From Flappy Bird

Those days the game “Flappy Bird” gained a big success, but if you actually download this app and play it, you’ll find it is not as much fun as those successful games we played before, like “Angry Bird” or “Fruit Ninja”, it doesn’t have cute UI or funny sound or some excellent physics engine, on the opposite, it is a very simple game and very difficult to play, I tried several times and I hardly could get through 5 pipes.

Flappy Bird

So I don’t think it is a good game, some people in weibo said, “Players who love this game because they have Stockholm Syndrome”, an article from 36kr also tried to reveal the secret under hood, but I think neither of them is correct.

For a very naive opinion, my answer is “it is popular because it is hard, sickly hard”. According to Nicole Lazzaro’s fun of 4 keys:

  • Easy Fun
  • Hard Fun
  • People Fun
  • Serious Fun

it belongs to Hard Fun, for “Fruit Ninja” it might be Easy Fun, for some social games or MMO it might be People Fun, anyway, the point is, hard brings people funs, because it is a challenge. Marc Leblanc’s 8 kinds of fun also includes the “Challenge” part – Game as obstacle course.

But if it is the only reason, you will ask, “A lot of games in AppStore are difficult to play, why those games didn’t get popular?”, another simple answer, while you may not be convinced, “It is just lucky”.

This game just reminds me an article I read before: What if startup success was just completely random?, in this article, the author failed in his first MMO game, and he began to look for some suggestions from other successful startups, in the end, unfortunately he found they actually gave him the opposing things, some said do X, while others said don’t do X.

So the idea is, what if startup’s success is just random? There are too many parameters you cannot control, therefore you just need to try as many ideas as you can:

Think of it like a lottery. In this case the obvious decision is to buy more tickets in order to get more chances to win. In the startup world it could mean that you should try as many different projects as you can. On each project you should always experiment and try a lot of different things to see what delivers you good feedback.

The important thing is to be always aware, to be ready to catch every small opportunity you see. Here’s an example; you meet a nice guy during an event, you like his idea, your skills are complementary. This could be an excellent occasion to try to develop the project together. Second example; you talk with a guy who has a problem and you know how to solve it easily. Go on, do it and see what happens.

You cannot know where you’ll be in 3 months. Just be aware, experiment, and transform as many opportunities as you can. The more you do the more chances you have to succeed in one of these projects.

I did the same things last year – I read many books of startup methodology, and read many articles that give you suggestions, I got the some feeling – the more I read, the more confusing I am. I am convinced by this article, there is no formula to build a successful startup, or maybe there is one but there are too many random parameters you cannot control. So don’t wasting time seeking advice or trying to get a formula, just coding now and release something!

2 comments:

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