Original post date: May 18, 2015

We covered three things: 1. Overview of Octalysis pillars 2. Concentration on the first pillar. 3. Looking at Personal Projects. Here are our notes from yesterday:

First, we filled in everyone on the basics of the octalysis framework…

1. Epic Calling and Meaning – this entails two parts: A. Striving to be apart of something bigger than yourself. B. Thinking you are the “chosen one” to do something.

Example: Wikipedia – protecting the world’s knowledge

Example: Tom’s Shoes- buy a pair and save kids in Africa

2. Development and Accomplishment- this entails making progress, developing skills, and overcoming challenges. CHALLENGES* is the key to this pillar, since any reward is meaningless without feeling an actual accomplishment.

Example: Foursquare – earning badges for discovering venues out in the city

3. Empowerment of Creativity – people are intrinsically engaged in a creative process, and it is important for them to see the results (or get feedback) on their labor

Example: Legos – Kids can be creative using legos to build forts, and structures, and they see their finished product

4. Ownership and Possession – users feel like they OWN or CONTROL something

Example: Meetup – when I organized the Meetup I felt a desire to make the Meetup enjoyable simply because I felt ownership

5. Social Influence and Relatedness– humans enjoy social interaction

Example: Facebook Poke – Simply getting a poke from a friend makes one happy and engaged

6. Scarcity and Impatience– humans seek the unattainable, exclusive, and rare

Example: Facebook Beginnings – First only Harvard students could use it. Then only Ivy League students could use it. Then only college students could use it…

Example: Movie Trailers – When a trailer says the movie won’t be in theatres for a long time, everyone wants to see it when it finally comes out

7. Unpredictability and Curiosity– We love surprises! We love when we don’t know what’s going to happen next. This is well displayed in BF Skinner’s operant conditioning experiments.

Example: Slot Machines – it’s so fun to randomly get a lot of money at one time, instead of getting consistent rewards

8. Loss and Avoidance– Humans will engage in a product because they don’t want to feel they lost something if they didn’t use the product.

Example: Netflix Binge Watching – After the 7th hour of watching Orange is the New Black, it is very tempting to watch the eighth episode because you want to avoid the feeling of “I just wasted 7 hours”


Focus on Epic Calling and Meaning Techniques

Think about Apple – they don’t talk about their specs – they talk about “Changing the World,” and you were individually were “The chosen one to make a difference.” 

1. Narrative– This is all about the context of WHY you are playing the game.

Example: Zamzee – a piece of hardware that that helps kids get healthy by doing expercise. It measures intensity of movement. Their narrative is that the kid is a “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” and there is a magical meaning to their exercise. For example, if they run up and down the stairs 15 times, they get their first spell!

2. Humaity Hero– This is about instilling a sense of “I’m making the world a better place.”

Example: FreeRice.com – they raised enough money to help 10 million people in the world have a meal, and they made money off advertising while doing it! They did this by creating small challenges for their users, and when a challenge was accomplished, the company would donate 10 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program.

3. Elitism– This is the tribal mentality. The thinking is, “I’m going to help this product, or team, or group, because I feel that I want to make this group better.”

Example: KIVA – a company where users donate/loan money to those in lower economic conditions. They promote their company by putting people in tribes (ie- USA vs Russia). It was shown that when they categorized Christians and Atheists, both groups started contributing a lot more!

4. Beginner’s Luck– The psychology of thinking one is uniquely destined to do something. In other words, they are able to do things veteran players couldn’t even do.

Example: Tinder – they have used data to create a system where new players are able to get a lot of matches quickly! Therefore, when they are a beginner they get many more matches than when they have had the app for a long time. 

5. FREE LUNCH– This is when a business selects YOU to have a better deal. Think of this as when you barter on the street and they, “Special deal for you.”

Example: Spoleto – Spoleto is a Brazilian chain and they gave a literal free lunch for any woman who declared that they themselves are a beautiful woman. They did this for International Women’s Day in order to make women feel confident and appreciated. Spoleto created a positive image around their brand. 


Personal Projects

1. Shams – a platform to teach entrepreneurs how to do ethical marketing

2. John – a piece of hardware to help monitor water consumption