Case Study: Super Mario Focus Map

You want to focus on that minimum viable segment really early on and that focus is not just on your audience, it focuses who you’re talking to and what you’re talking about. So perhaps you’re leveraging a specific feature that that early adapter audience would be very interested in and you would leverage that one feature until you see those early adapters talking to their friends about something else perhaps and then you’ll start talking and leveraging those other things. It really is about building a sort of focus map for what you’re talking about and what you’re working on and what you’re trying to dominate in terms of the audience and in terms of your product and once you do this, it will become clear what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and what will happen if you do it.

So let’s take an example. If I’m building a video game and I need to really focus on the core experience of my game and I’m going to decide that jumping, the character jumping is the core of my game. So everything around my game is about jumping, the same way that everything about AirBnB is renting spaces so that you can use it on demand.

So if I’m building a game and it’s all about jumping and I want to build an experience around that, once I’m doing something within the game, I can take a look back and step back and say woow, is the core mechanics still jumping or have I moved to something that’s something else and that it ruins my focus because it’s no longer about exactly what this game was about earlier, it was about jumping, now it’s about jumping and swiping and doing this and doing that and suddenly your product starts to losing focus.

So here I have an example of a famous video game you’ll probably figure out easily where the core focus was the jumping mechanic and then once the user had figured that out, it was about removing enemies by jumping and collecting coins by jumping or accumulating lives and progressing through levels by removing enemies and collecting coins and removing enemies and collecting coins by jumping. And the whole point, the big vision and the grand success at the end of the game would be saving the princess and the way that you would go about saving the princess initially would be by jumping. You start the game by jumping and of course, I’m talking about Super Mario, right? So Super Mario, the whole goal of the game is to save the princess and you save the princess by accumulating lives and progressing through levels and you accumulate lives, progressed through levels by removing enemies and collecting coins and you do that by jumping.

So this focus map, all it does really is it defines specifically the things that you’re doing but it also drills down on the essence of what you’re doing and the core of what you’re doing and the way that you will go about doing.

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