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STANFORD Magazine: March/April 2011

STANFORD Magazine: March/April 2011

Rajat Paharia


Immediately before starting Bunchball, I spent 4 years at IDEO being immersed in their process of innovation, user-centered design, and rapid prototyping. I’ve found that skill set to be incredibly useful here - back in 2007 we knew that game mechanics were powerful, but then what? It wasn’t like we had something that we could copy, and say “It’s like that other product, but better in these ways…”.  We had a blank white canvas, and had to start building, iterating, understanding our customers and end users, and refining. And we created the first gamification platform (and the gamification industry) from nothing.

IDEO has a lot of good one-liners that capture the essence of design thinking, the one that’s been especially relevant in this context is “Do the right thing, and Do the thing right”. We had to have the right vision for how gamification could be taken out of the gaming world and used to influence user behavior, and how that could be turned into a product and business. And then we had to (and still have to!) execute incredibly well.

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