Posted: May 25th, 2022
Social Games Case Study
Management scholar Peter Drucker believes that appropriate decision making is perhaps the fundamental key to success or failure within a modern organization. In fact, he notes that “the skill we need is not long-range planning. It is strategic decision making, or perhaps strategic planning” (Drucker, 2001, p.116). If we combine this idea of decision making at the nth level with innovation, we have the crux of the modern organization. For a modern organization to even hope to survive, however, strategic and innovation decisions must be made in almost every aspect of the business. Decision making success is now measures in minutes rather than days, and requires managers to be more informed and more willing to act (Drucker, 2001).
Over the last decade and the advances in global communication, Internet speeds, and the availability of Smartphones, Laptops, and more memory in computers, online social networks have experienced huge amounts of growth, turning into robust multi-million dollar sites and receiving attention from politicians, marketing professionals of all types, educators and scholars. In fact, MySpace and Facebook, two of the more popular online networks in the United States, account for almost 10% of all Internet usage and have a huge growth of about 200,000 profiles daily (Tancer, 2007). Based on the manner in which Social Networking has changed the manner in which marketers, politicians, and culture views interacting on the Internet, and the changes in behavior engendered by them, these social networks are now critical for the 21st century marketing mind (Boyd and Ellison, 2007). An offshoot of social networking, social games, are far less about graphics and violence and more about connecting with others. “And, because the mainstream was being lured into social gaming, it [became] the fastest growing game market, increasingly popular” globally (Chang and Mendelson, 2010).
Issues surrounding Social Games focus on the ability for the modern organization to be innovative. The complexity of the modern organization has also changed. Simply using the principles of scientific management to improve efficiency is not nearly enough. Too, because the half-life of technology is so short, radical and category breaking innovation is needed not just to compete, but to provide the global environment with positive growth. Peter Drucker believes innovation is the key to sustained growth, but must be radical, not incremental even though everything will not be profitable; being timid is simply not an option. “To start off with the consumer’s needs for a significant change is often the most direct way of defining new knowledge and new technology, and of organizing purposeful and systematic work on fundamental discovery” (Drucker, p. 506).
Innovation is what social gaming is all about. Platforms are changing and devices are not only becoming less expensive, but more and more powerful with larger amounts of memory, quicker processors, and yet the decision is easier in deciding what games people want, “If you know what your friends are playing, the Facebook distribution model scales a lot better” (Chang, p. 21). This type of product is the epitome of what Drucker called an “innovation design” — yet both innovation and entrepreneurship continue to change. Strategically, Drucker’s maxims apply, though: 1) Be the “fastest with the mostest,” first to market never hurts; 2) Hit them “where they aint” — take from the winners, just do it better; 3) Follow the changes in economic characteristics — in the global market, do not market to old values, but to new ideas and paradigms; 4) Find the niche — and exploit, exploit, exploit (Drucker). In fact, “innovative opportunity is exploiting the consequences of events that have already happened but have not yet had their economic impacts” (Drucker, p. 507). This is most certainly true in the social gaming market, in which there are numerous opportunities: branded intellectual properly, online and social game market mixes, consumer product placement and sales, alignment with entertainment venues, and more. Using Drucker’s fearless views of innovation, not being afraid of dissent, and continuously moving with the market will be the key success factors for organizations, especially those in the social games industry.
Boyd, D. And Ellison, N. (2007). Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship. Jounral of Computer Mediated Communications. 13 (1): Retrieved from: http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol13/issue1/boyd.ellison.html
Chang, V., Mendelson, H. (2010). Social Games. Stanford Graduate School of Business Case EC-39. Retrieved from: https://gsbapps.stanford.edu / cases/detail1.asp?Document_ID=3367
Drucker, P. (2001). Management. Woburn, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Tancer, B. (October 24, 2007). MySpace or Facebook: Competing Addictions.
Time. Retrieved from:http://www.time.com/time/business article/0,8599,1675244,00.html?imw=Y
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