Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Life moves in leaps
Yesterday I had an epiphany.
I have this routine on informational interviews with candidates which I’ve been using for the last 9 months, since we started recruiting. No matter what position this is for (development, design, marketing, biz-dev, etc.) I start by talking about me, talking about how I met Russell and how EveryMove got started and how we decided to build what we are building. All that as a preamble before the candidate can start talking about themselves and it usually just take me 5 or 6 minutes to tell all that. Yesterday, for the N-th time, I did exactly the same thing, but suddenly it felt different.
In a flash in front of my eyes, I realized how much I’ve grown over the last 18-months.
If you ask yourself every evening before you go to bed how much you learned that day, you might say some days you learn a lot, some days you learn a little, and some days feel like you didn’t learn anything new. You are just the same old you. But are rare the days you say it completely changed your life. It’s usually a big event, trauma, exposure to a thought in a moment you were vulnerable, etc. Because of that, people can go years accumulating the little daily lessons into their life and only after a significant amount of time they look back at some exact point in time and realize they are not the same. Yesterday was that day for me.
As I was telling a person about some of the initial conversations I had with Russell about EveryMove, I remember I thought that occurred on my head back in February of last year on a specific piece of game-mechanic for creating engagement. More specifically I remember how I thought that game-mechanic as bad and it would not actually create long-term engagement. For some reason that only my lizard brain knows, I re-rationalize that problem yesterday and I saw myself, for a split of second, telling my former self how ignorant my thought process was back then.
I’ve spent the past 18 months learning about behavior, game mechanics, incentives, rewards and much more. What Marcelo of today realizes is that Marcelo of yesterday was just looking at the tactics of game-mechanics without understanding the strategy, without understanding the “why”. The funny part of all this is that I still think that was a bad game-mechanic, maybe at an instinctive level I knew it all along, but could not rationalize it the right way. Now I know why.
If you look back enough years on your life you can always find a point where you felt different. I guess the trick is not to find a point 15, 10 or 5 years ago, but make sure those big leaps that move your life forward are happening in even shorter-bursts, of 12, 6 or even 3-months. If you have been doing the same thing, living the same life and feeling like you have not learned anything over the last 2, 3, 5 years or more, shouldn’t you seek change? Isn’t it dangerous to get comfortable at not learning? Is that what being old is like?