Micron-verse: Making It Happen (Part 6)


A game Abhishek and I played a lot some years ago was “Settlers of Catan.” As the Catan website explains: “Picture yourself in the era of discoveries: after a long voyage of great deprivation, your ships have finally reached the coast of an uncharted island. Its name shall be Catan! But you are not the only discoverer. Other fearless seafarers have also landed on the shores of Catan: the race to settle the island has begun! The women and men of your expedition build the first two settlements. Fortunately, the yet uninhabited land is rich in natural resources. You build roads and new settlements that eventually become cities. Will you succeed in gaining supremacy on Catan? Barter trade dominates the scene. Some resources you have in abundance, other resources are scarce. Ore for wool, brick for lumber – you trade according to what is needed for your current building projects. Proceed strategically! If you found your settlements in the right places and skilfully trade your resources, then the odds will be in your favor. But your opponents are smart too.” The game was wildly popular when it launched – and still is. So what did the creators do for an encore? They added expansion packs and variants, creating an entire Catan ecosystem.

Think of micron-verse in a similar way. If – and of course there is a big if – it all works, I can imagine many different extensions. Here are some ideas:

  • Each of the ads targeted at us could offer an incentive in the form of Mu. Ad platforms anyway know our credentials. They could show us the same Mu triad with an offer to earn Mu for clicking and doing the actions. This would ensure we pay a lot more attention to the ads we have trained ourselves so well to ignore.
  • App makers could also offer us an incentive to complete the ‘core loop’. As Sailthru explains: “The core loop is the single most important part of a mobile game. A set of actions that determine how the game flows, it’s the beating heart of what makes a game fun. The point of a core loop is to keep a user engaged while showing progress. Too many apps don’t give users a reason to return after one or two sessions. All core loops peak with a pleasurable experience. We take a specific action and earn a reward. The rush of dopamine brings us joy and inspires us to start again. If the reward isn’t good enough, or comes too infrequently, we’ll quickly tire of the app, and not return.”
  • In B2B SaaS, a lot of good money is spent on SDRs (sales development activities) trying to reach us with personalised emails and 1:1 ABM (account-based marketing) campaigns to get – you guessed it – attention! Instead, what if brands made a direct offer: “Rajesh: will you give me 30 minutes of your time to listen to my pitch of a product that can work wonders for your business? I will offer you 1000 Mu for your attention.” This would surely make me take notice!

I am just scratching the surface. The purpose is to show the possibilities – which are only limited by our imagination. Segmenting our attention and paying for it – is it an idea whose time has come? The only way to find out is to create it. As Alan Kay said, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” So, let’s work to bring alive the micron-verse!

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.