Gamify Your Startup

Gamify Your Startup
By Lilly J. Adams

Gamification is a magic word that turns all boring aspects of our lives into adventurous hunts for digital rewards. Although worthless in the real world, people simply enjoy sharing their app achievements on social networks. Gamification boosts their intrinsic motivation with offering them an ability to closely track their performance and giving them digital rewards for good performances, which they can compare with their friends, so there’s also a competitive edge.

Gamification showed great results with making people do boring and tiresome activities like fitness, budgeting or calorie counting, and it also comes with great motivational potential which can be efficiently used in running a business. In this article we reviewed some of the ways this practice can be used by entrepreneurs for boosting their startup’s performance.


Current recruitment processes, which mainly depends on a candidate’s interview performance, is quite inefficient. Candidates usually preplan their answers, and recruiters often choose the ones who are better actors instead of competent candidates, with a long list of skills and work experience, which is required for the job in question.

Gamification can improve the recruitment process and it is already introduced by several large companies. Siemens introduced Plant Ville, a game simulation played from the role of plant manager, while Marriot Hotel released My Marriot Hotel Facebook game, which has a catchy link with “Do it for real” anchor text that directs all players to a career page of the hotel chain. Both games were made to incur the interest among young people for positions of plant and hotel managers.

One day we might even see some new game simulations that will measure a candidate’s competency, and help recruiters to choose future employees. Until then, companies are advised to create one or several quizzes that will be used for checking a candidate’s knowledge about work processes and the company’s history. This way the choice of candidates can be easily narrowed down, without organizing exhausting interviews.

Performance Management

Management processes of different companies are quickly being gamified. This allows company managers to closely follow an employees’ performance and hand out promotions in accordance with information collected by apps used for this purpose.

These new ‘career games’ also provide more a competitive edge to the working process and a sizable boost to an employees’ motivation. Before the emergence of these apps, employees were making blind guesses on what managers think about their performance. Now they will be able to closely track their work and set career goals they need to achieve in certain periods of time.


This is one of the most promising fields where gamification can produce incredible results. One recent example is Domino’s Pizza Hero game, which allows users to create their own pizzas, compete with other users and share their results on Facebook and Twitter.

A gamified marketing strategy doesn’t need to involve video games and mobile apps, it can be made like an old style quiz with handing out promotional products as rewards. These little games take major roles in corporate marketing strategies for decades. Do you remember the Kodak Moment?

A combination of material gifts and a fancy mobile app would be a perfect choice because this campaign will target a much wider audience. Another great example of this is a Starbucks campaign that gave discounts to the customers who checked most frequently on Foursquare in one individual store. Stack Overflow on the other hand gave badges to visitors who shared their links on Facebook and Twitter, and one of the awards was the privilege to help with website moderation.

Since gamification brings very tangible benefits to startups, hype around this trend is not going to settle for some time. If this simple concept is able to motivate people to burn calories, refrain from eating tasty treats and count their daily budget down to a penny, it will definitely succeed in turning our everyday business tasks into adventurous games.

Lilly J Adams has worked for six years in different marketing agencies across Australia. She specializes in digital marketing, marketing for small businesses and consumers behavior.