What you can learn from the Lego MBA

  • It’s a successful Gamified Environment, with Interactive, Visual and Persistent engagement creates value. Environments like this scale nicely when the user base reaches a certain size .
  • The game dynamic with the most pull that kept me buying in were the levels. I couldn’t stop at level one when I knew there were 5 more to go. I frame my Lego MBAs- darn proud too.
  • Adding recognizable achievements, badges, certificates, to the building process allows you to extend the fun and pride of building the models and sharing your own creations.
  • Extend the value of physical products with virtual products. Smaller $5-$10 kits with robust virtual kits. Lego has seen amazing success with their online video game products and has combined them in a hybrid environment that is tactile with analog elements and information products
  • The quality of the instruction books is worth shelving. Gone are the days of the unfoldable instructions of my youth.
  • Subscription Model Combined with gamification/educational platform. A kit is delivered every few months.
  • Increase brand buy-in by incorporating cross-selling into the MBA experience- e.g. Cadets required to watch videos from various kits/commercial efforts unrelated to building techniques.
  •  Sharing, content creation and peer review is mandatory. Luckily, sharing is limited to a Lego community. I could picture many companies going wrong (Zynga) by asking me to publish something on Facebook or Twitter or something. At each level in the Lego MBA, you must create your own model based on the theme in the kit, and submit photos and details. This amounts to a small blog post that can be rated and reviewed by peers. This is brilliant. The users are required to create something of their own and contribute to a community, increasing buy-in, social interaction and value.
  • Contribution and information for virtual rewards. Like many modern, social and gaming platforms out there users are participating for badges and certification. This sounds all to familiar, much like the models used in commoditized business today.

What you can do with a Lego MBA

  • Use it as  a case study and guide to develop your own Heroik MBA platform? Who’s ready to enroll in the Heroik Academy? I’ve had this in the works for a while and the Lego MBA provided an adequate and important Case Study into education, gamification, user experience design, information products and collaborative work for virtual rewards. In short, this ain’t just for kiddies, this is a rich opportunity to explore a cutting edge business model.

Long Term Experience: Don’t Hate the Player. Hate the Game. Better Yet Hack the Game.

  • There were a few glitches along the way; lost shipments, errors on the website, etc. but Lego customer support was amazing.
  • I noticed I cared about 2 metrics; completing every model in each kit and getting the diploma. The rest of it became repetitive and worthless but I am not the target market…or am I ?
  •  The virtual badges are worthless. They aren’t displayed in the virtual space in a meaningful way to signify accomplishment and they’re but stepping stones to the downloadable diploma. Note to designers; badges are trophies, and they’re also essentially forms of data visualization. Make them tangible, liquid and persistent to give them value.
  •  I imagine, the only reason I value the Diplomas so much is because I did what anyone would do with their ‘diploma’, I framed the first one, and of course had to follow through with the others. I can imagine all the MLM / pyramiders out there using this method to sucker their slave labor force.
  • I noticed you can call customer support and get them to give you a badge for just about anything 🙂 Social Engineering 101 kiddies. But who would want to miss out on all that fun? Now, apply that to the grown up world and what you learn, is that there are more efficient ways to beat a system that is designed to beat you. What I mean is, as more businesses find ways to use similar paper/badge/virtual incentives to replace monetary incentives, there will be an increased need to build up a resiliency and understanding for gaming paradigms to help you game the system that is in fact trying to game you.