Nivi · June 16th, 2010
“Fun games operate on the principle that our actions will definitely bring us closer to the goal. If you go and slash rabbits (action), you will definitely gain experience points (relation), and you will eventually level up (goal).
“This is the reason so many people, including myself, have failed at difficult, uncharted things like entrepreneurship. There’s no guarantee that our next step will bring us closer to the goal. For example, we could easily invest 6 months into building a product that nobody wants to buy. Now, that specific problem can be ameliorated through processes of customer development, but the general problem still exists.
“If we get a job, we’re probably going to get paid for our labors.
“If we build a product and take it to market, we’re probably not going to get paid for our efforts. So where’s the motivation? It requires a lot of risk, and the human brain is not wired to consider long-term rewards! The nucleus accumbens, which may play a large role in the distribution of the phenomenon of pleasure and reward seeking, is part of the ancient limbic system, which motivates lots of behavior. Long-term goals require premeditated planning by the prefrontal cortex.”
I think there’s an opportunity to apply game mechanics to:
- Starting a startup.
- Managing employees in a startup.
- Managing teams in general.
Please steal this idea and let me know what you come up with. This would be a great project for a business school Ph.D.