So you want to "gamify" your product or brand, but don't want to spend the time and money building a platform from scratch? Fortunately, there are some top-notch gamification platform solutions out there to suit any business -- and more are coming out by the day. All of these options make it easier than ever to add gamification services, allowing you to really focus on boosting that all-important engagement metric.
Choice is good, but as these new gamification platforms emerge and existing platforms evolve, how do you decide which one is right for you? In this panel, we put leading gamification platform companies in the first-ever Gamification Platform Hot-Seat. Find out first hand how these platforms differentiate themselves in terms of overarching features, ease of integration, various cost structures and other services.
Tim Chang is a proven venture investor and experienced global executive. He was named on the 2011 Forbes Midas List of Top 100 Dealmakers, was featured by The Deal as one of five emerging VCs to watch and by the AlwaysON Hollywood IT List recognizing technology leaders in the digital entertainment industry. Tim invests in the mobile, gaming, digital media and enterprise applications sectors and co-leads Mayfield Fund’s investment practice in China. He currently serves on the board of directors of BranchOut, a career networking application on Facebook, HealthTap, an interactive health network that virtualizes the doctor-patient experience, and Moat, a brand analytics SaaS platform. Follow Tim on Twitter @timechange
Kris Duggan is a serial entrepreneur with a deep understanding of web loyalty, game psychology, and engagement analytics. His third and current startup Badgeville makes it easy for web publishers to increase user loyalty and engagement using game-based techniques to create highly-engaging web experiences. The comprehensive social rewards platform gives publishers and marketers access to a suite of highly-configurable white label widgets and an API, behavior-tracking tools and powerful engagement analytics. Site visitors are rewarded with real-time achievements and reputation that help publishers achieve specific pre-defined and measurable business goals.
Current clients include Comcast SportsNet, Philly.com, TechCrunch (AOL), SlideShare, The Next Web, and more. The company was selected out of thousands of applicants as a top round finalist at TechCrunch Disrupt and won the Audience Choice Award for best of show. Visit www.badgeville.com for more information.
Ryan Elkins is Founder & CEO at IActionable.
David Feinleib is a Partner at Mohr Davidow Ventures. The founder of four tech startups, Feinleib is known for his "street cred" with entrepreneurs and insights into new technological developments. His career in technology began when he was a teenager.
Charles Hudson is Co-Founder at Bionic Panda Games. Prior to Bionic Panda Games, Hudson was the VP of Business Development at Serious Business and the founder of Third Power LLC, the company behind some of the most successful conferences in the virtual goods and free-to-play games markets. Charles also held BD and product roles at IronPort Systems, Gaia Online, and Google.
Jay Levy is a co-founder and partner of Zelkova Ventures. Jay focuses most of his time in working with the current portfolio company and looking at new investments in the software-as-a-service, internet media and green tech space.
Jay launched his entrepreneurial career while in High School with his first web-services firm, providing web development services to early stage companies. After high school, Jay moved to New Jersey to attend Rutgers University, where he studied Finance & Political Science. While at Rutgers he helped to launch UConnections.com an internet portal for college students merging the office campus community with the dorm.
While still in college Jay went to work for Morgan Stanley working on the development of their separately managing account business. After leaving Morgan Stanley, Jay helped to launch MPI Professionals a New York based financial service consultancy which was later acquired by a publicly traded multi-national. More recently Jay was a founding partner of Trueview Services, an online monitoring solution targeted to the small business and residential market. Jay currently resides in Manhattan and in his free time enjoys playing golf, tennis and running.
Widely recognized as the father of gamification, Rajat Paharia founded Bunchball in 2005. Since then, he has parlayed his unique understanding of technology and design – along with a preternatural ability to recognize patterns – into the creation of a company whose market-defining solutions have helped engage customers and motivate employees at a wide array of companies, including IHG, Mattel, T-Mobile, Bravo, VMware, Electronic Arts, SAP and Kimberly Clark.
Keith Smith served as the CEO for 10 years and grew Zango from a startup to a multi-national company employing 300 people in six offices in four countries and multiple years was ranked among the Best Places to Work in Seattle. The company grew to $78 million in annual revenue and $24 million in EBITDA and ranked #7 on the Inc 500 list. While at Zango, Keith discovered a true passion for gamification after spending two years building a game-based loyalty program. Wanting to focus on game mechanics and gamification, and feeling the need to again scratch the entrepreneurial itch, Keith co-founded BigDoor with long-time business partner and best friend, Jeff Malek in 2009. A veteran entrepreneur, Keith started and bootstrapped two other tech companies prior to 1999. Follow Keith on Twitter @chiefdoorman
Branch of applied mathematics devised to analyze certain situations in which there is an interplay between parties that may have similar, opposed, or mixed interests. Game theory was originally developed by John von Neumann and Oscar Morgenstern in their book The Theory of Games and Economic Behavior (1944). In a typical game, or competition with fixed rules, players try to outsmart one another by anticipating the others' decisions, or moves. A solution to a game prescribes the optimal strategy or strategies for each player and predicts the average, or expected, outcome. Until a highly contrived counterexample was devised in 1967, it was thought that every contest had at least one solution. See alsodecision theory; prisoner's dilemma.