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The Game Thinking Roadmap: a PMs path to mastery

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Have you ever wondered if you're building the right MVP, and testing it on the right customers? Are you eager to avoid "leaky bucket syndrome" and drive long-term engagement? Would you like a roadmap for what to build, what to test, and who to test it on throughout your product development process? Level-up your PM skills with Game Thinking -- a design system and product roadmap for building products your customers will return to, again and again. You'll get a powerful framework, actionable tips, and a chance to apply these ideas to your own project.

Published in: Design
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The Game Thinking Roadmap: a PMs path to mastery

  1. 1. The Game Thinking Roadmap a Product Manager’s path to mastery gamethinking.io
  2. 2. smarter, faster innovation Game Thinking the art and science of engaging customers on a mastery path
  3. 3. Upgrade your user, not your product… make people better at something they want to get better at. Kathy Sierra Co-creator,, Head First Series Make your customers more awesome
  4. 4. To increase your chances of success, minimize time through the Build/Measure/Learn cycle Eric Ries Author, The Lean Startup Accelerate your Innovation Cycle
  5. 5. Fun is just another word for learning Raph Koster Author, A Theory of Fun Think of your customers as Learners
  6. 6. Amy Jo Kim, Ph.D. Game Designer & Startup Coach
  7. 7. I help startups, game studios & global brands build social experiences that drive long-term engagement
  8. 8. have you ever gotten “that call?”
  9. 9. a life-changing day in Half Moon Bay…
  10. 10. conditions of extreme uncertainty
  11. 11. we created a breakthrough hit
  12. 12. which led to more breakthrough hits
  13. 13. design work for major brands
  14. 14. VC-funded braingames startup
  15. 15. Aevergreen hit mobile game
  16. 16. leading digital health app
  17. 17. online toy rental service
  18. 18. & insights into what’s needed for breakthrough innovation
  19. 19. Game Thinking Roadmap Super Fans Mastery Path Learning Loop 4 Game Thinking Tools accelerate innovation & build engagement from the ground up
  20. 20. Have you ever listened to the wrong customers?
  21. 21. Finding the right customers can determine whether you thrive - or fail
  22. 22. innovative gaming platform didn’t find an audience
  23. 23. digital health app found exactly the right audience
  24. 24. Test ideas on passionate, high-need early customers Super Fans
  25. 25. Create something that a few people love - even if most people don’t get it right away. Paul Buchheit Partner, Y-Combinator
  26. 26. Game Thinking Quotes Innovation diffusion theory EVERETT ROGERS, 1961
  27. 27. Game Thinking Quotes Crossing the Chasm GEOFFREY MOORE, 1991 HASM
  28. 28. Who to listen to - & who to ignore?
  29. 29. don’t rely on friends & family
  30. 30. or people in your ultimate target market
  31. 31. increasing value over time
  32. 32. How do successful innovators find & leverage SuperFans?
  33. 33. your super-fans are SPECIFIC to your project
  34. 34. rhythm action nerds who know the basics
  35. 35. simulation enthusiasts who love to make things
  36. 36. Lego-loving families who enjoy sharing photos
  37. 37. customers of SAAS consulting firms
  38. 38. test ideas with high-need Super Fans
  39. 39. HASM STAR T HERE NOT HER E Start testing your innovative idea with Super Fans
  40. 40. We are developing _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ for _____________________________________________________________________________________ _______ so they can your offering high-need early customers unsatisfied with current alternatives remove friction / solve a problem / ease a pain point / achieve a goal Super Fans: habits & needs
  41. 41. Engage customers over time with learning & skill- building Mastery Path
  42. 42. is for Enthusiasts Discovery Onboarding Habit-Building Mastery what is my customer’s end-to-end experience? how does it evolve over time?
  43. 43. is for Enthusiasts Discovery What is this? Is it right for me? What’s the value proposition? Stage 1: Discovery is for Visitors
  44. 44. is for EnthusiastsStage 2: Onboarding is for Newbies Discovery Onboarding How do I learn the ropes? How do I start giving & getting value?
  45. 45. is for EnthusiastsStage 3: Habit-building is for Regulars Discovery Onboarding Habit-Building What urge pulls me back? What am I getting better at?
  46. 46. is for EnthusiastsStage 4: Mastery is for Enthusiasts Discovery Onboarding Habit-Building Mastery What skills & knowledge have I mastered? How can I leverage that?
  47. 47. is for Enthusiasts Discovery Onboarding Habit-Building Mastery Mastery Path
  48. 48. is for EnthusiastsStage 1: Discovery is for Visitors Social Discovery via Friends & Colleagues
  49. 49. is for EnthusiastsStage 1: Onboarding is for Newbies Learn the ropes with a friendly bot
  50. 50. is for EnthusiastsStage 1: Habit-building is for Regulars Customized group chat with emojis, bots & integrations
  51. 51. is for EnthusiastsStage 1: Mastery is for Enthusiasts Launch a channel, program a bot, integrate your app
  52. 52. Have you ever built the wrong MVP?
  53. 53. we’ve seen the cartoons
  54. 54. (gotta love those cartoons)
  55. 55. but… what should you build first?
  56. 56. Robin Allenson CEO, Similar.ai
  57. 57. from a polished game with no engagement…
  58. 58. …to a rough prototype that fashion designers are begging to get their hands on & use
  59. 59. sketch out a coherent Mastery Path
  60. 60. is for Enthusiasts Discovery Onboarding Habit-Building Mastery Sketch out the Lifecycle Job Stories on your Mastery Path
  61. 61. When I ______________________________ I want to ______________________________ so I can ______________________________ Onboarding Story Mastery Story When I ______________________________ I want to ______________________________ so I can ______________________________ When I ___________________________ ___ I want to ___________________________ Mastery Path: Job Stories Habit Story
  62. 62. Learning Loop Prototype a simple, engaging skill-building feedback loop
  63. 63. In a loop, you’re learning a skill & updating your mental model. That’s what leads to player delight. Dan Cook Author, Lost Garden blog
  64. 64. “finding the fun” = building engagement from the inside out
  65. 65. What’s the right MVP?
  66. 66. Fake landing page?
  67. 67. Fake landing page?
  68. 68. Operant Conditioning AKA Skinner Box?
  69. 69. Operant Conditioning AKA Skinner Box?
  70. 70. Skill-building = making customers more awesome
  71. 71. Check Updates urge to connect with your team Read & Respond to Updates No More Updates Need Attention Customize your channel & expressions Activity Chain Feedback & Progress Investment Path Internal Trigger Core Loop
  72. 72. Check Updates urge to connect with your team Read & Respond to Updates No More Updates Need Attention Customize your experience Trigger Activity Engaging activity satisfies an urge or need Internal Trigger Core Loop
  73. 73. Feedback & progress promote learning & mastery EscapeTime! urge to dive into an escapist world Read & Respond to Updates No More Updates Need Attention Customize your experience Feedback & Progress Core Loop
  74. 74. EscapeTime! urge to dive into an escapist world Read & Respond to Updates No More Updates Need Attention Customize your experience Investment Path Investment & triggers pull people back Engaged Trigger Check Notifications Core Loop
  75. 75. Skill-building = making customers more awesome
  76. 76. Learning Loop = making customers more skillful
  77. 77. The smartest MVP is a Learning Loop
  78. 78. start development with a Learning Loop
  79. 79. When _________ I want to ________________ so I can _____________ goal + activity outcome situational trigger HOT TIP: Use Customer Habit Stories
  80. 80. Internal Trigger Progress & Investment Skill-building Feedback Engaging Activity Situational Trigger Engaged Trigger Learning Loop: Key Elements
  81. 81. Putting it all Together What to build? Who to listen to? At what stage?
  82. 82. Build engagement into your products from the ground up Game Thinking Roadmap
  83. 83. You can use an eraser on the drafting table or a sledge hammer on the construction site Frank Lloyd Wright Architect
  84. 84. Early Majority Closed Beta Friends & Family Team & Department typical play-testing progression
  85. 85. Early Majority Closed Beta Friends & Family Team & Department Super-fan Community super-fan play-testing progression
  86. 86. How do (the best) game designers build and tune their MVP?
  87. 87. imagine living out a rock star fantasy…
  88. 88. then start by tuning & iterating a single song
  89. 89. imagine a doll house come to life…
  90. 90. then start with tiny world-building experiments
  91. 91. imagine a cooperative dress-up game…
  92. 92. then piggy-back on existing cooperative habits
  93. 93. Game Thinking Quotes The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas. Linus Pauling Scientist
  94. 94. don’t fall in love with an idea; fall in love with solving a problem & learning from your customers Prototype to Learn
  95. 95. test ideas with high-need Super Fans sketch out a coherent Mastery Path start development with a Learning Loop manage experiments with the GT Roadmap 4 Game Thinking Tools for PM Mastery
  96. 96. learn more & get PM power-tools at the Game Thinking Academy gamethinking.io
  97. 97. Thank You! gamethinking.io @amyjokim medium.com/@amyjokim amyjokim@gmail.com Contact Me:

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