The launch of OverFundIt comes at a perfect time. In an effort to match the brilliance of my fellow co-founders, I am taking a Gamification course through Coursera. Professor Kevin Werbach (@kwerb) is great and each session I find new bits and pieces we can apply here at OverFundIt. The team is essentially building a platform based on our philosophical belief that the world can be a better place if the people who do good stuff could be given the opportunity to do more good stuff.
You know what happens when playful people take on a serious challenge? They decide to make changing the world into a game! That got me thinking about these three points from Prof Werbach’s lecture:
- Players are the center of the game
- Players feel a sense of autonomy/control
- Players play
players are the center of the game
In the OverFundIt world Doers and Community Catalysts (aka Funders) are the players. These are real people. We strip away the mysterious profiles and protective layers of bureaucracy and just focus on the players. Games are most enjoyable when you have skilled players. Volleyball is better with bump, set and spike. Monopoly is more fun when people are strategic and know basic math. As players get better, the quality of the game gets better. OverFundIt wants to connect players who are good at doing stuff and funders who are more than just wallets, they are true Community Catalysts. We get want to get out of the way of those who matter most…the players.
players feel a sense of autonomy/control
This one is big for us. While we want to create community and connectedness, we realize that Doers and Community Catalysts are free and independent thinkers. We are building a system to promote and reward those qualities. I’ve lived in cities where the Doers were marginalized or felt like they had little control of progress. I know we all have experienced a lack of autonomy and control when it comes to funding – we elect people and hand over significant control to them. OverFundIt changes that. We know that change – big change – will happen when barriers are removed and people are provided a platform to change reality.
Yes, money will be involved. Doers will need to identify how much money their initiative will take. Community Catalysts will need figure out how much they want to contribute. So what? That doesn’t mean it won’t be playful. OverFundIt will have a number of challenges and ways to keep the process in a state of play. Players play is like saying Doers do…or Community Catalysts…catalyze? We will create a system that is natural, fun, and delivers results.
So, do you want to play? Where would you start?