Can a start-up be as fun as Call of Duty?

I haven't properly gamed in a few years.

Recently I got a hit of nostalgia after installing Call of Duty on mobile.

Playing some of the best-loved COD maps in my childhood reminded me of the joy of gaming.

A few hours of playing COD and I felt refreshed and motivated. It made me wonder if I could apply the fundamentals of what makes COD fun into building a start-up.

Most games are driven by intrinsic motivation. Doing things because you like doing them, and not for an end-goal.


Let's examine the fundamentals of Call of Duty:


Action: Moving, aiming, shooting

Feedback: Hit-markers, kills, multi-kills, points, scorestreaks

Feedback → feels good → more focus on actions like aiming and shooting, Scorestreaks → more kills,
More points → operator bonus → more kills

Additional factors:
Speed - entire loop happens in a matter of seconds, feedback is instantaneous, clear definition of victory or defeat

Then I performed the same analysis on the start-up I'm trying to build:

Action: Coding new features, adding new brands, adding new content

Feedback: analytics - views, analytics - returning users, views per page (not particularly pleasurable feedback). Getting this feedback isn't automatic, it requires to me to login to analytics and it's complex and infrequent

Loop: Feedback doesn't directly make it easier to take action, and it doesn't promote a specific call to action

Speed: entire loop takes days even months to complete (too slow)

Clearly there are improvements that can be made here. Some potential fixes to speed up the feedback loop are:

  • Sending emails to key people to get their feedback on a daily basis
  • Posting on indiehackers for feedback
  • Talking to power users

Do let me know your thoughts below!

If you're curious about what I'm building, you can check it out at https://kindkoala.com

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