The recent launch of Pokémon Go has brought with it a largely unexpected level of engagement, excitement and, due to the level of interest, crashed servers.
What’s the fuss about Pokémon Go, already? Isn’t it just a game?
C: Both of the above
The correct answer is C:Both of the above.
It’s an Augmented Reality game that uses your iPhone camera and your GPS location (only iOS for now and only in Australia & New Zealand; sorry folks) that allows you to do the Pokémon thing — play games, battles and collect the Japanese imps.
It’s also social gaming. It’s also bringing the digital and analogue world together. It’s also a slap-in-the-face … wake-up-do-you-see-what’s-happening?indicator that the general public is ready for immersive, augmented, connected and disconnected experiences.
Add to that, we’re witnessing, discussing with and supporting our clients, both current and at pre-engagement level, invest in innovation labs, VR spaces, intrapreneurship & startup practices as well as experiment in the mixed reality landscape.
Everyone seems to be on-board, so what’s the problem?
People are the problem. There aren’t enough of them.
Since technology has become all the more ubiquitous in our lives, we’ve seen a chronic shortage of people who are creators of technology and designers of the user experience.
Skilled people. There aren’t enough of them and I am terrified.
My business passions and interests, Velvet Onion (where we improve life through design) Academy Xi (where we change the world with education) and, recently, a minor interest in ACME Virtual (where we create reality) — we’re solving problem both from a consumer perspective, supporting businesses create great digital experiences as well as training the new wave of talent in User Experience, Service Design, Product Management andVirtual Reality Design.
So why am I terrified?
If you do a quick search for User Experience jobs in various countries (as of 07 July 2016), you’ll see what I’m both excited and terrified about — the number of vacancies:
- Australia: over 3,600 vacancies
- Singapore: over 7,300 vacancies
- United Kingdom: over 50,000 vacancies
- United States: over 200,000 vacancies
As an industry. we’ve been feeling the lack of talent pinch getting more painful, particularly over the past year.
We’re not prepared for what’s coming.
What do we do?
As an industry, we have two choices (as in life):
- Do something
- Do nothing
Doing something means skilling up, investing in talent — from an internal training perspective as well as investing in junior talent.
There are so many reasons why I have devoted the last two years of my life in crafting these businesses:
- to improve life
- to change the world
- to create reality
It’s not the Pokémon themselves I’m terrified about; it’s our inability to nurture enough talent to craft and create truly meaningful experiences.
See you in the future.