Ever since I have left university almost ten years ago I have been thinking about what it means to be an entrepreneur. At first, I struggled because I approached the task the wrong way. As most of my fellow students who were dreaming to start a company or at least take an outstanding career path I thought that I first needed the one great idea or invention in order to start up. While most people set aside their dreams to accept a more or less decent job offer at some point in time, I kept on looking for the right way to start off.
An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. This famous quote by Benjamin Franklin is probably the best description of how important life-long learning is. I truly believe in the necessity of constant and never ending improvement in order to being able to see the big picture. To me, it is very important to look beyond the boundaries and get in-depth input. And I know that I only can achieve this by staying curious.
Where do you want to go today?
There many ways to take a stand. A clear positing is a foundation of success - in personal settings and in business. This matrix (inspired by Seth Godin) exemplifies the notion of entrepreneurship in a very good manner. It shows that passion and judgement are the core entrepreneurial success.
After having defined what games actually are it is now important to identify what motivates players to play games. The question whether intrinsic or extrinsic reward mechanisms have to be triggered in order to motivate players sustainably has been subject to many studies in recent years. At first sight, external influences play a major role in gaming and related marketing activities. That is why reward and incentive structures are an essential part of almost any game on the market.
The question how players can be intrinsically motivated to play or keep playing a game is the core of game design. McGonigal argues that players always try to reach the limits of their ability instinctively. During the course of a game, players cease to think and act reasonably compared to real-world practices. Instead, they seem to dive into the virtual world and start to focus on the peculiar reality of the game. This “narrowing of consciousness” is considered to be achievement-oriented motivation.
THE CHALLENGE OF DEFINING A GAME
The recent success of video games has led to a progressive adoption of game mechanisms in everyday products and services. Social science researchers have observed that the increasing ubiquity of gaming is having a formative impact on society. The world of video games has become more and more interwoven with cultural habits in everyday life. In recent years, sociologists have started to look at this ludification of culture in a more detailed fashion.
The analysis of both academic and practical definitions has shown that despite the many differences there are substantial similarities between all definition of games. What all these definitions have in common is the fact that they describe games as simulated and formal systems that include the notion of decision-making based on a pre-defined set of rules.
In recent years, a lot of attention has been drawn to the question how the engaging and gameful mechanisms found in video games can be transferred to non-game applications in order to engage users in a sustainable fashion. In short: we are talking about gamification! Throughout the scene people claim that companies can hugely benefit from adapting game mechanisms to the design of their products and services.
Among the many business books I have read in the last five years, the “Business Model Generation (BMG)” by Alexander Osterwalder has definitely the most impact on the way I approach business modeling today. The reason why this handbook simply changed the way I think about business models is simple: “BMG” manages to re-organize a very complex matter in a very simplistic and visual format. The business model canvas is a modular design system which correlates all the essential building blocks that make up a successful business model.