Tic-Tac-Toe is a boring game. I can’t think of the last time I lost a game of Tic-Tac-Toe. I bet you can’t either. And you know why? It’s because the game is too simple. You can be a master at Tic-Tac-Toe, but no one will care.
You’ve got to play a new game.
In the second (and third) part(s) of chapter 2, Brogan and Smith discuss steps 2 and 3 of gaming (see Mary Beth Stockdale’s post for step 1). Here they offer two ways to improve your game: hacking and programming.
They explain hacking as “changing the rules or the game play and using a system in a different way than it was designed.” Basically, do with a game what no one else is doing. Turn your game of Tic-Tac-Toe into Connect 4…or 5. If the game you’re playing isn’t working, change it.
For example, Brogan and Smith mention resumés in chapter one. Your resumé is probably boring. Mine is. I’ve done some cool stuff, and I’m sure you have, too, but who cares? That boring white sheet of paper isn’t impressing anyone, really. But if I’m an employer and if Gary Vaynerchuk applies to manage my website, I’m going to hire him way before I look at his resumé. You know why? Because he’s changed the rules of the game. He’s got his own platform, and people know his name.
That brings us to programming. Sometimes, the game will never be good enough, even if you change the rules. Monopoly is fun, but you’ll never be able to feed your family by adding new rules to make Free Parking more enticing. No, you’ve got to create a new game.
Chris and Julien define programming as “starting from a completely new angle with your own everything.” Here they provide a very concrete course of action: do something.
If you’re sitting on an old game, trying to make it work when it’s obviously dead, don’t keep trying. Make a new game. It can be anything, just do it. If you wait, you will fail.
Look at Twitter (you thought I would make it through an entire post without mentioning Twitter–yeah right). What a terrible idea. Seriously, Twitter is stupid. But I’ve spent hours and hours trying to get people to follow me. Twitter’s founders made their own game, and it’s unquestionably one of the fastest-growing media fronts.
You don’t have to make a new Twitter to be successful. You just have to do something. Anything. Just don’t sit there and do nothing.
So here’s what I want us to think about: how can we get from being stuck in the status quo to trying something new? It’s got to be possible, right? What steps must we take?