The Arrogance Of GamificationToday a gamification vendor fired me along with the 14 million cancer patients and the 60M (or so) members of their families our Cure Cancer Starter project hopes to represent. I haven't had an arrogant smackdown like today's in a long time. In fact I can't remember the last one. No matter what I said I was wrong, stupid and criminal.
Criminal because I was wasting this valuable person's time. I have leukemia, so anyway you do the math my time is more "valuable" than a 40 year old man's. This vendor has written a book and is arrogant enough to call himself the "father of gamification" next to a copy of the book on the website's homepage (and that is as close as I will come to naming the vendor).
In my experience the real fathers of complex ideas such as gamification never claim credit, credit is earned, granted and shared by OTHERS. I'm a marketing guy who will admit to attempting to create prophecies that self fulfill, but I tend to do so in hopeful not arrogant ways (probably why my credit seeking behavior always fails LOL). Perhaps arrogance is more likely to make a wish such as "the father of gamification" come true.
Does Arrogance Win Either Way?If you don't have cancer it is possible to react to such exclusionary arrogance with a strong desire to be included. This is the Bernie Madoff response, the parent to child response where the child seeks acceptance at all costs from the disapproving parent. This tactic certainly worked for Madoff. The harder he refused to take someone's money the more they were sure he must have it.
Cancer instantly cures some personal illnesses such as seeking approval though I admit to a pang of, "Why aren't we good enough". I took the other road and began to cut ties and reduce advocacy. I grant that my reaction won't make all that much difference in the sales of "the father of gamification's" book, but multiple my reaction thousands of times and a painpoint might be reached.
The problem is Bernie Madoff wouldn't have cared. Any rejection reinforced his exclusivity and so helped his case. Does this mean that arrogance wins either way? Arrogance wins the children who will seek father's approval at all costs combined with the rejection and disapproval of those who view arrogance as toxic and so to be avoided. Does arrogance help reinforce the exclusivity of the club?
Thank You Economy or Arrogance, Which Is Better?Gamification is a hot topic. Hotness, like desperation, can bring out the best or worst in people. The Silicon Valley gamification companies I've spoken with have a Fortune 1,000 fueled arrogance that speaks to making more money than time will allow.
So much of life is a bell curve. When we are at the top of the curve we are sure we've finally found our just rewards. At the top of the bell curve we forget. We forget the tough troughs behind and in front of us. No one stays on top of a bell curve forever.
Few make preparations for the inevitable trough.
Instead arrogance rules and good people and ideas are crushed merely because they are crushable. Grace is sharing even when there is little or nothing to be gained. For all the talk of our Thank You economy my attempted interactions with the leaders in the gamification space make me wonder if arrogance is a cheaper and more effective strategy?
What are your thoughts? Do you believe in the Thank You economy where we give and karma brings it back or is it cheaper to establish some claim and then back it with arrogance and perceived exclusivity?
Martin's ChoiceIt takes one to know one. Young, healthy, smart and making lots of money created the kind of arrogance I recognize now. One day in my forties cancer came to town and then my life was saved by the kindness of strangers. Strangers who spend their lives in service to others during the most difficult time of their lives. These saints are underpaid but highly valued.
I've never seen so much hugging as on a cancer ward. Cancer patients hug because they understand an important human truth - NOW is the only thing we are granted. THEN is promised to no man (or woman). If NOW is all we have then most cancer patients want to spend it being kind, generous and loving.
Even if arrogance turns out to be the correct, i.e. most rewarding, strategy I don't have the stomach for it. This choice may make me as stupid and I felt today, but die is cast. Even if it means more work and less reward I can't spend time angry or believe my lot is more divine than others. My lot is very much the SAME as others. We are brothers and sisters traveling a road that ends at the same location.
Eckhart Tolle taught a valuable lesson that helped me accept having cancer, "Whatever is happening is exactly what is supposed to be happening". Something will work out for Cure Cancer Starter's gamification. As Nietzsche so accurately said, "What doesn't kill us makes us stronger".
Some things that DO kill us make us stronger too.
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