Iteration Makes Perfect

This weekend I spent some time poking around the very useful mobile analytics site, App Annie, which I believe most mobile developers and marketers are already familiar with. App Annie provides great mobile performance analytics and market trend-watching tools. With the rise of mobile app and software ecosystems like iOS, Google Play, and Amazon, games have become one of the most popular app categories. Mobile is no longer the “wild west”, and with the increasing availability of data, there are now numerous opportunities to explore player behavior in mobile games, like how to build effective mobile game funnels and monetize on freemium models.

Casual puzzle games like Candy Crush Saga, summer movie tie-ins like Monsters University and Despicable Me: Minion Rush, and Plants vs Zombies 2 have cashed in on the successful freemium app model. Freemium games entice players with a “free-to-play” invitation, then monetize through a variety of well-designed game mechanics and in-app purchases. These game mechanics and in-app purchases are successful because insights from player performance data can help craft and iterate sticky game mechanics, good pressure-point monetization design, immersive tutorial design, and effective game funnels.

The beauty of working in a digital industry is that everything is trackable. Nobody expects to launch a perfect product, but once data from beta-testing pours in, the time to test and iterate your product begins. With the aid of good tools, A/B tests that gain insights about players and product, an open analytical mind to parse through the data, and the willingness to take prompt actions based on insights, the room for product improvement has been largely expanded. The mobile gaming field has now become an open playground, full of opportunities.

A New Hope

I am restarting my blog after a hiatus of three years. In the past three years, I finished my USC graduate school program in digital media; did a fantastic internship with Paramount Pictures marketing movies online and campaigning for Academy Awards; met so many amazing people cross different walks of life; and landed my dream job with Disney, where I currently work on entertainment digital product design and management. I’ve been busy!

It has been a demanding and also rewarding journey. But most important of all, I’ve missed writing. I miss the times I spent with myself, reflecting on observations of my daily life, and the exciting shifts in the digital media landscape.

With this brand new start, I will continue to share my thoughts, readings, and work experience related to digital entertainment product development, and how to use data to decipher the intertwined worlds of human connections, business intelligence and digital engagement.

I am learning through practicing, and I feel very fortunate to be able to work on things I love, and with a group people that inspire me. I once read a saying somewhere that I want to use as my career motto:

“Don’t just get things done, make things happen.”

Though I am sometimes bogged down by my busy schedule, I should not forget this motto, and re-booting this blog is a great way for me to make things happen again instead of just getting things done in my life.

With that being said, in light of my new experiences over the past three years, as well as my transition from an aspiring digital media student to a digital industry professional, I think it’s time for my blog to reflect my new interests in data-driven media and product development insights. So, bye bye to my previous blog theme, “Social Media is Great!” And hello to my brand new “Data and Lore” blog. I have added a screenshot of my former blog theme to commemorate it.

Hey, world! I’m back!

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