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a16z Podcast: We Gotta Talk Pokémon Go

All about Pokémon Go, augmented reality, & "appified games"

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Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
Pleasure to join the a16z podcast. @anuhariharan, @kylebrussell, and @smc90 dropped a bunch of knowledge bombs on "light" AR, what made Pokemon GO a huge success, and network effects.
Kevin Lou@kevinbryantlou · Business Development, Beacon
@rrhoover @anuhariharan @kylebrussell @smc90 Loved listening to this: I was happy to hear you offer a counterpoint on Go and its network effects!
Adam Marx@adammarx13 · Freelance writer/editor and music addict
@rrhoover @anuhariharan @kylebrussell @smc90 Really great @a16z episode. Ryan, I think you brought up a great point about why this kind of game-play concept works so well with the Pokemon IP and nostalgia. It really throws back to growing up in the mid-90s and playing the games at camp and at school, being around the trading cards, and watching the TV show with friends. For those of us who might have been on th younger end of the fan spectrum (born in 1990-1991), the propspect of actually being able to go out and interact with this imaginary world (as opposed to sitting inside alone for hours playing on a GameBoy) takes the playing experience to a whole new level. It goes beyond simple nostalgia; it's kind of an 'augmented nostalgia' in that it's not exactly what we remember from when we were kids; arguably it's better.
Adam Marx@adammarx13 · Freelance writer/editor and music addict
@rrhoover @kylebrussell @smc90 @a16z Gonna add one more thought. @anuhariharan brings up a great point about how business can use the lures and particular Pokemon sponsorships to attract new customers. In the example of sponsoring a rare Pokemon like a Vaporeon, I can see a scenario where the rare Pokemon is available for retailers to purchase/sponsor in their establishment, but perhaps they may only be a limited number of Vaporeon's for any given week or month. If the sponsorship price is then set at a standard amount, it can create a bidding war type of environment for that rare Pokemon and that surge in traffic without oversaturating users with numerous rare sightings. Therefore, the rarity factor is preserved, but made more accessible for businesses to plan into their budgets (perhaps within their marketing budgets). I think the balance between rarity and accessibility is a tenuous line that many companies misjudge. Make something too accessible, and it loses its luster. Make it too rare, and then you have a massive case of rage-quit.
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Ryan Hoover
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@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
Pleasure to join the a16z podcast. @anuhariharan, @kylebrussell, and @smc90 dropped a bunch of knowledge bombs on "light" AR, what made Pokemon GO a huge success, and network effects.
Kevin Lou@kevinbryantlou · Business Development, Beacon
@rrhoover @anuhariharan @kylebrussell @smc90 Loved listening to this: I was happy to hear you offer a counterpoint on Go and its network effects!
Adam Marx@adammarx13 · Freelance writer/editor and music addict
@rrhoover @anuhariharan @kylebrussell @smc90 Really great @a16z episode. Ryan, I think you brought up a great point about why this kind of game-play concept works so well with the Pokemon IP and nostalgia. It really throws back to growing up in the mid-90s and playing the games at camp and at school, being around the trading cards, and watching the TV show with friends. For those of us who might have been on th younger end of the fan spectrum (born in 1990-1991), the propspect of actually being able to go out and interact with this imaginary world (as opposed to sitting inside alone for hours playing on a GameBoy) takes the playing experience to a whole new level. It goes beyond simple nostalgia; it's kind of an 'augmented nostalgia' in that it's not exactly what we remember from when we were kids; arguably it's better.
Adam Marx@adammarx13 · Freelance writer/editor and music addict
@rrhoover @kylebrussell @smc90 @a16z Gonna add one more thought. @anuhariharan brings up a great point about how business can use the lures and particular Pokemon sponsorships to attract new customers. In the example of sponsoring a rare Pokemon like a Vaporeon, I can see a scenario where the rare Pokemon is available for retailers to purchase/sponsor in their establishment, but perhaps they may only be a limited number of Vaporeon's for any given week or month. If the sponsorship price is then set at a standard amount, it can create a bidding war type of environment for that rare Pokemon and that surge in traffic without oversaturating users with numerous rare sightings. Therefore, the rarity factor is preserved, but made more accessible for businesses to plan into their budgets (perhaps within their marketing budgets). I think the balance between rarity and accessibility is a tenuous line that many companies misjudge. Make something too accessible, and it loses its luster. Make it too rare, and then you have a massive case of rage-quit.
Sandro Jazzar@sandrojazzar · Co-Founder, Shababeek
Super interesting podcast! Loved the approach to network effects through lures and how you see this as being Niantic's MVP :)
Oz@advocateoz · CEO
Just made some fresh coffee and listening to Ryan on podcast.
Alex Abian@alexabian · Intl. SysAdmin / Photographer
Monday morning, coffee and podcast. Good.
Zac Nielson@zacherynielson · Founder & Creative Director shbyco.com
So good!