If your job hinges on introducing new products and persuading people to change their behavior, I guarantee that being an expert in game dynamics and persuasion theory will make you a leader in your field. Whether you are in social advertising, viral video marketing, building mobile products, email apps, social games, or selling frozen yogurt, listen up — the future of startups hinges on persuasion theory and game mechanics
Inspired by one of my mentors and inspirations BJ Fogg (Persuasive Technology Stanford Guru), I try to bring a layer of persuasion theory to everything that I do — decisions I have to make as CEO, product features, sales strategies, board meetings, company culture-building, and beyond.
The more we see the “Zyngafication of everything,” the more apparent it becomes that game dynamics and persuasion theory go hand-in-hand.
Startups win when you successfully persuade your customer to change their behavior — through once-foreign and now-made-familiar features and flows.
My favorite TechCrunch post of all time is Seth Priebatsch‘s deep dive into his company SCVNGR’s 48-rule game dynamics playbook. If only every company could be as thoughtful and public with their internal strategy…
A quick glimpse of those game mechanics via TechCrunch:
Definition: A virtual or physical representation of having accomplished something. These are often viewed as rewards in and of themselves.
Example: a badge, a level, a reward, points, really anything defined as a reward can be a reward.
6. Blissful Productivity
Definition: The idea that playing in a game makes you happier working hard, than you would be relaxing. Essentially, we’re optimized as human beings by working hard, and doing meaningful and rewarding work.
Example: From Jane McGonical’s Ted Talk wherein she discusses how World of Warcraft players play on average 22 hours / week (a part time job), often after a full days work. They’re willing to work hard, perhaps harder than in real life, because of their blissful productivity in the game world.