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Left & Right Brain /  Core Drives

Left & Right Brain / Core Drives

The core drives can be divided in half: 

  • Right Brain Core Drives: They focus on creativity, self-expression & social dynamics. They rely on Intrinsic Motivations – you don’t need a goal or reward to use your creativity, hangout with friends, or feel the suspense of unpredictability – the activity itself is rewarding on its own.
  • Left Brain Core Drives: They are associated with logic, analytical thought, and ownership. They tend to rely on Extrinsic Motivation – you are motivated because you want to obtain something, whether it be a goal, a good, or anything you cannot obtain.




published ideas from this book:


Beyond the basic Level I analysis 👇

Level II: optimize experiences throughout all four phases of the player/user journey:

  1. Discovery (why people would even want to try out the experience),
  2. Onboarding (where users learn the rules and too...

In the book called "Game of Work", Charles Coonradt addressed the question “Why would people pay for the privilege of working harder at their chosen sport or recreational pursuit than they would work at a job where they were being paid?” He then boiled it down to 5 conclusions that led t...

Gamification is the craft of deriving fun and engaging elements found typically in games and thoughtfully applying them to real-world or productive activities.

Gamification is the science/art of making a boring activity game-like: more intriguing, motivating ... and even “fun.”

The key here is to make sure users are proud of overcoming the challenges that are set out for them. Jane McGonigal, renowned game designer, defines games as “unnecessary obstacles that we volunteer to tackle.”

Most designers working on this primarily focus on the “ease” o...

  1. Epic Meaning & Calling: believing we are doing something greater than ourselves
  2. Development & Accomplishment: make progress, develop skills, achieve mastery
  3. Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback: figuring new things out

  • Evolved UI: Locking advanced features to certain desired actions. 
  • Dangling: regularly showing you appealing items that you want but can’t have. Unless you pay or do a desirable Action. Ideally you must have two options: pay or do actions. And they o...

The top Core Drives in the octagon (of the Octalysis gamification framework) are considered very positive motivations (White Hat), while the bottom Core Drives are considered to be more negative (Black Hat).

If something is engaging because it lets you ...

  • Collection Sets: Giving people a few items, badges & you telling them that this is part of a collection. This creates a desire to complete the set. Pokemon cards. 
  • Exchangeable Points: users can utilize their accumulated points in a strate...

Competition in the workplace can be very useful in different scenarios but it can often backfire and demoralize team morale in the long run.

Many competitive workplaces create an unhealthy environment where employees put self-interest above corporate and even customer interests. Instead of...

It motivates us because we are either unable to have something immediately, or because there is great difficulty in obtaining it.

  • We chase that which moves away from us
  • We want what we cannot have
  • We only place value on things that are difficult to obtain

It emphasizes on what most people refer to as “Play.” A user can continuously tap into their creativity and derive an almost limitless number of possibilities, so the game designer no longer needs to constantly create new content to make things engaging. Chess is still played because there ...

This is our natural curiosity to explore the unknown and discover new things. Because “fun” is “pleasure with surprises". It's not fun to spin a wheel an hour for $5, but if every now and then you get a big reward... we have a slot-machine game. 

This is mainly about introd...

  • Boosters: where a player obtains something to help them achieve the win-state effectively. Think about temporary powers in Mario. Boosters are usually limited to certain conditions and to be related to the core action.
  • Milestone Unlock: upgrading use...

An interesting dynamic between Drive 1: Meaning and Drive 5: Social Influence happens in the workplace. Within a group, the leader is often motivated by Meaning.

The team members of the group, however, are often motivated by Social Influence. They don’t necessarily believe in the higher m...

  • The Rockstar Effect: when you make users feel like everyone is dying to interact with them. Twitter's one-way follow is an example. 
  • Achievement Symbols: points and badges that (and this is the key) symbolize “achievement” - that users themselves wan...

  • Glowing Choice: makes users feel smart and competent during the Onboarding Phase. It leads players in the right direction by appealing to their Curiosity.
  • Mystery Boxes: is “loot” or “drops,” which are random rewards that appear once the player achie...

  • Mentorship: get the veterans to guide new users in their journey. Works very well in corporate settings. 
  • Brag Buttons & Trophy Shelves: when a person vocally expresses their achievements. A Trophy Shelf allows a person to show off what they have ...

It involves activities inspired by what other people think, do, or say. This Core Drive is the engine behind many themes such as mentorship, competition, envy, group quests, social treasure, and companionship.

Most people focus on competition between users but when you desi...

The motivation that is driven by our feelings of owning something & consequently the desire to improve, protect, and obtain more of it. It involves virtual goods & currencies. It's the drive that compels us to collect stamps or accumulate wealth. On a more abstract level, it is ...

This is the drive where people are motivated because they believe they are engaged in something bigger than themselves. Wikipedia editors don't feel like they are doing unpaid labour, but they are protecting humanity’s knowledge - something greater than themselves.

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A product leader is ultimately responsible for the success and failure of a product, and by extension, the company itself. This raises the question of what makes a true product leader.

We find out th...




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Jim Collins

"When you marry operating excellence with innovation, you multiply the value of your creativity."