This is my answer for the third written assignment of the Gamification class I’m taking through Coursera. The question in full can be found here.
You are approached by Rashmi Horenstein, the CEO of ShareAll, a prominent company in the hot collaborative consumption space. She knows you are one of the top experts on gamification, which she has heard can revolutionize business. She asks you to present a proposal for a gamified system to take her business to the next level.
Define business objectives
The main objective is “to take the business to the next level,” i.e. to generate growth for ShareAll in its market, and as a result to increase profits.
There are three sub-objectives to achieve this growth:
Increasing the sharing activity of existing customers
Organisational culture is the shared values, beliefs and behaviours of an organisation. When you tell a new colleague, “This is the way we do things around here,” you’re talking about company culture. It’s not about having having table football or ping pong in your office, cool though that is, but about how your company operates, and how it is perceived. Product Tank March was about implementing and building a Product Culture: a solid product culture can lead your company to build better products faster.
Product Camp is an unconference for product managers. There is no schedule, no keynote speaker, no list of hot topics prepared in advance. Instead, those who want to speak claim a spot, write their title on the board, and see who comes along.
In his talk “The Future is not an Internet-connected Egg Box,” Alex Jones of Fjord highlighted one of the major gaps in thinking about the internet of things. We shouldn’t link every device to the internet just because we can. Instead, the act of connecting must add value to the experience of using the product. The human layer of the interaction is where meaning and value is added. We don’t need to hook up our egg box to the internet. We need to make connected products mean something to the people using them. In the white paper Product Relationship Management, Evrythng CEO Andy Hobsbawn sets out a clear and compelling vision of how to make that happen.
“It’s time for our physical products to be as clever as Google, as immediate as Twitter, as informative as Wikipedia, as social as Facebook, as useful as Evernote, as personal as Amazon, and as entertaining as YouTube.”
Over the weekend, I finished reading The Ten Principles Behind Great Customer Experiences, by Matt Watkinson. It’s an invigorating and enlightening read, and if you’re interested in service design or product management, I think you’ll enjoy it.
I’ve enrolled in a short course about Gamification. It’s run by Kevin Werbach of the University of Pennsylvania, and I’m studying online via Coursera.
What is gamification? It can be difficult to pin down the definition of a fast-evolving phenomenon, because it changes so quickly. But let’s try. Right now, in the context explored by this short course, gamification is the use of game elements in non-game contexts to engage users or change behaviour.
Distinguishing between facts, assertions and opinions particularly resonates with me because of my background as a public sector policy officer. I’m used to evaluating the credibility of evidence from my work in market research. It’s especially interesting in terms of the vanity metrics that Eric Ries talks about in The Lean Startup (and in this post on Tim Ferriss’s blog): does this evidence really show what it claims to show? Critical thinking is essential for designing services and products. It is a skill best developed through constant doing and practice; this course is a great opportunity for me to keep my mind in shape.
This week I’m going to two exciting meetup events. Firstly, with the London Java Community, talks about the Internet of Things (details here). With 50 billion connected devices predicted by 2020, it’s a real growth area: QR codes, Near Field Communication, Bluetooth Low Energy and Arduino. Secondly, ProductTank, the meeting for Product Managers; speakers will discuss product management in payments, fixing broken checkout experiences and how people pay online (details here). Meetup evenings are a great opportunity to find out about new topics in an informal setting. I’m looking forward to them both.