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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“.

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