Improve Your Brain by Playing Games?

Posted Saturday, September 7, 2013 in Innovation by Patricia Seybold

On a visit to my Mom’s retirement community, I attended a lecture given by the head of the Alzheimer’s unit at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perlman Center. He provided the seniors in the audience with a good overview of where we stand on research into Alzheimer’s and dementia. He also discussed the results of a number of studies that showed how our human brains degrade naturally over time, and what happens to our brain function when disease precipitates that decline.

Lumosity Games Exercise Different Aspects of Your BrainThe last part of his presentation was devoted to providing tips on what steps people should take to keep our non-disease related mental decline in check. He recommended two things that I remember (!):

  1. Exercise with others. He pointed to results of recent research that showed that, while physical exercise is good for keeping your brain performing well, exercising in a social setting tends to increase the positive impact of exercise on brain performance by about 30%.
  2. Play brain-training games. Do more than crossword puzzles, he said. Stretch your mind in many different directions. He recommended online games like Lumosity.

So I finally got around to checking out Lumosity, and I got quite interested. First, it does appear that this online/mobile gaming experience is helping me remember more and think more clearly. But, second, I realized that Lumos Labs—Lumosity’s creator—has done a pretty good job in implementing my favorite business model: a customer ecosystem. You see, Lumosity isn’t just a suite of brain-training games for your iPhone or Web. It’s actually a vibrant ecosystem in which millions of customers and thousands of researchers, clinicians, neurologists, and educators are all helping people improve their brains’ performance

I believe that customer ecosystems are the next big thing. If you want to create a viable business ecosystem that will grow organically and generate value, think about spawning a customer ecosystem. To do so, you’ll need to master these six critical success factors:

  1. Help customers achieve and/or manage something they care about.
  2. Design for specific target audiences.
  3. Provide a “secret sauce” that transforms customers’ ability to get things done.
  4. Attract partners & suppliers who can contribute to these customers’ success.
  5. Align the entire ecosystem to meet customers’ success metrics.
  6. Embed, co-brand, and be ubiquitous so customers will encounter and use the secret sauce no matter what their starting point is.

Here's my article:

Lumosity Harnesses 45 Million Brains
A Customer Ecosystem Focused on Improving Our Brains’ Performance
By Patricia B. Seybold, CEO & Sr. Consultant, September 6, 2013

(Read the short sample and download the full article in PDF.)



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