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Amy Jo Kim

Innovation Expert & Keynote Speaker

Game Thinking BookAmy Jo Kim, Ph.D. is an in-demand speaker on rapid innovation, early product design & cooperative gaming.

Amy Jo is known for her design work on Rock Band, The Sims, Covet Fashion, Ultima Online, Netflix, eBay & Happify. She brings front-line stories & insights from those breakthrough hits to her dynamic talks. 

She’s also the best-selling author of Game Thinking – a handbook for innovating smarter & building habits that stick.

Attendees describe her presentations as “inspiring”, “mind-blowing” and “deeply educational.”

Here are some sample speaking topics (others available on request) 

Beyond Gamification: searching for the silver bullet of engagement

Gamification holds the promise of adding game-like engagement to non-game contexts. But in practice, it often translates into “give me a silver bullet to drive engagement – fast.” And that results in a mechanics-first approach to experience design, which usually backfires. That’s because the power of game design isn’t in the mechanics – it’s in the journey. If you help people make progress in something they care about – you win. 

How to build your Customer Journey like a hit game designer

It costs money to acquire new customers. But if you don’t hold onto them, all your efforts and marketing dollars go to waste. Nobody sets out to to build a “leaky bucket” – but it happens. A LOT. To drive sustained retention, you need to build a pleasurable habit and give your customers something to get better at. You can fix you leaky bucket – and avoid building one in the first place – by building a meaningful Customer Journey and a repeatable Learning Loop. 

Rapid Innovation with Game Thinking: validate your ideas 10X faster

We’ve all heard the mantra of “rapid iteration.” But in practice, this often means building something quickly and THEN testing it with your intended audience. What a waste. If you goal is to build a high-retention product – there’s a better, faster way to test your ideas.  If you want to speed up development and save months of time, try building your MVP like a hit game designer with Superfans, Learning Loops and a compelling Mastery Path. 

Want Amy Jo to speak at your event? 

Photo & Bio

Named by Fortune as one of the top 10 influential women in games, Amy Jo Kim is a game designer, community architect, and innovation coach. Her design credits include Rock Band, The Sims, eBay, Netflix, nytimes.com, Ultima Online, Covet Fashion,  & Happify.

Amy Jo helps entrepreneurs & innovators bring their ideas to life through at gamethinking.io. She pioneered the practice of applying game design to digital services and is well-known for her books Community Building on the Web (2000) and Game Thinking (2018). 

In addition to her coaching practice, Amy Jo has taught Game Thinking at Stanford University and the USC School of Cinematic Arts, where she co-founded the game design program. She holds a PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience from the University of Washington and a BA in Experimental Psychology from UCSD.

Sample Talks

Lean Startup Conference
Turbo-Charge Your Early Product Development
TEDx
Collaboration and Community Building on the Web
gSUMMIT
The Coop Revolution: 7 Rules for Collaborative Game Design
Casual Connect
Smart Gamification: 7 Core Concepts

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