It’s 2015, and Friendster is king among social media sites.
How could this have happened?
To understand, we need to go back to this week’s playtesting in Oslo. I got to lead 10 competent players who had to take on the heavy responsibility of leading Twitter, Facebook, Myspace and Friendster in their fights for market domination.
Intense discussions at Myspace HQ. What strategy will lead to world domination?
Twitter got off to an early lead – with a bit of luck. A blogger revealed his preferences for everyone to see, and Twitter was positioned to build a product that suited his needs perfectly. While they were busy building their product, the other teams had to struggle through experiment after experiment to learn enough about their customers.
Early traction for Twitter. With this speed, victory seems secure.
The other teams despaired. Twitter had more customers and more features. Certainly, the outcome of this fight was already determined?
As history would have it, Twitter took the wrong lessons from their early success. Suffering from feature creep, the speed of development slowed to a near halt. Their competitors, with leaner products and more insight about the market, soon caught up.
Competition has caught up and everything is up in the air. Twitter’s victory is no longer a foregone conclusion.
Friendster wins the day
While trailing behind for most of the day, Friendster built up great speed towards the end of the game. In the last round, Twitter suffered that final calamity: Confirmation Bias. Spending a full round confirming knowledge they already had, they made no progress.
Friendster could cross the finish line first and win the market!
After action review
Both winners and losers enjoyed a quick retrospective when the battle was over. Insights and lessons learned were shared across the table. Suggestion for improvement of Playing Lean were noted and will be incorporated.
Team Friendster had to face the hard reality that their global domination was only in a game, but took comfort in the fact that their learning was real.
This post first appeared on Playing Lean ́s Kickstarter page.