G-List Interview: Daniel Debow

G-List Interview: Daniel Debow

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As part of our G-List – the who’s-who of the gamification space – we will be holding weekly Tweetups with some of the awesome speakers and guests of our upcoming Gamification Summit in New York. We kicked it off with an interview between Daniel Debow, co-CEO and co-Founder of Rypple and our own Jeff Lopez.

Keep reading for the full interview!

Daniel Debow DANIEL DEBOW is co-founder and co-CEO of Rypple, where he drives marketing, engineering and product development initiatives. Before Rypple, Daniel co-founded Workbrain, a workforce management software company that listed Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, Citigroup, and British Airways amongst its more than 250 global clients. Daniel led Workbrain’s sale to Infor for $227m in 2007. Daniel is a regular contributor to Fortune.com and the Huffington Post, and has been widely quoted in the Financial Times, the Economist and Bloomberg Businessweek. He holds a JD/MBA from the University of Toronto and an LLM in Law, Science and Technology from Stanford University.
gamificationco gamificationco We are holding a tweetup w/ @Rypple co-CEO @DDebow in 15min. Submit Qs to @gamificationco with #gsummit or follow at http://j.mp/ru1SYp
ddebow
Warning: I’m about to answer a whack of questions about #gamification for pre – #gsummit interview. sorry for feed spam.
gamificationco
Q1: To kick things off, how did you first come across #gamification?
ddebow
We came across the idea of adding game elements to Rypple by thinking of it as design – and trying stuff
ddebow
So – when we saw some game elements worked, we iterated. That’s how we came to #gamification
ddebow

Once we started adding these elements, people started to describe us as #gamification … so, gamification came across us, i guess

gamificationco
Q1.1: What are some of the game elements that have worked the best?
ddebow
Great Q: People like badges, but it’s how they are given meaning that matters. Another is simplicity; stripping away is good
ddebow

Also “variable response / variable payoff” – which plays out, i think, when you ask for anon feedback: you dont know what u get!

gamificationco
Q2: You touched on it but in 140 chars or less, why is #gamification important to @Rypple?
ddebow
#gamification is important b/c it reminds us to keep things fun, simple, easy. And, forces us to think of intrinsic motivations
gamificationco
Q3: Is Rypple a top-down solution for alignment with the biz, or does it support ideas from the bottom-up?
ddebow
Rypple is both: focused on bottom-up usage, spread and engagement – but with enough “top-down” to make it a pragmatic biz tool.
Jessie Rogers

SFgamify Jessie Rogers

There’s often discussion around the pitfalls of extrinsic rewards. How does @Rypple counter-balance these?
ddebow
Focus on intrinsic rewards. @SFgamify @Rypple It’s what badges *mean* that matters to users. We let users create meaning.
Gabe Zichermann

gzicherm Gabe Zichermann

How important is it to tie this to cash incentives?
ddebow

I don’t think at all. Data suggests people r motivated by more than $, so we focus on that.

Jessie Rogers

SFgamify Jessie Rogers

Where do you think #gamification will go in 12-18 months? How will it provide long-term value, esp in the workplace?
ddebow
Lots of experiments, some awesome success, most fail. Will make workplace games more open perhaps – and fun.
Stogie Monster

stogiemonster Stogie Monster

Working with @Facebook, can you describe the relationship and tell one thing that that surprised you about them?
ddebow
Fb r amazing partners; smart, driven, insightful, fun. Surprising: how bold …although shld not surprise
gamificationco
Q5: IRT failed projects, have you seen some big problems with #gamification? How do you address them in your products?
ddebow
yeah, seen people go CRAZY with points, leaderboards, etc. just overboard with too much razzle dazzle, not enuf thinking
ddebow

So.. move slowly, carefully, iteratively and respecting people. Goal is to amplify existing good behavior, not create game-crack!

gamificationco
Q5.1: Dont reveal the secret sauce, but which design elements cut through the “razzle dazzle”?
ddebow
No secret: figure the game people already play, and design around that. Let users create their own game.
ddebow

And – its not about what you add in, but what design elements you *don’t* add to #gamify something. Less = more

ddebow

Effect is the same: faster learning, engagement, improvement. But, rate of adoption not about Demographics, but Psychographics…

T. Emre Tuncbilek

etunch T. Emre Tuncbilek

Did you “[gamify]” an existing HR solution or [create] a game that happens to be an HR solution?
ddebow
Hmmm… bit of both, but mostly “create a game that happens to help HR”. FYI – most buyers r NOT in HR. Just managers.
Gabe Zichermann

gzicherm Gabe Zichermann

What’s the different effect of the feedback system on younger vs older players?
ddebow
Similar results – more learning, engagement, etc. [Results are] about psychographics, not demographics.
Wanderfly
@ddebow how could @rypple help make us better managers when we’re traveling? we do a lot of that around here!
ddebow
For sure! keeps you connected to team, makes it easy to stay on track – and easy to recognize folks.
gamificationco
Thats it! Thanks to @DDebow and everyone for all the questions! Catch Daniel at #GSummit Sep 15-16 http://gsummit.com
ddebow
That was great – thanks y’all!
gamificationco

Gamification Co will be hosting it’s second Gamification Summit in New York on September 15-16. Join keynotes from Gilt Groupe CEO Alexandra Wilkis Wilson and 42 Entertainment’s founder, Susan Bonds, to learn how the new science of engagement is rewriting the rules of product design. For Gamification Blog readers, use discount code GCOBLOG for 25% off at http://gsummit.com/register. We look forward to seeing you there!

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