The App Game Developer Lens of seeing the world.

The App Game Developer Lens of seeing the world.

February 28, 2017

I’ve been trying to pay attention more to how different ways of thinking inform our actions. 

Because it’s clear: The questions we ask determine our results.

Here’s an example.

If you want to get more fit, you could ask yourself…

How can I lose 1 pound?
How can I lose 10 pounds?
How can I lose 10 pounds in 10 days?
How can I be sustainably fit and happy for the next year?

Whichever question you choose to answer determines your strategy, your result, and the perspective you bring trying to solve for it.

This is more profound than it sounds, so I’ll let you think on this for a moment about how it relates to your life. 

In this email, I'll try and introduce a different viewpoint for approaching a certain problem. 

Scott Adams calls them “lenses,” so I think I’ll use that as the term from now on. Lenses are viewpoints that inherently have certain types of questions baked into them. 

While we know that asking the right question is critical in the result we get, we can then say, almost more critical is having the right lens to look at something through because a lens has many questions baked into it. 

For example, through the lens of a staunch Republican, there is a baked-in viewpoint with the question of “how do we reduce the size of government." 

Using a new lens is a great way to try and change your results.
Or as a way to change your mind.

Here’s a lens to try on today.

The App Gamer Lens for Marketing.

I recently downloaded a game on my phone that had to do with solving puzzles.

I noticed something really interesting during the on-boarding for a new user to the app. 

When the game begins, they have to teach you how to play without using long text or sound. So, what they do is start with the simplest puzzles possible to get you to figure out how to work the game, moving around blocks to create a path for a ball to roll through to the end. 

Every level, starting with level one, is gamified to show you what percentage of other people who played this level and completed it.  

Now, you’d think that once you started playing this game, the easier levels would have higher levels of completion.

And that as the puzzles get more and more difficult to solve, the percentage completion would go down. 

The thing that struck me, though, was that the level of completion for level 1, the EASIEST level there would be, was only 1.7% of everyone who tried it.

When I played level two, I noticed that it was 3%.

Level three was 5%. 

And it’s continued up from there. Why?

Presumably, this is because there's so much drop off onboarding people into the game, that those that are serious get hooked and stay longer and longer. 

I’m assuming that there’s a level somewhere down the line, where in the total number of people who play it, 30-40% pass. 

So what did we learn? 

Most people won’t care about the journey.

But those that stay...Those few are dedicated enough to solve difficult puzzles to get to the next step. 

They're the ones that come back for more. And they’re your best customers. 

In a normal world, you’d like to create a game where many are able to solve the beginner puzzles and few solve the difficult ones.

With the App Game Developer Lens, you say to yourself, how can we create dedicated, returning fans that drive our most ad-views. You’re perfectly happy with a very small percentage of people, say less that 5% solving the simplest puzzle there is, because you know that those that do care will do so increasingly as they progress through the game. Those are your best people. You want to make sure that puzzles 5-10 are AMAZING because you want to increasingly keep them hooked. 

In our ordinary world, we'd say WHAT?! only 1.7% completed the EASIEST puzzle that you have? You need to make an easier puzzle.

In our app developer world, we'd say YES! 1.7% of people have made it through easy puzzle #1! Now let's create puzzles 5-10 so that we really get them hooked.

David Sherry