore the various applications of gamification in several industries.
In general, the majority of my clients represent four fields that I consistently see innovating time and time again, indicating a tremendous amount of application and growth in these sectors:
1) Product Gamification
Product Gamification is about making a product, online or offline, more engaging, fun, and inspirational through game design. Most companies struggle to create products that customers fall in love with, continue using, and passionately share with their friends. Some of these products have great “functional” purposes, but don’t focus on the motivation and Core Drives of their users.
In a previous era, consumers didn’t have adequate information and were accustomed to slow gratification. Along with immense barriers for starting new companies, it was not as detrimental for a company to simply assume that customers would use their products – provided that they were marketed correctly. However, people today are spoiled with instant gratification through the Internet, with immersive empowerment and real-time feedback through games, and the constant connection to their social network. Your users, customers, and employees are becoming less tolerant of badly designed products that do not take into account their motivations, especially when they have a variety of competitive alternatives they can choose from.
Status Quo Sloth of Startup Adoption
Many corporations and startups excitedly tell me, “Our product is great! Users can do this; users can do that; and they can even do these things!” And my response to them has been, “Yes, you are telling me all the things your users *can* do. But you have not explained to me *why* the user would do it.”
That’s the problem with a majority of company products – great technology and functionalities, but no traction. People don’t have a reason to go out of their way to use the product. Sometimes, a startup founder tells me, “Hey, Yu-kai, there’s no reason why people wouldn’t use our product. We save them money, we save them time, and we make their lives better.” On lucky days, customers themselves would even say, “Yeah, there’s no reason why I wouldn’t use your product. It saves me money, it saves me time, and it makes my life better. I’ll definitely sign-up sometime tomorrow.”
For those who have run startups or launched products before, you know the crucial part of the entire phrase is the ending. When people say they will do it “tomorrow,” more often than not it means “never.” This is because at this point they are motivated by Core Drive 8: Loss & Avoidance, and specifically by something I call Status Quo Sloth (Game Technique #85) – they are avoiding a change in their habits and behavior.
Remember how we talked about how Gamification is actually Human-Focused Design learned from decades, even centuries of game design experience? When you are launching a new product, its motivational standing is very similar to a game. No one has to play a game. You have to do your taxes; you have to go to work; and you really should go to the gym. But you never have to play a game, and let’s be honest, oftentimes you shouldn’t.
Because games have invested an amazing amount of creativity, innovation, and resources into figuring out how to get people to want to spend more time on them, there are definitely many great lessons you can learn from games for your own products. The key here is to make a product so exciting that customers become obsessed with using your product and are compelled to share how exciting their experiences were to their friends.
Obviously designing for Extrinsic Motivation is not all negative. Besides enhancing a person’s focus on completing monotonous routine tasks, it also generates initial interest and desire for the activity.
Often, without there being extrinsic motivation during the Discovery Phase (before people first try out the experience), people do not find a compelling reason to engage with the experience in the first place. Promoting, “You will get a $100 gift card if you sign-up,” usually sounds more appealing than “You will utilize your creativity and be in a fun state of unpredictability with your friends!” (Though both actually utilize Core Drive 6: Scarcity & Impatience.)
When people consider themselves “too busy,” they won’t justify spending time to try out your experience. But when you offer them an extrinsic reward to try out the experience, they will at least test it out, assuming of course that the reward is not an insult to the value of the user’s time investment.
Rewarding users $2 for trying a new search engine for an entire month is pretty weak, while paying people $3 to spend weeks going to stores, taking pictures, and sharing them with their friends is also a path to failure. It is better to not give them a reward at all!
And of course, as we have seen earlier, if people continuously justify doing something for high extrinsic rewards, their intrinsic motivation dwindles as the Overjustification Effect settles in.
Therefore, as Michael Wu of Lithium points out, it is better to attract people into an experience using Extrinsic Rewards (gift cards, money, merchandise, discounts), then transition their interest through Intrinsic Rewards (recognition, status, access), and finally use Intrinsic Motivation to ensure their long term engagement. Through this process, users will start to enjoy the activity so much that they will focus on relishing the experience itself without thinking about what can be gained from the experience.
Having a successful business is the dream of many people. It does certainly have many attractive perks, such as setting your own hours, being your own boss, and determining your own salary. That is why most would prefer working for themselves, but often aren’t sure how to go about doing it.
Thankfully, entrepreneurship isn’t as difficult as many believe it to be. In fact, working for yourself doesn’t mean you have to take out a huge loan and huge risk. Many are turning to freelancing their skill set out. This is advantageous for other small businesses because there are no insurance responsibilities, and you get to set your own hours, pay, and pay your own taxes.
Being able to freelance out your skills has many advantages. It is just a simpler way to live. You determine when, where, and who you work for.
Freelancers don’t have to worry about an overbearing boss or tolerating co-workers they don’t like because they are always in control. Working for a company often your paycheck will already be cut up into many different slices and you are left with what remains. When you are a freelancer you know exactly how much you get and you get to determine how much and if you pay for taxes, insurance, etc.
Always Time for Fun
When you become your own boss you get to experience true freedom. Vacation no longer becomes a set amount of days that needs approval from corporate. When you want to go on vacation, guess what, you just go on vacation. Gamification is extremely important in life.
Being a freelancer is a liberating lifestyle that allows you to do what you want. If you want to play some Wild Jack Casino Online for instance, no one can stop you. Online game sites like that have thousands of great games with big payouts, as well as a large and involved community and a safe money system so you never have to worry about foul play like conventional casinos. So when you are satisfied with how much you have earned, you can relax with the eased mind of a job well done. That is real success for being a freelancing entrepreneur.
Secrets of Success
One of the biggest secrets of success is the fact that you need to believe it in order to achieve it. There are no successful half-hearted efforts. For real success, you have to know what you want and go after it without hesitation.
You have to learn how to persevere when you meet resistance. It is easiest to do that when you are doing something that you love and believe in. That is because if that is all you want to do in life, you will never stop doing it so you’ll have to succeed!
Make it a point as a professional to always keep growing. There is always more to learn out there, so don’t ever close yourself off from new information that could be potentially valuable.
Measure your techniques with other self-improvement methods so that you can learn where you need to grow and where you are strong. There is plenty of information out there that can help you grow as a person and business man/woman, you just have to be open enough to receive it.