Bringing it to Life
Is it possible to bring the micron-verse to life? Is it desirable? Is this a better future?
Let me start with a snippet from my life. About 8 years ago, Abhishek, my son, who was then 8 years old, started playing Clash of Clans on my iPad. It was the rage in his class. Here is how its creator, Supercell, describes it: “Customize your village, build an army and crush your opponents. Like using friendship to strike fear into your enemies? Join a Clan, or establish a Clashing legacy by creating your own. The choice is yours in this millions-strong community of Barbarians.” Abhishek would play it for a few minutes each evening – collecting the gold and elixir, doing a few attacking, strengthening the defences, earning gems, and improving the village metrics. I had thought then that it was a fad that would fade away as he grew older. And it did. But by then, he had trained me to play the game for a few minutes each day. He had built a nice, strong village and didn’t want to give it up. And so, a generational shift occurred – perhaps very different from what the creators had envisaged! 9 years later, Clash of Clans continues to be an app that’s opened by me each day to do the needful. Abhishek checks in on me providing expert advice periodically on the next upgrades. It is the only game I ‘play’.
Micron-verse, over time, can be like a good game that is played on and on by millions daily. It offers us useful information packaged with exciting rewards for the one resource we cannot increase – our time. We live in a world of brands and messages – that’s never going away. If anything, the volume of ‘ads’ we see has increased exponentially. So why not invite the ads in our life – invertising, if you will. Let brands bid for our time – they are anyways vying for our attention on platforms like Google and Facebook. Why not let them do it in our inbox and make the payments directly to us? It may sound creepy but that is only because no one has done it yet. Fast forward to the future, and perhaps, one day, that will indeed be the new normal. Our attention is in our control and all the micron-verse is doing is offering choices as to whom we offer it to in return for rewards. We are still in control – unlike today where our inboxes are flooded with messages from brands we don’t know for products we don’t want. A world with less waste – our attention, brand spends – should be a better place.
I am going to start to build the micron-verse – one element at a time. The odds, like any new venture, are that it will fail. If that happens, hopefully, someone else can build a better version at some later point in time. But there is also a finite possibility that it could work. I began my IndiaWorld and Niti Digital journeys in the same spirit. The micron-verse is a future waiting to happen. Let’s get there first!