Although the concept of entropy is almost nonexistent in the daily use, it is widely present in how the society works. The basic message of entropy is that:
Things have a natural way of getting disorganized.
Almost everything people do is related to the fight against the growing entropy. People try to constantly organize their thoughts, work to organize small parts to create bigger entities, find structure in their environment etc.
People have a desire to affect the entropy.
Games are usually constructed so that they get people involved. I will argue that the most addictive games are the ones that target the this natural need to organize things to a higher level of entropy. And not only games but products and services that help people to stay organized.
If you have an idea of something new…
Every imaginable business idea has a relation to the level of entropy in the society. The big question is under which circumstances would that idea help in decreasing the level of entropy instead of increasing it.
The most successful ideas are adopted because they keep the society organized. That is, they help people.
Passion and obsession can be considered two sides of the same coin. Being passionate is about dedicating yourself to something. Being obsessive is about not dedicating yourself to anything else at all. Or well, obsession can surely be something, however small, that somehow controls your life.
Most people don’t appear obsessive.
I think most people have a collection of small obsessions that don’t appear on the outside but still control their lives. If you don’t have any obsessions and would like to try having one, keep reading. For everyone else:
If you don’t want another obsession STOP READING NOW! Reading forward will get you IRREVERSIBLY obsessed.
Ok. You were warned.
You are now playing the license plate game. Every time you see a license place you will pay attention to the number part. Your mission is to spot cars with each number from 1 to 999 in order.
You will remember this game every time you see a license plate.
If you forget where you were, you start over from the last number that you do remember for sure.
Best of luck with your new obsession. If this makes sense to you, there’s a club in Turku for people sharing your obsession.
Let me know if you see a 144.
In my earlier post “It’s just a game” I briefly touched the idea of life being a game.
Game development guru and professor Jesse Schell takes the idea even further. He presents a set of rules how the game could work. His whole presentation in DICE 2010 is available here:
DICE 2010: “Design Outside the Box” Presentation
It takes almost 30 minutes but I bet it’s worth every minute of it. In Schell’s game everything we do in the real life becomes a part of game system where everyone and everything is scored. He sees this as the inevitable future and ends his show by asking:
Who in this room will lead us to get there?
In my opinion, it’s not the question of getting there. We already are there. The question is how do we get out?
Our real world is a game where the money is the score. And you’re already playing the game whether you wanted or not.
The only universal end result seems to be that the game sucks with this scoring system. Just ask anyone who ever made it to the high score list.
After two long days of intensive gaming, we finally completed the game today. The total length of the simulation was three years which amounted to about 20 hours of work in real life.
It was one of the biggest games ever played on the Simbu platform, nine teams altogether, competing of the same scarce resources and customers. I was prepared to tell you why and how we failed and what I learned from our failures but instead we won all the other teams by far. So here’s a short analysis why we did so well.
- The team. All our team members were average Joes. Four normal people with average intelligence. What a team lacks in skills and knowledge, it can easily make up in team spirit.
- The plan. All teams had one. Ours wasn’t too special in any way. Sticking to one’s plan and especially believing in it even when the times are rough will bring rewards. But sticking to the plan isn’t about just blindly following it.
- The routine. We knew who in our team did what and why. A team with a complimentary set of skills and roles is a good one.
- Constant learning. Just doing something better every time.
These four were the cornerstones of our success. I can’t say our team built its success on determination. Instead we trusted each other to make the right decisions. Trust and mutual respect within a team makes it work.
Our plan was based on a cost leadership strategy. All the companies had some strategy but instead of using arbitrary opportunities to diverge from ours, we chose to stick to it the best we could. That really paid off.
When the team trusts each other and there is a specific routine of doing things, there’s a good chance that all the stuff also gets done.
Finally, we had a system of making small adjustments to the ways we do things. Even minimal improvements and optimizations each quarter add up to huge savings throughout a three-year period.
The bottom line
I must say that although this course takes a lot of effort and time, it still is well worth it. What I think is the most relevant learning is that all people and teams have what it takes to be winners if they just get their minds tuned to the right frequency.
I will dedicate today and tomorrow to fun and games, so it’s appropriate to share how I feel about games and playing.
People spend enormous amount of time and effort building their success in virtual worlds. Internet games have become the obsession for many. The peer pressure of the teammates and the feel of achievement makes people put endless amount of time and considerable amount of money to build something only exists in the virtual world.
So what’s wrong with the real world?
The real world is just a game like the others. The rules are more complex and the opportunities are endless but the very same principles work in the real world. Putting time to build your real life self is the only key to success.
Real world is too slow for my taste
This is what I’ve heard people say when they try to justify their character building in World of Warcraft, for example. But really, It all depends on what you decide to do. In the real world there is no limit on how fast you can build your experience or skills and there is neither a limit to different skills one person can master.
If you think your life sucks, you could try and play with it for a while. If really put your mind to it you will realize that the real world is actually the best game that will ever be made!