Twumps is live – get your game on!

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about an experiment to see if I could consistently and sustainably fund good causes through an online product/service.

I’m delighted to release the first version of  Twumps – my social network trading game, built for social good. Right now it is beta – which means it works (pretty well actually) but is actively being tested and might break. It also means that I’m on standby to fix it pretty quickly if it breaks and that I’m super ready to chat to people to make it better.

twumps

 

Inspiration

Twumps is inspired by Top Trumps – the card trading series of games. In Twumps, instead of super heroes, you have your followers from Twitter (who have stats!). I’ve varied it a little to make it faster to play and perhaps a little more interesting.

Each player builds a stash of cards created from upto 100 of their twitter followers

Each game is between 2 players and a deck made up of 10 of their cards.  They play until they have turned over all their cards.  Each turn is played by the ‘turn starter’ picking a statistic from their displayed card that they believe can beat the equivalent statistic on their opponents drawn card.  A player wins the turn by having a higher stat than their opponent’s card.  A game is won by the person who won most cards.

The winning player gets to keep those followers (only in Twumps  – not in Twitter – sorry!).  The losing player does not keep the cards they won in the game.
A player’s total wins are used to determine their place in the leaderboard:

Twumps___Play_with_your_followers_for_good.

 

Easy to Play

Twumps is really easy to play and I have taken feedback from early players that they would appreciate a tour of how to use get about in the game. There is only one view in the game – your current card. I may add a little more complexity later, but for now, you simply select a stat from the next card in your game deck. Check out bits of the tour:

 

What Next?

Building what I have is only the first step – getting something out there that people can play, derive some enjoyment from.  The next steps are getting as many people playing it as possible, getting their feedback to improve it and beginning to discover what I can charge for (it’s all donation based – but I think there should be minimums).

I really need your help

Twumps is a novel idea, to my knowledge there is nothing like this online anywhere.  I’m going to do my best to get people to play and enjoy it.

But I really need your help with this.
If you are on Twitter, play it and challenge others.
Regardless, please tell everyone you know who uses Twitter, ask them to play it and tell their friends.

If there is something you feel can be improved tell me and I’ll most likely do it.

Share your ideas for improving it, join in.  Playing Twumps is fun and you can be a part of something that will ultimately make beautiful things happen in the world.

 

July 12: Traction not tractors

Traction is vital, getting early customers to commit to using what I’m offering is very important.  Both are vital and important for my finances and startup growth, sure – but mostly for my sanity.

I’m a maker and an artist.  I make the art that is in my head.  Many of the things I make are because I had a problem and I expressed a way to solve them.  When I bring them to the market (as ineptly as I do) and expect some meaningful response, I am investing emotional energy into that. I care that I get a response – much more than the nature of that response.  I can handle praise and rejection but much less so, apathy.

So my new strategy of trying to be found by prospective customers is off to a slow start, but a start nonetheless.  Here is my check in:

  • Mad that I am really struggling to keep my schedule on track, my options for being flexible are limited when I start late and end later.  If I start on time (9.30) , I am actually far more flexible to do other stuff (like going to the beach!) because I would have made some progress.
  • Glad that I can changed most things to get back to routine – this is a really valuable thing about working for myself.
  • Glad I had another idea and my technique for welcoming them and giving them a slot to explore them is successful at keeping me focused on finishing
  • I’m grateful for having different onion skins to other people and having mine not constrain me from being myself.

I’m in (onion skins and all).

Improve On…

Being a better marketeer – better meaning braver, more authentic, more dedicated, better organised. Avoid the schmoltz.

Being a better researcher –  everything – my potential customers, competitors , collaborators.

 

Today

The trello board says it all.  basically as much of the stuff I have on there as possible. Mostly blogs.  But absolutely must…

Write ServiceChat blog post on ‘I am the greatest customer service expert in the world’.

Do some promotion work on Twumps and ServiceChat and get at least 20 unique visitors to each today.

 

The Trello board…

My_ONE_Place___Trello

 

Ask yourself if you are doing everything* you can to be successful

* – whilst remaining congruent with your values, fair to those you love and kind to yourself

July 9 – Back away from the code, slowly.

 

Every passing day re-affirms my fear.  I have to back away from the code, close the IDE – quit doing what I love doing and start doing the other thing.
You know – the other thing, the hitting-the-phone, sell-your-vision, learn-the-problems, discover-your-customers, dine-with-rejection-and-unreturned-emails thing, you know Customer Development!

Now, I have a world of love for Eric Ries, Ash Maurya, Steve Blank and the other luminaries of the startup world.  But they really could have done a better job of communicating how bloody tough it is to get to talk to customers, to handle the silence and the find the courage to carry on until you find the data you need (some might argue that the lack of feedback is plenty feedback – that is a different story).

This afternoon, I had the pleasure of 30 minutes of conversation with Kevin DeWalt, a really awesome and interesting guy with plenty of experience of creating companies and helping startups.  He graciously offers 30 mins of free help to founders and startups via his site. I’ll blog more about that on a later post.  Anyway, Kevin was really pragmatic and his view was really similar to @saintsal’s (from a couple of weeks ago). I have to spend most of my time out of the building, pounding the phones, the emails, knocking on doors (virtual and otherwise) and really get to meet prospects, so I can learn.

The last couple of weeks have presented some opportunities that I fully intend on exploring. So , what is my strategy?

I won’t be chasing customers.  I tried that and they weren’t interested in talking to me. My new strategy is to help them find me – well at least this is my strategy for the next 3 weeks.
This means interviews, blogs and asking powerful questions about how all the businesses I am coming across do customer service.  My intention is that these questions will attract the right people.
So it’s not so much ‘build it and they will come’, but more ‘ask it and the right people will answer’.

With this in mind, here is my check in.

  • Glad I have a plan, being lost is no fun when you got somewhere to go.
  • Glad there are people like Kevin DeWalt, Flavio Martins, @saintsal and Ian Golding who are open and invite you to seek their collaboration. Of course it is mutually beneficial – but their openness to connect is amazing.
  • Really mad that I’m succumbing to carbs – the sugary kind.
  • I’m grateful for the ability to reflect on my thoughts and the brilliance of others.

I’m in.

Improve On…

Consistent daily Spanish practice.

Testing my code.  Recently I have been doing lots of test-free hacking.

Today

Write this blog.

Write insights blog.

Plan my interview series.

 

The Trello board…

Screen Shot 2013-07-09 at 17.54.39

 

I strive to do more with less, everyday.

July 8 – Working hard, differently

 

 

My last post was about 2 weeks ago and you might have wondered where I disappeared to. Well, I’ll tell you.

I was feeling very disheartened about the lack of traction with ServiceChat. So I took some time away from ServiceChat – maintaining focus when you are down is hard, but it is precisely when you need it the most.  This time was to try and get some perspective.

This time off  was mostly spent building this and exploring alliances with leading customer service evangelists like Ian Golding and Flavio Martins (both of whom are graciously offered to write about bizbuzz and ServiceChat).

So here is my check in:

  • Glad I took some time out to think about whether ServiceChat is still what I should be doing. Right now, it is.
  • Glad I built Twumps as outlet for my disheartenment, it was fun and completely different.
  • Glad that I am discovering passionate people in the customer services/experience space.
  • Glad that my spanish one-to-one conversations are getting better and I am also being useful to my partner in his journey to learn english.
  • Glad an option to replenish my funding is getting stronger by the day.
  • Mad I have such a reaction to insect bites that has laid me low for today.
  • I’m grateful for the universe that conspires to help me be successful.

I’m  in.

Improve On…

Keeping carbs out of my diet – especially the ones covered in sugar.

Today

Write this blog.

Start an insights blog post

Do some duolingo -I’m getting pretty consistent with this.

 

The Trello board…(more or less unchanged)

My_ONE_Place___Trello

 

Giving up is the last thing you want to do.