How To Score 30 Minutes With Me

Long ago I concluded that life is just a video game. We fly on airplanes to get mileage points so we can get free stuff and or level up to get more priority. We used to get green stamps (when I was a kid) whenever we bought stuff so we could get free stuff (most of it shitty, but free). Our credit cards have points programs (and lots of free miles), we get credit (implicit and explicit) eating at the same restaurants over and over ago, and when you buy a dozen cups of coffee at the coffee shop down the street from my (they still keep track of it with note cards and one of those funny metal punch things) you get the next one free.

I love the current concept of gamification. This isn’t just my inner investor speaking; I really believe as a society we’ve embraced this completely (Forbes 400 list anyone?) Gamification is more than just flinging pissed off birds at ramshackle construction sites on your iPhone; we all set some out-of-the-way goals and try to reach them because we want to feel like we’ve accomplished something special, get something free, or receive recognition for our activity. And, yes, I own up to plenty of farming and citybuiding in order to share the results.

In the spirit of learning by doing, I want to try an experiment over the next thirty days. In conjunction with my friends at BigDoor who provide the “minibar” you see anchored at the bottom of Feld Thoughts,

BigDoor Minibar

I’d like to offer 30 minutes of my time as a prize for anyone who wants to exchange 10,000 Feld Gelt for that opportunity. You may ask yourself, “How do I earn this fashionable currency?” There are currently five easy ways:

  • Check in when you visit my site.
  • Add a comment to any blog post.
  • Share or tweet posts you like.
  • Like any post from the minibar.
  • The best way of all to earn Feld Gelt is when people click on links you share or Like links in your Facebook activity feed.

If you can put ten grand in Feld Gelt together, you can trade them in for 30 minutes with me in person in Boulder (if you’re in town) or Skype, or by phone if you are old fashioned*. Just click on the BigDeal button in the minibar.

I’d like to see whether the usual activities you do when visiting the site will be amplified once you’ve got an incentive beyond the content and conversation already found here. Plus I’m also eager to connect with those of you who may stop by here regularly but haven’t met me out in the physical world yet. So start working your way up that Leaderboard and just maybe I’ll be see you in a Boulder coffee shop, or on a Skype chat, sometime soon.

If you want your own minibar on your site, Oh – and please comment on what you think of this and the implementation (good and bad). You’ll earn some points for doing it.

* The fine print (or mouse print if you prefer): One appointment per person.  I’m only “selling” one session per week (a total of four), so act fast.  I’m going to commit to testing this for a month, and then decide if I have the spare 30 minutes in future weeks. I reserve the right to reschedule or even refuse service.

Update: Wow – that was fast. The deal sold out in about two hours. I’ll review the data tomorrow and figure out a new deal soon! Of course, your Feld Gelt will be useful for that deal also so keep earning it.

  • Seems like a great way to encourage engagement in your online presence. This is actually a super good idea the more I think about it. Although your blog and Twitter presence are well established, anyone looking to build an online presence could trade their professional services for online social interaction. I like this concept. Is anyone else doing this? It doesn’t ring a bell.

    • Jon Rossi

      considering adding a minibar to a site of mine.

      • Neat. Holler if you need any help.

        • Jon Rossi

          If you “Like” this post I will add a minibar to http://www.StartupDenver.com and not only that I will give you 35 minutes of my time down here in Denver. (it was worth a try)

          • You got your like!

          • You got your like!

        • Jon Rossi

          If you “Like” this post I will add a minibar to http://www.StartupDenver.com and not only that I will give you 35 minutes of my time down here in Denver. (it was worth a try)

      • Neat. Holler if you need any help.

    • Jon Rossi

      considering adding a minibar to a site of mine.

  • Seems like a great way to encourage engagement in your online presence. This is actually a super good idea the more I think about it. Although your blog and Twitter presence are well established, anyone looking to build an online presence could trade their professional services for online social interaction. I like this concept. Is anyone else doing this? It doesn’t ring a bell.

  • Very nice idea. Gamification is everywhere and we at eEvent understand that status and access is way more valuable than money

    • Jon Rossi

      but is status and access more valuable than Facebook credits?

      • Maybe not. And eventually you’ll be able to earn FB credits here – just waiting for BigDoor to implement that.

      • Maybe not. And eventually you’ll be able to earn FB credits here – just waiting for BigDoor to implement that.

    • Jon Rossi

      but is status and access more valuable than Facebook credits?

  • Very nice idea. Gamification is everywhere and we at eEvent understand that status and access is way more valuable than money

  • Pretty brilliant idea, and it seems to be working…

    I’m like a mouse pushing a lever for more cocaine, I. CANT. STOP.

    BOOM! 112 Feld Gelt, I’m gonna go ahead a call in sick tomorrow, I’m on a mission.

    • Jon Rossi

      Must get more points !!!!!

      • I’ve cleared my calendar and I’m starting to pound a 12 pack of Coke. Game on 😉

        • I wonder if I can get points for replying to myself?

        • I wonder if I can get points for replying to myself?

      • I’ve cleared my calendar and I’m starting to pound a 12 pack of Coke. Game on 😉

    • Jon Rossi

      Must get more points !!!!!

  • Pretty brilliant idea, and it seems to be working…

    I’m like a mouse pushing a lever for more cocaine, I. CANT. STOP.

    BOOM! 112 Feld Gelt, I’m gonna go ahead a call in sick tomorrow, I’m on a mission.

  • I fell very compelled to help you prove your point 😉

  • I fell very compelled to help you prove your point 😉

  • Anonymous

    When games are so much serious they are not game any more, they are real life!

  • Anonymous

    When games are so much serious they are not game any more, they are real life!

  • Oh good grief, Brad! I love your idea, but I have to find an alternate solution. I’m notorious for never finishing games. 🙂

    So, I have an alternate proposal.

    If you’re close to Brad Feld and can arrange for 30 minutes of his time in person or by phone, I’ll provide 20 hours of my highly experienced time in assessing/solving performance and scalability services for your start-up or established company (data, web, app, etc). *

    Same goes for an equal swap of your 10k Feld Geld. 🙂

    *I’m located outside San Francisco and willing to travel to assist you if reimbursed

    • Awesome – a secondary market developing already!

    • Awesome – a secondary market developing already!

    • Jon Rossi

      Great addition to Brad’s offer.

    • Jon Rossi

      Great addition to Brad’s offer.

    • Seems like if I try hard enough, like any system, you can brute force it. Or, perhaps I simply need to call a friend over at BigDoor to do the needful for my account 🙂

    • Seems like if I try hard enough, like any system, you can brute force it. Or, perhaps I simply need to call a friend over at BigDoor to do the needful for my account 🙂

  • Oh good grief, Brad! I love your idea, but I have to find an alternate solution. I’m notorious for never finishing games. 🙂

    So, I have an alternate proposal.

    If you’re close to Brad Feld and can arrange for 30 minutes of his time in person or by phone, I’ll provide 20 hours of my highly experienced time in assessing/solving performance and scalability services for your start-up or established company (data, web, app, etc). *

    Same goes for an equal swap of your 10k Feld Geld. 🙂

    *I’m located outside San Francisco and willing to travel to assist you if reimbursed

  • Love this idea – well-said & well-done

    • Jon Rossi

      This is going to be very competitive I can tell already.

    • Jon Rossi

      This is going to be very competitive I can tell already.

  • Love this idea – well-said & well-done

  • I probably shouldn’t play this game because I like to win too much. 🙂

    • Jon Rossi

      Changes the whole dynamics when there is a real life prize that is offered.

    • Jon Rossi

      Changes the whole dynamics when there is a real life prize that is offered.

  • I probably shouldn’t play this game because I like to win too much. 🙂

  • Ok here goes

  • Ok here goes

  • Nice approach. I’m checking out a couple of gamification sessions this next week at @sxsw

  • Nice approach. I’m checking out a couple of gamification sessions this next week at @sxsw

  • Get ready for the best 30 minutes of your life….coming soon…. !!!!

  • Get ready for the best 30 minutes of your life….coming soon…. !!!!

  • Geoff

    Didn’t iWon do this stunt in like 1996?

    • No clue – I don’t remember what iWon did.

    • No clue – I don’t remember what iWon did.

    • Geoff

      Ok, 1999. Just checked and I’m shocked to see they are still around!

    • Geoff

      Ok, 1999. Just checked and I’m shocked to see they are still around!

  • Geoff

    Didn’t iWon do this stunt in like 1996?

  • I wonder what other VCs or entrepreneurs might try this approach. My bet is on Gary V trying this soon.

    • Gary V is a great idea especially given the release of his new book.

    • Gary V is a great idea especially given the release of his new book.

  • I wonder what other VCs or entrepreneurs might try this approach. My bet is on Gary V trying this soon.

  • I bet there will be about 40+ comments on this one post. The already active community and social following will be a little more engaged. Unique idea Brad

    Just a few months ago I remember reading on VentureBeat about VC involvement in gamification startups and the Foundry group was mentioned. “VCs level up with “gamification” investments” – http://venturebeat.com/2010/12/10/vcs-level-up-with-gamification-investments-2/

  • I bet there will be about 40+ comments on this one post. The already active community and social following will be a little more engaged. Unique idea Brad

    Just a few months ago I remember reading on VentureBeat about VC involvement in gamification startups and the Foundry group was mentioned. “VCs level up with “gamification” investments” – http://venturebeat.com/2010/12/10/vcs-level-up-with-gamification-investments-2/

  • Pbarber

    Pretty cool experiment. I’ll take the Boulder opp’y

  • Pbarber

    Pretty cool experiment. I’ll take the Boulder opp’y

  • Love the idea! Question though – doesn’t gamification can also increase the potential of increased noise?

    • Aha – a nice reference back to Signal vs. Noise of the other day. For me,
      this is an incredible amount of signal because I’m trying to better
      understand gamification. For anyone interested in it or interested in
      getting together with me, it’s also signal. For others, it might be noise.

      • Since you’re looking for some Signal: the rest of you – Wall of Text inbound.

        I like being able to choose how to play my games; I find the right intellectual fit and play in a system I can spend hours puzzling over and seeking efficiencies. I have even gone so far as to play certain games that contain “economies” to an obsessive level; in one MMO I worked with over 250 contractors to supply my manufacturing with materials.

        In another MMO I simplified a manufacturing and logistics problem using 40 accounts I paid for and operated myself. (In a previous phase of life, I was self-employed and enjoyed taking time off and had a long recovery from a serious injury… ]8^) ).

        Both of these things were incredibly individualized endeavors and the way that I played the game was almost entirely unique to anyone else in the game. Both were incredibly compelling and for the period of time I participated they practically overshadowed the rest of my life. That quintessential thing, that magic sweet spot for me was in empowerment.

        Game mechanics in social and commercial interactions is a barrier to adoption for me and not empowering. I am not interested in doing one thing to accomplish another. When I shop, I want to get it done faster, at lower cost. Loyalty programs and rewards programs are not addressing my ‘faster’ requirement and in most cases were not affecting the ‘lower cost’ in any meaningful or direct way.

        I know recent research shows younger generations are more gratification-seeking and they measure that gratification differently, so there is definitely serious territory to explore and conquer with these case studies and technologies.

        I am not posting this as criticism of the venture or technology; it will certainly fascinate me to see it mature. It will also be why I always prefer an application such as ShopSavvy over ShopKick. It is also driving the way I build my company and our products. I think that sweet spot is empowerment and that lasting value is achieved through saving time, increasing relevancy and personalizing to one’s own experience and interests.

        • Erik – great comments. One of the things I’ve learned from my investment in
          Zynga and study of gamification is that there are several different basic
          human modalities that seem to have very little overlap. As a result, it’s
          important to recognize that a particular gamification approach may have 0%
          adoption by one modality, but very high adoption by a different modality.
          You have explained this phenomenon in very useful detail below!

          • Brad,

            Gamification (especially in “social”) is entering a new phase and there are three elements I think that needs to be tapped for it to last; 1. Persistence, 2. Transportation of the game mechanic and 3. Relevance to the physical world.

            I’m engaged by interacting with intelligent people on interesting topics, for example, this dialog. The idea of meta-gaming a topic and being able to carry over my “XP” from here to anywhere else I join a conversation would really grab my attention. To use a D&D metaphor, if I slayed a hundred posts with my basic weapon (mine is rusty and nicked), perhaps the admin would award me with a +2 sword and allow me to comment on a dialog consisting only of “Level 5” posters.

            For example; on my “character sheet” I would start as Erik the level 1 Manager / Level 1 Counselor / level 1 Distributed System Wizard. I would gain skills over time that reinforced my behavior; perhaps badges, perhaps XP, perhaps XP to allocate to a specific meta-skill such as a specific domain skill or topic, like “Wine Pairing” or “Cooking: French Cuisine”.

            This would need to not only persist and transport from site to site, but add geo-location and offline relevance to the mix and you have the ability to extend the game into my behavior wherever my smart phone goes. Looking at @geoloqi for example, if I tag or check in at a ‘Sur La Table’ B&M store, if I select a brand or make a purchase, this could raise my skill level in areas of interest to my character sheet. I could further my XP by talking about my purchase, my store experience.

            We’ve all struggled with the outside-in approach for so long; how to build lasting value in cookies, how to unlock targeting on an individual basis, how to turn demographic and metrics into marketable outcomes. There’s always been some new shift in the social/technical paradigm to explore or some new revenue strategy that works for a while before disruption.

            I’ll get really excited when someone comes up with an idea and technology allowing me to merge my online actions and statements to an offline behavior and activity in a way that makes me want to “play” and respects my interest in not being involved in spamming friends and contacts. Ie. Play the game in a compelling, respectful and interesting way. The rewards are there and I think the time is now.

          • Anonymous

            Love the comments…. particularly these two:

            “When I shop, I want to get it done faster, at lower cost. Loyalty programs and rewards programs are not addressing my ‘faster’ requirement and in most cases were not affecting the ‘lower cost’ in any meaningful or direct way.”

            “’ll get really excited when someone comes up with an idea and technology allowing me to merge my online actions and statements to an offline behavior and activity”

            This is a big part of what my startup is working on, so I’m with you!

        • Erik – great comments. One of the things I’ve learned from my investment in
          Zynga and study of gamification is that there are several different basic
          human modalities that seem to have very little overlap. As a result, it’s
          important to recognize that a particular gamification approach may have 0%
          adoption by one modality, but very high adoption by a different modality.
          You have explained this phenomenon in very useful detail below!

      • Since you’re looking for some Signal: the rest of you – Wall of Text inbound.

        I like being able to choose how to play my games; I find the right intellectual fit and play in a system I can spend hours puzzling over and seeking efficiencies. I have even gone so far as to play certain games that contain “economies” to an obsessive level; in one MMO I worked with over 250 contractors to supply my manufacturing with materials.

        In another MMO I simplified a manufacturing and logistics problem using 40 accounts I paid for and operated myself. (In a previous phase of life, I was self-employed and enjoyed taking time off and had a long recovery from a serious injury… ]8^) ).

        Both of these things were incredibly individualized endeavors and the way that I played the game was almost entirely unique to anyone else in the game. Both were incredibly compelling and for the period of time I participated they practically overshadowed the rest of my life. That quintessential thing, that magic sweet spot for me was in empowerment.

        Game mechanics in social and commercial interactions is a barrier to adoption for me and not empowering. I am not interested in doing one thing to accomplish another. When I shop, I want to get it done faster, at lower cost. Loyalty programs and rewards programs are not addressing my ‘faster’ requirement and in most cases were not affecting the ‘lower cost’ in any meaningful or direct way.

        I know recent research shows younger generations are more gratification-seeking and they measure that gratification differently, so there is definitely serious territory to explore and conquer with these case studies and technologies.

        I am not posting this as criticism of the venture or technology; it will certainly fascinate me to see it mature. It will also be why I always prefer an application such as ShopSavvy over ShopKick. It is also driving the way I build my company and our products. I think that sweet spot is empowerment and that lasting value is achieved through saving time, increasing relevancy and personalizing to one’s own experience and interests.

    • Aha – a nice reference back to Signal vs. Noise of the other day. For me,
      this is an incredible amount of signal because I’m trying to better
      understand gamification. For anyone interested in it or interested in
      getting together with me, it’s also signal. For others, it might be noise.

  • Love the idea! Question though – doesn’t gamification can also increase the potential of increased noise?

  • Uhmmmm so how is disqUS integrated with the minibar system or my tweets captured all in the same basket? Seems pretty magical to happen… Is there a dashboard?

    • There is a direct integration between Disqus and the BigDoor Minibar. I’ll
      let Keith explain the technical details.

    • There is a direct integration between Disqus and the BigDoor Minibar. I’ll
      let Keith explain the technical details.

    • Honestly, our integration to Disqus comments is pretty rudimentary, and as a result Brad has a frequency cap set currently at 3 reward-able comments per 30 minutes. This keeps folks from doing creative things that may otherwise allow them to jack those points up quickly. By the way, Share and Like also have frequency caps in place. These values are all configurable for the admin (Brad in this case) in our gamification management system.

      Regarding dashboards, if you are an admin for your own gamification configuration you have access to all sorts of analytics. As a user, you can see how many points and virtual currency you have by clicking on your profile pictures in the minibar at the bottom of the page.

      • Hey Keith, nice to meet you

        I frequently read Feld’s blog from my iPhone… the bar doesn’t really behave as it should… it usually appear in a random height, right on top of the content… Also it’s not clickable

        i Know how ugly iPhone can get with window heights and positioning but wanted to mention it…

        I have a more advanced question but have to explore it first when i can use the bar… maybe not fit for this discussion =)

        • Thanks for the feedback Thanasis. As you point out, mobile browsers make it really tough to deal with positioning, so as a result the minibar should just not load on mobile browsers. We did a round of testing again this morning on iPhone, iPad and Android and it behaved as expected (it didn’t show up). Can you give me more details on what you are seeing? I’d love to be able to duplicate the issues so we can get it fixed.

          As an aside, our core RESTful API works great with mobile. We even have an iPhone SDK to make implementation easier. It’s just our front end JavaScript libraries that currently work this way.

          Keith

      • Hey Keith, nice to meet you

        I frequently read Feld’s blog from my iPhone… the bar doesn’t really behave as it should… it usually appear in a random height, right on top of the content… Also it’s not clickable

        i Know how ugly iPhone can get with window heights and positioning but wanted to mention it…

        I have a more advanced question but have to explore it first when i can use the bar… maybe not fit for this discussion =)

    • Honestly, our integration to Disqus comments is pretty rudimentary, and as a result Brad has a frequency cap set currently at 3 reward-able comments per 30 minutes. This keeps folks from doing creative things that may otherwise allow them to jack those points up quickly. By the way, Share and Like also have frequency caps in place. These values are all configurable for the admin (Brad in this case) in our gamification management system.

      Regarding dashboards, if you are an admin for your own gamification configuration you have access to all sorts of analytics. As a user, you can see how many points and virtual currency you have by clicking on your profile pictures in the minibar at the bottom of the page.

  • Uhmmmm so how is disqUS integrated with the minibar system or my tweets captured all in the same basket? Seems pretty magical to happen… Is there a dashboard?

  • I’m in for 3 reasons.
    1) I know that Gelt = Yiddish for cash (I am fluent in Yiddish so feel free to use it – I can translate for all)
    2) we learn by doing – no shortcuts to real world experience and
    3) Chris Selland likes this – how can I go wrong 🙂

    Judy Shapiro

  • I’m in for 3 reasons.
    1) I know that Gelt = Yiddish for cash (I am fluent in Yiddish so feel free to use it – I can translate for all)
    2) we learn by doing – no shortcuts to real world experience and
    3) Chris Selland likes this – how can I go wrong 🙂

    Judy Shapiro

  • Mike

    Would love to get 30 minutes of your time, but I know how much effort it would take, especially since I don’t have 10k techy followers. Besides, I think Steve Blank might come over and beat me over the head with a baseball bat and tell me I should be getting out of the building instead of spending time on this.

    I’m trying to figure out what you are aiming at. Just an experiment? I doubt you need more followers.

    BTW, when we get selected for TechStars I’m sure I’ll get to meet you 🙂

    • “Learning by doing” – it’s a core way that I think / live my life.

    • “Learning by doing” – it’s a core way that I think / live my life.

  • Mike

    Would love to get 30 minutes of your time, but I know how much effort it would take, especially since I don’t have 10k techy followers. Besides, I think Steve Blank might come over and beat me over the head with a baseball bat and tell me I should be getting out of the building instead of spending time on this.

    I’m trying to figure out what you are aiming at. Just an experiment? I doubt you need more followers.

    BTW, when we get selected for TechStars I’m sure I’ll get to meet you 🙂

  • First I shook my head and chucked…..this is great! Another Brad Feld immersion experiment to discover the dynamics of a market/community/web tool/etc. Then I hired a team in Chennai to click, comment, cross post, etc. We’ll be reselling the Feld time slots on Ebay.

    • Hah! I expect this will also show up on Mechanical Turk.

    • Hah! I expect this will also show up on Mechanical Turk.

  • First I shook my head and chucked…..this is great! Another Brad Feld immersion experiment to discover the dynamics of a market/community/web tool/etc. Then I hired a team in Chennai to click, comment, cross post, etc. We’ll be reselling the Feld time slots on Ebay.

  • If only said Gelt were available on the Forex market. I could make a killing trading currency and then auction the 30 minutes off at the end and give the proceeds to charity.

    Game on.

  • If only said Gelt were available on the Forex market. I could make a killing trading currency and then auction the 30 minutes off at the end and give the proceeds to charity.

    Game on.

  • Like all games there will be gold farmers. Someone could get one of those WoW sweatshops in China to work this to get an interview. It’ll be interesting to see if anyone decides to go in that direction – I think they would deserve an interview. 😉

  • Like all games there will be gold farmers. Someone could get one of those WoW sweatshops in China to work this to get an interview. It’ll be interesting to see if anyone decides to go in that direction – I think they would deserve an interview. 😉

  • Really cool! In my site’s development plan we have Big Door implementation slated for April… This will be good practice, filled with learning moments!

  • Really cool! In my site’s development plan we have Big Door implementation slated for April… This will be good practice, filled with learning moments!

  • Cool idea! I am going for the 10K!

  • Cool idea! I am going for the 10K!

  • Wow, really? I spend 18 hours a day seven days a week focused on every single aspect of my startup to make sure it succeeds. But I’ll just chuck all that to focus on pushing a lever over and over like lab rat to get a half hour with you.

    If I ever get 30 minutes of your time – and I honestly hope I do – I’ll earn it by creating a great product that people love.

    Good luck to you.

    • That’s one way! Feel free to email me whenever you have your product up and running and I’ll give it a try.

    • That’s one way! Feel free to email me whenever you have your product up and running and I’ll give it a try.

    • There is a pretty easy solution: Give extra weight/gelt to the most intelligent comments… as decided by number of “likes” or some similar system.

      Brad – Presumably you would rather meet the person with 5 intelligent comments over the person with 10,000 noise comments.

      That should also help boost signal/noise.

  • Wow, really? I spend 18 hours a day seven days a week focused on every single aspect of my startup to make sure it succeeds. But I’ll just chuck all that to focus on pushing a lever over and over like lab rat to get a half hour with you.

    If I ever get 30 minutes of your time – and I honestly hope I do – I’ll earn it by creating a great product that people love.

    Good luck to you.

  • Ryan Brady

    Awesome post. I think Vail Resorts has captured the essence with EpicMix

  • Ryan Brady

    Awesome post. I think Vail Resorts has captured the essence with EpicMix

  • Chris Knorr

    I imagine you have seen this Brad but for others, this is a great presentation that starts with facebook and facebook games and eventually gets to gamification of the world.

    http://www.g4tv.com/videos/44277/dice-2010-design-outside-the-box-presentation/

    • Yup – it’s a great one that everyone interested in this should watch.

  • Chris Knorr

    I imagine you have seen this Brad but for others, this is a great presentation that starts with facebook and facebook games and eventually gets to gamification of the world.

    http://www.g4tv.com/videos/44277/dice-2010-design-outside-the-box-presentation/

  • I love this idea. As a startup entrepreneur, 30 mins is a great opportunity. I like your style!

  • I love this idea. As a startup entrepreneur, 30 mins is a great opportunity. I like your style!

  • Awesome opportunity, and I suspect you will see the four slots redeemed far sooner than you imagine exactly because of the fascination with gamification. I think 10 hours a day is a reasonable estimate for time necessary to win. More likely, the winners will set up some pretty simple scripts to automate the point gathering process. I’m just going to continue enjoying your insights while on my way up the ski lifts.

  • Awesome opportunity, and I suspect you will see the four slots redeemed far sooner than you imagine exactly because of the fascination with gamification. I think 10 hours a day is a reasonable estimate for time necessary to win. More likely, the winners will set up some pretty simple scripts to automate the point gathering process. I’m just going to continue enjoying your insights while on my way up the ski lifts.

  • Jeff Yoak

    It’ll be interesting to see if this generates empty activity aimed at winning or actually gets people engaged.

    • Yup – that’s part of the exploration.

      • The real points come with constant participation so I’d like to think that everyone would not just comment with non-contributing comments. I’m sure the findings will be interesting. Looks like Tyler is off to a great start!

      • The real points come with constant participation so I’d like to think that everyone would not just comment with non-contributing comments. I’m sure the findings will be interesting. Looks like Tyler is off to a great start!

      • With the frequency of your comments on this post, I wonder if you’re trying to score 30 minutes with yourself! (It may be the only way to get some down time with your schedule!) 🙂

      • With the frequency of your comments on this post, I wonder if you’re trying to score 30 minutes with yourself! (It may be the only way to get some down time with your schedule!) 🙂

    • Yup – that’s part of the exploration.

  • Jeff Yoak

    It’ll be interesting to see if this generates empty activity aimed at winning or actually gets people engaged.

  • Brad – interesting concept. Considered doing the same thing with my http://www.vcdeallawyer.com site. I thought I’d offer the winner heavily discounted legal services on an angel or venture round. However, I couldn’t come up with what the “do” part would be that would earn them credit. I like some of your examples. Maybe I’ll circle back around and reconsider my plan. Thanks.

    • Holler if you want a direct connection to the BigDoor guys – just email me
      and I’ll introduce you.

    • Holler if you want a direct connection to the BigDoor guys – just email me
      and I’ll introduce you.

  • Brad – interesting concept. Considered doing the same thing with my http://www.vcdeallawyer.com site. I thought I’d offer the winner heavily discounted legal services on an angel or venture round. However, I couldn’t come up with what the “do” part would be that would earn them credit. I like some of your examples. Maybe I’ll circle back around and reconsider my plan. Thanks.

  • I think there is something bigger here. I call it peer to peer search and the game is called life. It is a model that i am working on with searchface.me. We are all here to search Brad’s brain. It might be for something specific or it something serendipitous. We pay with our time, but depending on the stakes, we would pay with other currencies as well.

  • I think there is something bigger here. I call it peer to peer search and the game is called life. It is a model that i am working on with searchface.me. We are all here to search Brad’s brain. It might be for something specific or it something serendipitous. We pay with our time, but depending on the stakes, we would pay with other currencies as well.

  • wow, talk about a valued resource! Provoking idea, crazy how quickly it was executed

  • wow, talk about a valued resource! Provoking idea, crazy how quickly it was executed

  • A couple of reactions.
    You have replied to every email I have sent you. Although I have never requested a 30 minute block of time, I suspect if I had a compelling reason you would offer it – because you are an honorable man that likes to interact and contribute to community.

    Secondly, you owe me a dinner. A promise made for attending Glue 2009.

    Third, what’s with the gimmicks? You have influence, audience, and much more.

    • Re: Dinner – I did have a dinner for everyone that came to Glue 2009. I’m 99.9% sure you were invited – I can check the invite list if you believe you weren’t. About 20 people came and we had a nice night at Rembrant Yard.

      Re: Gimmicks – It’s “learning by doing.” I don’t view them as Gimmicks – I’m trying to understand better how this stuff works by doing it rather than just talking about it. I started blogging in 2005 to learn how user generated content and RSS worked. I do this with most of the technologies I’m interested in.

    • Hey Dave,

      Hope all is well – recall that we met when I hosted one of the pre-conf dinners at last year’s Defrag. I read Brad frequently, sometimes hang out with him & have been known to make inappropriate jokes about his socks. I guess that means I’m biased, but…

      wrt the Glue 2009 dinner, Brad *did* host this. I happen to know because I sorta kinda reminded him of his commitment… a couple times, hey.. and worked with Kelly to get it scheduled (ok, she did all the work, I just replied to a few schedule-related emails w/ suggestions)

      Sorry that you didn’t make it, but it was fairly well-attended (abt 15 people iirc). So those folks found out about it too. If you have specific questions, I’m happy to have a private convo. jbminn at freepository dot com

      Edit I: I see below Brad mentions “…abt 20 people”. I had a long drive home that night & a few folks did arrive as I was leaving, so the 20 is probably accurate.

    • I stand corrected. Mr. Feld did honor his promise. I verified my inbox and did receive such an invitation in Feb 2010. Not only did I miss the event, but I libeled the host with false accusations. Apologies.

      Still don’t like the gimmicks and badges, yet somehow I’ve commented three times here now skewing the raw data that will suggest I do. I feel like Marvin the Robot trapped in a Facebook world.

      • “I feel like Marvin the Robot trapped in a Facebook world.”

        nice

        • “The first ten million years were the worst, and the second ten million
          years, they were the worst too. The third ten million I didn’t enjoy at all.
          After that I went into a bit of a decline.”

  • A couple of reactions.
    You have replied to every email I have sent you. Although I have never requested a 30 minute block of time, I suspect if I had a compelling reason you would offer it – because you are an honorable man that likes to interact and contribute to community.

    Secondly, you owe me a dinner. A promise made for attending Glue 2009.

    Third, what’s with the gimmicks? You have influence, audience, and much more.

  • I don’t do FB and I don’t do badges. I preferred leaving comments without earning badges.

  • I don’t do FB and I don’t do badges. I preferred leaving comments without earning badges.

  • This is great! eEvent.com implemented non-invasive gamification to help Event Organizers to quickly increase attendance by automatically recognizing and honoring Top Ambassadors of their events. Not by spending more money. Gamification, when implemented cautiously, works wonder!

  • This is great! eEvent.com implemented non-invasive gamification to help Event Organizers to quickly increase attendance by automatically recognizing and honoring Top Ambassadors of their events. Not by spending more money. Gamification, when implemented cautiously, works wonder!

  • For what it’s worth, the Big Door integration with Facebook is a huge dealbreaker for me. The little notification that the app can access my info, send me email, and post to my wall if where I bail every time. Interestingly, the wall posting aspect is the biggest deal for me.

    • Just curious – are you comfortable using any FB Connect integrations or is there something special about this one in particular that is troubling?

      • Nope, nothing unusual about this one. I just feel like I’ve been burned by enough Facebook apps and integrations in the past that I have a very high threshold for signing up through Facebook. I’m much more likely to user Twitter and LinkedIn IDs. Google is somewhere in between.

        • Thanks for the feedback Greg, that is helpful. Twitter (and other third party) login integration is on our product roadmap. Of course it is competing with a few dozen other really good ideas, but it’s coming soon.

    • Just curious – are you comfortable using any FB Connect integrations or is there something special about this one in particular that is troubling?

  • For what it’s worth, the Big Door integration with Facebook is a huge dealbreaker for me. The little notification that the app can access my info, send me email, and post to my wall if where I bail every time. Interestingly, the wall posting aspect is the biggest deal for me.

  • I happen to like “flinging pissed off birds at ramshackle construction sites” on my iPhone 🙂

    The life as a game theory reminds me of a TED talk I saw by Seth Priebatsch of SCVNGR where he discussed how life is a game based on the rules, incentives, and penalties. Interesting stuff.

    • Re: flinging birds. As do I!

  • Hey, my tweet just got posted here: http://paper.li/cosmagazine Do I get extra brownie points? :=}

  • DaveJ

    I wonder if a secondary effect of all this “gamification” and operant conditioning will be to create a movement away from goal-oriented behavior toward experiential. Just a thought.

  • For those of you who want 30 minutes with Brad Feld and don’t have time (but do have money), just grab the BigDoor link and advertise Feld’s blog on, say, Facebook or Digg. You get 6 points for every click, which means the dollar value of 30 minutes with Brad Feld is roughly anywhere from $1,700 (@ $1 CPC) to $4,200 (@ $2.5 CPC). And I thought my consulting rates were high. 🙂

    Brad, I’m not surprised that BigDoor’s out-of-the-box badges/point system fails to motivate your readers.

    The incentives for every execution of game mechanics need to be contextually relevant. How will badges and points help the average entrepreneur who reads your blog succeed? They probably won’t. If anything, an wanna-be entrepreneur obsessed with collecting points and badges is probably hurting their chances of achieving success.

    But offering custom incentives, such as 30 minutes of your time, can change the “game”.

    Consumers are sometimes motivated by points and badges, because they are weak signals to other people of evolutionarily relevant measures of reproductive fitness. The “Renaissance Man” badge tells others I’m intelligent, which makes me more attractive to mates and allies.

    But I think you’re going to have to work hard if you want points and badges to motivate the readers of your blog. It’s much easier and more reliable to tie points to deals that directly benefit entrepreneurs. I hope you’ll report on the uptick of BigDoor activity generated by this experiment of yours.

    • John,

      Good points. After considering the other elements of this comment-thread, I wonder if the approach shouldn’t simply be literal in terms of brand badges. I certainly consume and own brands that I would champion and be proud to wear and endorse (Levi, Nike, Subaru). I’m pretty comfortable with my own labels, like ‘Renaissance man’, but I wouldn’t mind receiving a discount on my next WRX.

  • Anonymous

    Arrgh, east coast bias! (just got here and the contest was done!)
    Hmm, still can earn that many Feld Gelt points no problem (as I visit here too much!)
    Also,, finally Gelt I want!! (That other stuff, it’s just bad carob,, I don’t think they were intended to be delicious chocolate do you?)
    Mediumbluescarves away!

  • Hah. This is a great idea. I’d love to see the google analytics analysis before/after comparison.

  • Very cool idea! Can I fly you to Malaysia and spend 30 minutes of good Malaysian food with me? 🙂

  • 30min of Brad time is definitely worth 10,000xp! Im in!

  • Great idea. Now you will have to come up with something else, maybe see who will paint your house for free and in return stop by and talk to them about their startup while they’re painting! (that was a joke)

  • What a great way to make a blog more interactive! When testing it out, I ended up deleting the facebook share, and posting it again via twitter, because it didn’t let me personalize the comment with the link. I always like to give friends a personal explanation of why I think they should read something. Otherwise it becomes advertising.

  • Shameless blog post. Just trying to get some feld points 🙂

    • And that you did!

  • Michael Gates

    I love the idea. My interest in gamification as an enterprise tool has spiked considerably. Thanks for being the spark!

  • Hey Brad, At SXSWi Stephen Anderson gave an amazing presentation called Long After the Thrill – Sustaining Passionate Users. Here’s his slide share presentation: http://www.slideshare.net/stephenpa/long-after-the-thrill-sustaining-passionate-users

    This guy would be a great speaker for your Techstars