03 7 / 2012
Day 83: Lessons Learned
I’m planning to wrap up my comments about Empire Avenue. This is part one of a two part series; this part is Lessons Learn, part two is my EA Strategy.
My Empire Avenue experience has been a process of discovery. I’ve learned many things about EA, more that I wanted to for any “game” I play but certainly not enough to use EA as an effective business tool.
Lessons - Investing & Missions
#1 - There are some great people in EA. There are people I’m glad I discovered or who discovered me. The people I’ve connected with share experiences and help promote my objectives because they know I’ll help promote theirs.
#2 - Reciprocation is at the core of EA. However, many players don’t understand this or practice it. Some players believe a share-for-share purchasing strategy is reciprocation. Some have a more global view which includes things like Network Building, Follows, performing Missions, etc. Some buy & sell solely based on ROI on their investments.
#3 - With so many types of investment objectives, there are groups in EA of all kinds, both public & private: information sharing groups, various civic groups, groups dedicated to specific buying & selling principles (share-for-share reciprocation, for example).
#4 - Many well meaning EA players create Missions. A huge percentage of those missions are either: 1) Too complicated to be bothered with; 2) “Bombing” missions that not only get discounted by social network analytics, but also push the bombers closer and closer to the “spammer” classification; 3) Reward too little for the work being asked; 4) Have too many conditions that exclude (for example, mission requires a half dozen networks likes but many people don’t have all the networks).
#5 - Many mission takers treat the missions with too little respect. I could say much more about this, but I believe anyone who has ever Published a Mission knows their are downright thieves in EA.
#6 - Many player strategies employ techniques that constantly buying tiny lots of shares (even 1 share) on their investments on a daily basis. I believe this is intended to do two things: 1) Keep their names on my radar; 2) Distribute available income using software that spreads it equitably across their portfolios. In my opinion, the first goal is annoying, the second is admirable. It may not be related, but I’ve noticed that some players turn off messaging perhaps to avoid being bombarded with these constant reminders.
Lessons - Empire Avenue Issues
#1 - Empire Avenue deliberately makes this game difficult to comprehend. This is why that within 90 days they lose over 95% of the people who join, when you include people who just stop playing but don’t leave (sorry I can’t cite the source, but I’ve seen stats like this).
#2 - Empire Avenue changes its method of gathering network activity and calculating the results in the form of Earnings. Sometimes these changes can have serious adverse effects as was noted by Paul Steinbruek when a change sent his network activity down. I’ve found the EA discounting mechanism to be brutal.
#3 - For some ridiculous reason, the nightly Earnings shown to you is not the fully adjusted number shown to investors. This irritates me to no end.
#4 - Empire Avenue does not appear to have a robust testing lab. I say this because the technical problems I have using Internet Explorer are many.
I have been fascinated by Empire Avenue, but it’s like a moth to the flame. I’ve endured my newbie phase and fallen prey to my own ignorance of the game. However, I am Experience Level 8 now, an “Analyst” and I’ve learned enough to map out a rigorous strategy now. And I’ve written down these observsations because I want to have them here to remind me as I move forward.
I’ll map out my strategy in Part 2, but here is my guiding principle:
I do missions because I want to help you and if I perform a Mission for you, you have the right to tell me how to do that job. However, if you invest in me, you shouldn’t expect have the right to tell me how to invest.