Pokemon GO is the Biggest Mobile Game Since Candy Crush

We’ve come a long way from Pong, haven't we?

Pokemon GO was released recently, and the fervor is astonishing.  

For gamers, it’s an interesting expedition into “Real World Gaming," for techies, it's a cool use of augmented reality … And for the business-focused, it is a big sign of what's to come!

Let's start with the HUGE adoption numbers.  It's not just kids playing, Parents are playing, my 23-year-old “adult” son is playing … I’ve been in a car where someone with a Master’s Degree was driving with his phone on the dashboard so he wouldn’t miss a Pikachu.  It’s mind-boggling … and it's everywhere. 


160724 Pokemon Go - Pikachu


I imagine that this will be a major advertising strategy …  Restaurants, stores, and events will pay for exclusive geo-fencing (meaning, you can only get "this" Pokemon at Coachella, while shopping at WalMart, or in a McDonald's).  And, it won't be just Pokemon.  Expect sports teams, bands, and movie franchises to get in on this quickly.

Flashback to 2001: I'd take my kids to 7-Eleven on our way home from school, and they'd beg me to buy them another pack of Pokemon cards, which they were convinced had "REAL" value.

Now it's 2016 and Pokemon is still relevant, and some of the cards are actually worth something.

In fact, Pokemon is trending around 10x higher worldwide today than in 2005, and Nintendo is already worth $9 Billion more than it was earlier this month.

So much changes – and so much stays the same. 



Here's a geek note:  A former division of Google had a similar (even more full-featured) game, called Ingress, before they created Pokemon GO.  

This reiterates that success isn’t tied as closely as you might expect to being "first to market" or the "quality" of a product … it’s often the story and the experience.

To close, I’m excited to see what other innovations I'll get to enjoy before my kids are too old to care … My ace-in-the-hole, I expect future grandchildren to spur demand.  (Side note to my kids:  Get on this soon, please.)

Innovation is cool … And it is fun to guess which things will persist, and which will perish.

For example:

  • How long are we going to use TVs? Or,
  • How long will people try to trade stocks themselves?

Change is the only constant.

We’ve come a long way – and it is just the beginning …

  1. I never understood the whole fixation on Pokemon but when my grandkids asked me to buy them trading cards, I caved in. Today, some of them are worth more than I had ever dreamed.

    (However, it would set a bad precedent for my grandkids to think they were right about something so monumental, so very little has been discussed on this topic.)

    Pokemon Go is so incredibly innovative from a marketing perspective that I imagine others are working on the knock-off as we speak.

    Nice article –

    The only thing that never changes is the fact that everything is always changing.
    —Louis L’Amour

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