Octalysis Primers Start Consulting Business – Part 2: Joel Schmidt

In our last post we introduced two passionate Octalysis Primers: Joel and Daniel Schmidt from Germany. If you missed it, check it out first.

These brothers, friends and now also business partners, recently started a consulting company named Smithery. They do UX consulting with a focus on digital learning experiences. Shortly after launch they are already working for two clients!

Joel Schmidt

Joel, age 21, is the younger brother of the two.

After High School I took a year of Bible School with the aim to find myself and figure out what I wanted to do.

I have experience with outdoor experiential education: group activities and team-building exercises and more and more got the feeling that I should do something with business consulting.”

During the interview we observed that we could really see Joel in a consulting position as he comes across as very disarming and kind.

We had a good laugh together when we mentioned that people would likely accept him telling them what they do wrong and should improve. To which Joel simply replied: “Yeah that’s true“, with a perfect disarming smile.

What is it like to work with your brother?

In April 2021 I felt in my heart that it was time to move on. I quit my job as a scaffolder and started Smithery with Daniel. It is great to work with my brother. We’ve had our difference in the past, but we grew very close together now. We often take a walk in the evening to really talk about stuff. Yeah, it’s really nice to have such a brother”

Daniel adds: “Amen to all of that. And Joel adds so much value to the way I do things. He sees so many things that I would completely miss because I’m all about the structure. Joel is like fluid; he understands my structure but can flow through it like water, making all sorts of connections.

How did you land on Octalysis Prime?

“When I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do, Daniel suggested to sign up for Octalysis Prime.

He reasoned that no matter what I would choose, when working with people, understanding motivation will always help you.

Also even if it is just for yourself. It is very useful to learn more about what moves you, what you are hard-wired to do, and how to motivate yourself to do stuff.

What did you get out of Octalysis Prime?

Actually, the ‘side-stuff’ has helped me the most. I really resonated with the videos on how to improve your life. It has helped me a lot to structure my life better and make better choices.

For the business, the core about Gamification and the Octalysis framework provides a solid foundation. Particularly useful are the videos that cover the importance of thinking through the four phases of the User Journey.

Something great, and fun, about Octalysis is that it provides a language to talk about motivation in a much more meaningful way. We now see Core Drives everywhere! When watching a TV show we often point out to each other things like: “That is a really good Core Drive 2 example!”

Can you tell us something about your Octalysis Certificate?

Of the brothers Schmidt, Joel was the first to earn his prestigious Octalysis Level 1 Certificate.

It is really fun to analyze a product, like an app or website, and figure out how to make it more fun and engaging. Going through the steps of defining the Octalysis Strategy Dashboard definitely helps. It helps to make clear what is important for the design, and you can refer back to it during the Brainstorming to get the focus right.”

What the Future Holds

We are looking forward to seeing Smithery grow into a recognized consulting business in Germany, and to read your updates in the Slack Community. This is just the beginning.

Good luck and Prime On!

Octalysis Primers Start Consulting Business – Part 1: Daniel Schmidt

Did you know that two of our Octalysis Primers are from the same town in Germany? What a coincidence, right?

Or maybe not so much, these two handsome men are actually brothers! But Daniel and Joel share much more than a last name, they are both:

– Passionate Gamers
– Driven to make learning more fun
– Co-owners of Smithery

Smithery – Forging great learning experiences

Unlike their own experience at German university, Joel and Daniel strongly believe that “learning can and should be something fun.”

Armed with knowledge about Human Motivation, Gamification and UX Design, they started a consultancy business. It is cleverly named Smithery; a place where powerful things are forged, by the brothers Schmidt.

They started working for their first client only two days after launch!

Daniel Schmidt

Daniel, age 29, is the older brother of the two.

In the past years I have worked with many organizations in the field where two things that are close to my heart come together: Nerd Culture and Christianity.

As a leading force for e.g. Allianzmission and MainQuest, he is well-connected and respected through-out Germany.

What is it like to work with your brother?

“I have worked with many different teams, and luckily we have so far always managed to establish a family like culture. But working with your actual brother is really something different.

The age difference between Joel and myself is quite big, 7,5 years. So when I was growing up and going through early adult struggles, Joel was still a child.

In recent years we have grown very close together, and have established a deep sense of openness and trust. Which I think is absolutely necessary because our working relationship is intertwined with our family relationship.”

How did Octalysis Prime help you start a business?

Daniel joined Octalysis Prime after reading Yu-kai’s book Actionable Gamification.

“I have had six years of study and research around topics like Motivational Psychology and Gameful Design at university. But my understanding of these topics came to a new level by digging into Yu-kai’s work. It is actually even bigger than that, a whole new world opened up!

There is also a lot of merit in being part of the OP Slack community. There are some people in the community who just breathe valuable information. And it is great to share different perspectives with like-minded people.

One repeated lesson that stood out to me is to always come back to thinking about motivation – the difference between Human-focused Design and Function-focused Design. To answer the question: joining Octalysis Prime helped with everything.

Can you tell us something about your Octalysis Certificate?

Daniel mentions that he is not all about certificates, as his main focus is on the intrinsic motivation for learning. But he is very happy that he put in the effort to obtain his prestigious Octalysis Level 1 Certificate:

“It is very helpful to take something that you think you know and have studied well, and then have somebody who really knows look at your work and give you feedback that brings you back to reality.

Because the required quality thresholds of the different certificate levels are really enforced it has real value. And it provides the reassurance for myself that I have learned something well.

I know so many people who managed to get their university degree that I won’t take any advice from. Earning an Octalysis Certificates really means something.”

Fun Fact

To wrap up the interview, Daniel shared an amusing story about Octalysis Prime:

He once spent half an hour to click the ‘Defend the Castle’ button in the Challenge Section of the Island exactly 100 times. This made the dragon fly away to patrol for a hundred times, but unfortunately did not reveal any Easter Eggs.

“You may all thank me for testing this so you don’t have to!”

(Button used to say ‘Defend the Castle’)

Part 2 Coming Soon!

A big thanks to Daniel for the interview! Read more about Joel Schmidt’s perspective in Part 2. Spoiler alert: “Joel is like fluid“.

EXCLUSIVE!! Interview with the man who spent $30,000 on a Single Game

Gamer Whale Interview

The “Whales” that carry the gaming industry on their shoulders

You may have heard of so-called “Whales” in the Free-To-Play (F2P) gaming industry. Even though I am not a fan of this term, it represents hardcore players that spend a sizable amount of money in a game (as opposed to Dolphins, Minnows, and Freeloaders who spend significantly less money). Most gaming companies depend on these “Whales” to stay alive, and they try to design specifically for them.

Some heavy gamers spend thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars on a game. When I was doing research on the game Battle Camp, I was amazed when I saw some players spend $6,000 just on one weekly competition – not for any external reward, but just to win two “Legendary Monsters” that helps them play the game better.

Have you ever wondered who are these heavy spenders and what goes on in their heads? Are they just filthy rich millionaires who don’t care about money? Or are they so into the game that they are willing to lose their livelihood just to obtain more of those 8 Core Drives we so desperately need in our lives? Are they illusional and think that proud achievements in a game are more important than the real world? (Spoiler: in this interview, we will see that this is not the case.) How do they feel about spending so much money on a game?

Big Jim: the “Whale” who spent over $30K on We Heroes

When I started doing research on a mobile game my friend was working on – We Heroes, I also noticed many hardcore players who were not shy of spending real money in the game. On my server, the top player was named Big Jim, and he was setting and breaking all sorts of records in the game.

Seeing how he has accumulated ALL the expensive heroes in the game, I was very curious about what he would be like in real life. After admiring his game status for a while, I had the opportunity to join his Guild, which led to us becoming friends on Facebook. To my surprise, he lives in Pleasanton, California, just twenty minutes away from where I live!

After a few more months of playing and communicating in-game (after all, I was no weak player either – doing some heavy lifting in the Guild too. And yes, I can actually expense my spending in-game as “research budget.”), we finally met at a conference, in which he graciously agreed to an interview.

I then learned that he has spent over $30,000 on We Heroes alone! And this wasn’t spent over many years like some League of Legends players do. Since We Heroes just launched in early 2015, the $30,000 must have been spent within a year’s time.

Below is the exclusive content of what goes through the mind of a “whale” heavy spender, and some lessons he wants the world to learn about.

Interview between Yu-kai Chou and Big Jim, a “Whale Spender” on We Heroes

I. Yu-kai Chou: Thanks so much for being part of this interview. Can you start off with a quick intro of yourself? Who you are, where you are from, and what do you do?

Big Jim: My name is Jim. I am a 55 year old electrical engineer working in Silicon Valley.

II. Yu-kai Chou: How many years have you been playing games for?

Big Jim: I have played games since I was old enough to roll a die. I played my first war game when I was about 12. It was Blitzkrieg by Avalon Hill. My first MMORPG was Asheron’s Call.

III. Yu-kai Chou: What are the games that you have considered yourself a hardcore player for?

Big Jim: Any game I like I play to win, which makes me hardcore to most people. Asheron’s Call. Everquest. World of Warcraft. World in Flames (a boardgame by Australian Design Group). Kingdoms of Camelot and now We Heroes. There may have been others I have forgotten.

IV. Yu-kai Chou: In We Heroes, you are one of the top players in the game. When did you start playing, and how did you achieve the top status?

Big Jim: I saw an advertisement for We Heroes while playing another game so I tried it, and I liked it. It was sometime in early 2015 when server 12 opened. There wasn’t any great strategy involved in becoming a top player. All it takes is spending a lot of money.

V. Yu-kai Chou: I know you have spent over $20k to reach your status. Have you played any other game that you have spent a considerable amount of money? Continue reading EXCLUSIVE!! Interview with the man who spent $30,000 on a Single Game