In the game app space users are gold. They are all gold, but their value varies. Some of the fool’s gold users uninstall our games as fast as they install them while some of the gold nugget users continue to log heavy minutes everyday months after installing. All of our success metrics are driven by users. The more users you have the more users you have viewing ad banners and making in app purchases. Users are gold and our survival and hopeful success depends on them. It got me thinking this morning on the drive in, “what would I do for a new user”?
Given my dirty mind, I immediately went there….and no, I won’t. Well not yet. But as we continue to struggle the list of what I would be willing to do is a growing fast and far out numbers the what I wouldn’t do list. Before I expand on my what I would do for a user if they installed my game list I should first give a little context.
For us to get over the hump we need four thousand MORE users a day. Four thousand users sounds like a lot and well that is because it is a lot. A whole hell of a lot. If I have had contact with at least one person every day of the last 11 years I would have just over four thousand contacts. For us to succeed we just need to replicate my last 11 years of contacts on a daily basis. No problem. I wrote that last sentence being facetious, but if I were to Doc Brown back two years and talk to my naïve less heavy self, he (I) would explain to me (him) how if he (I) had a great product and shared with just his (my) social media circle of 250 people they would each share it with 5 of their friends and if half of those people shared it with 5 of their friends and so on and so on until the goal was reached in a just a few generations of sharing. He (I) would then pontificate about how he (i) was an accounting minor and go into limited detail (he was a C student) about compound interest and exponential returns. The cherry on top would be when he (I) noted how that doesn’t even account for the random users who find the game just from searching on the app store.
Seriously? What an effen moron. How can he (I) be so naïve? In his (my) defense, the excitement of the opportunity coupled with the hatred for his (my) job at the time would be enough to blind most any C student. But before I jump back in to the DeLorean I would first piss in his (my) oatmeal in hopes of opening the eyes of my less heavy, less jaded self. I would explain that while social media is a great tool, it costs money that you (i) will not have to fully utilize. In addition, your (my) social media friends are so impacted with posts from other “friends” that something as exciting as you (me) sharing your (our) new game would resonate with less than 15% of your (my) friends and the chances of those 15% sharing this amazing news with their friends would be in the low single digits. And that is being optimistic. Oh, did I mention that getting the users is the easy part? Keeping them is the hard part. For every 8 users who install your (my) wonderful game only one of them will play it after 4 weeks and the amount they play it will greatly decrease. So self, how you feeling now? Hungry?…. “Effen Moron”, I mumble to myself as I set flux capacitor back to reality.
Now that you have a little context on user totals, the next question is what is a user worth? With the gold nuggets and the fool’s gold users, the average user is worth pennies a day. I know, low right? The thing about pennies, is they add up. And over time they really add up.
What would I do for these long term annuities? I should first calculate the monetary value of the task in terms of my time, but to do so a couple of assumptions need to be made:
- User present value is calculated with a 1 year cap (assume user will be active for at least one year)
- If I do a task for a potential user, he or she agrees to install our game
If I assume the user value is calculated based on a year of user income and if I equate that to my time, then the task cannot take more than 12.3 minutes. There are a lot of tasks that can be completed in 12 minutes. But that is 12 minutes total. Any setup/cleanup/commuting time would have to be part of that 12 minutes. If I worked 12 hour days, 30 days a month I could complete 58.5 tasks a day securing new 58 daily users or 1755 a month. 12 hour days without breaks seven days a week seems a little much though. Especially given my current physical condition. If I reduce the daily work hours to 11 to account for breaks and task transition, then my monthly user gross drops to 1609. Not too shab….oh wait…shoot I forgot to account for attrition. With a 12% retention rate, those 1609 users become 193 quality users. At that rate we will run out of runway before reaching our goal. Need to reduce the task time. If I reduce the 12.1 minute task time by 2/3 then the task would take 4.1 minutes which would equate to 579 users a month. A number I can work with.
As previously mentioned, the list of things I would do (i.e. wash a cat, filter green M&Ms, rub feet, etc.) is too long to list. The real question is what wouldn’t I do? Hmmm…. the no list really boils down to just a few rules:
- No sexual acts (nobody wants that)
- Must be legal
- Task to be completed online or at my office
Those are the rules. Well the rules for this month. Really, they are more like parameters. And parameters are designed to be configured. So those are the hard fast rules unless there is a task that might not fit into the confines of one or two of the rules in which case the rules become configurable parameters. Yep, I think that covers it.
So in summary, if you are a potential user who is willing to install our game in exchange for a nonsexual, legal, 4 minute task which can be completed in the El Dorado Hills area (or online) or if you have a 4 minute task in the El Dorado Hills area that might blur one or two of the rules, I think there is a deal to be made.
[crazy ex-girlfriend voice]: call ME!?!?!