Total adopters compared to adoption stages.
The S-shaped brown curve indicates total number of adopters as your organization progresses along the adoption curve (blue bell curve). You use total adopters curve to help you determine when it’s time to switch tactics. In reality, it’s likely to flatten out much sooner than the theoretical model shown here.
Industries always face upheaval and giants fall because everyone thinks they can go after the “bulk market.” The reality is that if you win favor of the innovators and early adopters today, you earn the market tomorrow. Suits never figure that out because the small percentage turns them off.
Studies have already begun to come out about how video games can benefit mental and intellectual development. StarCraft recently became a shining example when researchers at Queen Mary and University College London released a study on how it helps increase neuroplasticity. While a study has yet to be done on the following concept, I propose Minecraft is helping improve development in children in an even more powerful way. (I hope you researchers are paying attention!)
“Big Fish” Theory - We Can Only Grow As Much as Our Environment Allows
As the Tim Burton movie Big Fish so effectively discusses, a fish’s growth depends on the size of its environment. If you put equally young goldfish in two different sized bowls, chances are the one in the larger bowl will grow larger. This effect is manifested in many ways in nature. We, as organisms, adapt to our environments. We contract when are restrained and expand when are liberated (also a possible explanation for America’s obesity).
Big Fish = Big Brains
There are many studies on how play is essential for early development (here’s one). It doesn’t take much to draw a parallel between “Big Fish” theory and play. If the mind has room to grow, it will. If the mind feels constrained, it will limit itself to comply with surroundings. As children, we form our view of the world in this way. Play helps children feel empowered to explore and manipulate their environments. Without play, the mind develops a sense of helplessness and limitation.
Minecraft is a Really Big Bowl!
Minecraft is to the brain what an open olympic gymnasium is to the body. Minecraft’s open non-linear play combined with basic in-game objects which simulate binary logic, robotics, engineering, architecture, aesthetics, and even resource management gives children a near unlimited range of mental play and exercise. Beyond that, the game rewards collaboration and teamwork with friends. This “big bowl” is allowing children to develop skills and confidence around creativity, project planning, organization, and innovation earlier and more powerfully than ever.
My Own Little Mind Mutants
(photo: My son’s “village.” In the middle is a monument they build to me for Father’s Day. It is holding the American flag.)
I have had the privilege of watching my own two boys learn and grow in the world of Minecraft. When they first got into the game, they acted like worms.. literally. They just started digging and building random tunnels and rooms, nothing made any sense or had any order. Now they are designing entire cities with working subway systems, electrical grids, and automated doorways. I can hear them planning together when they build a new city, “I think all the food should go in a restaurant, we can charge ten iron for a cake!”
I Know It’s True Because It Has Happened Before
Think about all the creative, innovative, and problem solving savants you know. Now try and name me one who doesn’t like Legos. Even our own generation has had the benefit of an expanded “mental playground” with creative toys which allowed us to feel creatively empowered much more than our parent’s generation. This is part of the reason we hate structure and “that’s just the way it is” culture. When people say Minecraft is “Legos on computer” they are right on, times a hundred.
The World of MInecraft’s Future
When this generation of children grow up to their 30s there will be little to no tolerance for helplessness or complicity. They will refuse to live in a world which is not highly moldable, dynamic, and adaptable. Let’s not forget that Minecraft is not the end either, there will be further evolutions of the play we provide our children. At some point, our children will enter adulthood with the blueprints for the future already drawn out with crayon. Thanks for leading the future, Notch!
There are few ways to be loved more or hated more than being a pop artist. Even politicians seldom reach the pinnacle level of fan obsession and critical disgust as performers like Madonna, Michael Jackson, Beyonce, and Lady Gaga. While professional critics and amateur YouTube haters will shout to the heavens that Lady Gaga is “not very good,” “not really music,” or “sucks” the real reason we hate her is that she is so good… at making us like her.
Pop Music Isn’t Easy, It’s Just Popular
If American Idol should have taught us anything, it’s that pop music is NOT easy. Not only can very few perform it, even less can write it consistently. Sure there is a plethora of “one hit wonders” out there, but only those who consistently deliver become legends. You doubt? Name me two songs by MC Hammer without Googling it… I didn’t think so.
Just because we all hear pop music, a lot, doesn’t mean it’s easy. If it was really easy, pop artists wouldn’t be so… um… popular. There would be so many of them we wouldn’t care anymore, like congressional representatives. Pop music isn’t just about the songs; it is about the performances, the fantasy, the escape, and the consistency. We count on pop musicians to deliver an advertised experience we look forward to.
Pop Music Is a Great Equalizer, and We Hate That Too
We love being individuals and there is little we identify with more strongly with than our music. There is nothing which feels more insulting than grooving to a song in our car than to turn around and see someone we really hate listening to the same thing. “Hey! You can’t like that. I like that. It’s MY song.” OK, we don’t say that, but we think it.
We feel “dirty” when we like music other people dramatically different from us like too. I am not saying this is a good thing, I am just saying this is how we are. Even I, at 32 with a professional career, feel embarrassed to find myself rocking’ out to the same music as a teenage girl who still thinks being vegetarian means only buying your meat at a grocery store. We really hate how pop music makes us all seem so… similar.
Lady Gaga Is a Master of Pop, and That Goes Beyond the Music
Tom Moon, at NPR, said of Lady Gaga’s latest album ARTPOP: “Sometimes it’s cool when you can’t tell the circus from the sideshow, but with this album, I couldn’t shake the sense that the ‘art’ of ARTPOP is much more evident in the marketing than in the music.”
He is right, Lady Gaga is a master of the art of pop culture. The performances, the experiences, the escape, and making grown men tap a foot to the same music as teenie-boppers on their iPhones. However, just because Lady Gaga is so good at making music we all like doesn’t mean she is being cheap or contrived, it means she is being a professional. Lady Gaga makes a great product, and we only hate it because we love it so much. Lady Gaga has built a pop empire, and as a fellow megalomaniac, I have only the deepest respect for her tremendous talent and shrewd strategy.