Posted on

The Genius Product Development Concepts Behind Pokemon Go

Every morning I take a short walk about an hour after I get to work. I tell myself I do this to clear my mind and prep for the day, but it’s mostly just to get out of the office and to ponder this question. On these walks I typically stroll by a public park where there are several statues and fountains. I always find myself having to dodge between the kids playing on them. Although a little over a week ago I noticed a shift. Something had happened. Something big. The fountains were suddenly empty and the statues were being left unclaimed. However, there was no shortage of people. You probably already know why. Pokémon Go. Everywhere I looked kids, parents, and employees on break were hunting for Pokémon.

This game is the most impressive product released so far this year if not this decade. Articles have been published stating it added $7.5 billion in value to Nintendo’s market value in just TWO DAYS.  There’s a lot that can be learned from this product so let’s dive in!


I’ve divided the analysis into two key sections. The first of which is components. Imagine components as ingredients. In order to make a great sandwich you’ll need several ingredients. But if you just want to make something quick and easy that gets the job done you might only need two or three. Below are the ingredients Pokémon has added to their sandwich.

  1.     Infinite

What is infinite? It means the app goes on forever. Why is this important? Because you can use the app forever. You wouldn’t use Tinder very much if you could only ever match with three people and you wouldn’t use Snapchat if you could only see one story a day. Pokémon Go not only embodies this concept but it’s revolutionized it by incorporating augmented reality. The world is the game. You can play forever and will constantly discover new things.P1     

               2.    Gamification

Gamification is when you incorporate the typical elements of game-playing into your mobile app. These can include competition with others, the ability to score points, and earn awards. Think of Codeschool’s badges. Businesses have found this to be a way not only to better maintain the users’ attention, but also to create a network effect. There’s no doubt that this was implemented flawlessly in Pokémon Go.

  1.     Dopamine and Random Rewards

Dopamine is essentially a neurotransmitter or chemical messenger that helps elicit pleasure in the brain. Think back to your childhood when you got an answer right in front of the class or to when you won a game against your friends. Remember that good feeling that came over you? Yup. That’s dopamine. A great way to spark dopamine is through random rewards. Companies have figured out that this is a way to keep their users engaged in their applications. A great example of this is the notifications on Facebook. Every time you receive a Like, comment, or post, a notification is sent straight to your phone. This is also releasing chemicals in your brain telling you “someone cares about me”. The same thing occurs when you hit a jackpot a at a casino. Even if you only win a few dollars. You never know when it’s going to happen but it always feels good.

Pokémon has been incorporating this into their games since the company’s inception. Catching your first Pokémon is virtually effortless. But you’re rewarded by some triumphant music and a cataloging of the Pokémon (dopamine). Also you never know when another Pokémon is going to appear (random reward). As a result, you instantly get hooked.

  1.     Network effect

Network effect is when a service becomes more valuable when used by more people. Think about the telephone. The more people who have phones in your network, the more compelling it is for you to purchase one as well. Great apps make it easy to leverage this. Social media apps in particular do a wonderful job. They survive because your friends also use them. Pokémon Go makes it extremely easy and above all fun to play with others. Especially because multiple people can catch the same Pokémon at once. Also, groups can take advantage of Lures which if activated draw Pokémon near.

  1. Nurture Effect

Nurture effect ignites an evolutionary instinct in humans to take care of other things. Think back (if you’re old enough) to feeding your Tamagotchi, building a virtual life in the Sims, or even cultivating the perfect LinkedIn page. Pokémon Go embodies this beautifully by allowing users to evolve and even hatch Pokémon.

Core strategies

If the components are ingredients then the strategies can be thought of as the sandwich preparation. An ordinary sandwich can be significantly enhanced just by toasting it or improving its presentation. Mobile apps are the same way. Below are some that Pokémon have embodied.

  1.     Rebranding

The business world is full of rebranding success stories. Old Spice used to be considered a deodorant for older men. Now it’s an extremely well known brand. Pabst Blue Ribbon used to be the Hipster beer of choice. Now it sells for $44 in China. Pokémon Go falls into this category as well. Google originally created the core technology for the game and ultimately decided to spin it off into a new company called Niantic in which they remained an investor. Niantic then used the technology to create a game called Ingress with a science fiction storyline and a foundation somewhat similar to Pokémon Go. Which leads me to my next point…

  1.     Partnerships

Partnerships as well as acquisitions are pretty common throughout the software development life cycle. Two of the most famous are Instagram and Whatsapp. Both of which were acquired by Facebook.  Anyway, Niantic partnered with and recieved investment from Google, Nintendo, and The Pokémon Company to create this game. This way they were able to rebrand, and ultimately launch a product that resonated with a much larger audience.

  1.   Tribe Loyalty

Humans are used to being in Tribes. We respond to banding together for strength, security, and companionship. Great companies have been known to take advantage of this concept. A well known example is Harley Davidson. Even if you’ve never ridden on a motorcycle in your life you probably have a good idea of what a typical Harley customer looks like. This is because the company spent a considerable amount of time growing a following of a specific group through a product and lifestyle that resonates with them. Pokémon Go knocks it out of the park here again by allowing users to pick teams (Yellow, Red, or Blue) once they reach the fifth level of the game. Also as I stated above, players are also able to work together to attract Pokémon through Lures. As a result the game is immensely more fun to play in groups, all of which leads to cultivation of a tribe.

  1.     Marketing/Shareability

This ties in with several of the features listed above. Shareability is a key component in product development. Mobile development companies spend a great deal of time figuring out ways to make it easy for users to broadcast their activity on a platform. Why? Your friends are your best marketers. Facebook figured this out with the Like button.  The augmented reality component of Pokémon Go coupled with the design makes it easy to share interesting and unique images with others.


  1. Innovation

Great apps have to do something that hasn’t been done before and Pokémon Go does. The game changes based on your interaction in the app. This also helps out with the marketing. Everyone wants to write about unique things like people getting robbed, car crashes, or players swarming Central Park. Companies can be fueled heavily by media attention. Pokémon Go became so massively and quickly prevalent that everyone knows about it regardless of whether or not they play (but odds are that they probably do) despite minimal advertising.

I dare-say Pokémon Go isn’t just brilliant, it’s downright genius. In the past, apps have been able to generate massive value by incorporating just one or two of these components and strategies into their products. But the developers of this game figured out a way to cram them all into an elegant and beautiful sandwich that also includes an impressive business model. The app is free, but some features that enhance the in-game experience (Incense and Lucky Eggs) can be purchased. This is by no means an exhaustive list either. It’s simply the ingredients and recipes that I’ve noticed and have come to appreciate. There’s aspects of this app we can all learn from and use in the future.


P.S. If you enjoyed this article, then please click here to sign up for my newsletter on innovation, entrepreneurship and product development.

78 thoughts on “The Genius Product Development Concepts Behind Pokemon Go

  1. I simply want to say I am just very new to blogging and truly enjoyed you’re page. Most likely I’m likely to bookmark your website . You actually have really good articles. Regards for sharing your web-site.

  2. The template needs to accommodate text as well as some videos. Any apt ready templates in Joomla?.

  3. I use a micro SD card between my laptop and netbook as an external hardrive for my class files. I often download files on one computer or the other without the drive in that computer. Is it possible to set my computer up so that when I insert my drive my computer automatically updates the folder on my removable drive with the folder on my computer?.

  4. Nice. Thank you for your post!

  5. When going to as well as got these cushions for a structure he was making for them, my partner as well as I needed to have a pleasant mattress to rest on.

  6. Everything is very open with a very clearclearprecisereally clear explanationdescriptionclarification of the issueschallenges. It was trulyreallydefinitely informative. Your website isYour site is very usefulvery helpfulextremely helpfuluseful. Thanks forThank you forMany thanks for sharing!

  7. Very interesting details you have observed , thanks for putting up. Death is Nature’s expert advice to get plenty of Life. by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

  8. Perform yourself a favor as well as obtain this one if you’re in the market for a new mattress. It’s const reliable and also excellent quality. You can’t go wrong!

  9. I am extremely impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Either way keep up the excellent quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one these days..

  10. Hello there, You’ve done a great job. I will definitely digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I am sure they’ll be benefited from this web site.

  11. Fantastic website. Lots of helpful info here. I am sending it to some buddies ans also sharing in delicious. And certainly, thanks on your effort!

  12. Hi there, You’ve done an excellent job. I’ll certainly digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I’m sure they will be benefited from this site.

  13. Hello. excellent job. I did not anticipate this. This is a excellent story. Thanks!

  14. This paragraph offers clear idea for the new users of blogging, that actually how to do blogging and site-building.

  15. Hello, i think that i saw you visited my web site so i came to “return the favor”.I’m attempting to find things to enhance my site!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!

  16. Hi, Neat post. There is an issue together with your website in web explorer, would test this¡K IE nonetheless is the market leader and a large portion of folks will pass over your excellent writing because of this problem.

  17. Excellent blog here! Also your web site loads up very fast! What web host are you the usage of? Can I am getting your affiliate link to your host? I wish my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  18. MetroClick specializes in building completely interactive products like Photo Booth for rental or sale, Touch Screen Kiosks, Large Touch Screen Displays , Monitors, Digital Signages and experiences. With our own hardware production facility and in-house software development teams, we are able to achieve the highest level of customization and versatility for Photo Booths, Touch Screen Kiosks, Touch Screen Monitors and Digital Signage. Visit MetroClick at or , 121 Varick St, New York, NY 10013, +1 646-843-0888

  19. Hi i’m David Fuertes and i love porn please visit my site

  20. You made some clear points there. I looked on the internet for the topic and found most persons will agree with your website.

  21. Hello my family member! I want to say that this post is amazing, great written and include almost all significant infos. I’d like to peer extra posts like this.

  22. Hi, i think that i saw you visited my site so i came to “return the favor”.I’m attempting to find things to improve my site!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

  23. Magnificent website. A lot of helpful info here. I¡¦m sending it to some pals ans also sharing in delicious. And naturally, thank you for your sweat!

  24. Hiya, I am really glad I have found this info. Nowadays bloggers publish just about gossips and net and this is actually frustrating. A good site with interesting content, that is what I need. Thank you for keeping this site, I’ll be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can not find it.

  25. I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here. The sketch is attractive, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an impatience over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again since exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this hike.

  26. Here are a number of the internet sites we advocate for our visitors

  27. RETSPRO reviews and other info are usually easily available inside our forums. RETSPRO serves a fabulous online community of developers and real estate teams who require the ultimate flexibility throughout their RETS output. RETSPRO wordpress plugin is the superior software program suitable for any real estate website developer. RETSPRO was built specifically for web developers to provide them with the resources to fully customize a website for their real estate industry clients.

  28. I truly appreciate this post. I’ve been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You’ve made my day! Thank you again!

  29. What i do not understood is if truth be told how you are now not actually much more smartly-appreciated than you may be right now. You are so intelligent. You realize thus considerably relating to this matter, produced me individually consider it from so many numerous angles. Its like men and women don’t seem to be interested except it is one thing to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your personal stuffs great. At all times deal with it up!

  30. Great amazing things here. I am very glad to see your post. Thanks so much and i’m taking a look ahead to contact you. Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

  31. I like this post, enjoyed this one appreciate it for posting .

  32. Wonderful website. Lots of useful information here. I am sending it to a few pals ans also sharing in delicious. And of course, thank you for your effort!

  33. My spouse and i have been thankful that Louis managed to conclude his studies while using the precious recommendations he obtained in your web site. It is now and again perplexing just to continually be offering solutions which most people might have been trying to sell. Therefore we acknowledge we’ve got the writer to appreciate for this. The illustrations you’ve made, the easy blog navigation, the friendships you can make it possible to foster – it is mostly great, and it’s really assisting our son and us feel that this subject is excellent, which is particularly indispensable. Thanks for all!

  34. I have been browsing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  35. I truly appreciate this post. I’ve been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You’ve made my day! Thank you again!

  36. I like the helpful info you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and check again here regularly. I’m quite sure I will learn many new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!

  37. I have read some good stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how a lot effort you put to make this type of excellent informative web site.

  38. Keep functioning ,terrific job!

  39. Wow, awesome blog format! How long have you been running a blog for? you made running a blog glance easy. The entire look of your website is great, let alone the content!

  40. Wonderful site. Plenty of helpful info here. I am sending it to several friends ans also sharing in delicious. And naturally, thank you on your sweat!

  41. Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and help others like you helped me.

  42. What i don’t realize is if truth be told how you are no longer really much more well-appreciated than you might be right now. You are very intelligent. You realize therefore significantly in the case of this matter, produced me in my opinion imagine it from numerous various angles. Its like women and men don’t seem to be fascinated except it is something to accomplish with Woman gaga! Your personal stuffs outstanding. Always care for it up!

  43. Merely a smiling visitant here to share the love (:, btw great layout. “Justice is always violent to the party offending, for every man is innocent in his own eyes.” by Daniel Defoe.

  44. Thank you for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do some research on this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I am very glad to see such wonderful information being shared freely out there.

  45. HelloHeyHi there, You haveYou’ve performeddone a greatan excellenta fantastican incredible job. I willI’ll definitelycertainly digg it and for my partpersonallyindividuallyin my opinionin my view recommendsuggest to my friends. I amI’m sureconfident they willthey’ll be benefited from this siteweb sitewebsite.

  46. What i don’t realize is in fact how you are no longer actually much more smartly-liked than you may be right now. You are very intelligent. You understand therefore considerably in terms of this subject, produced me in my opinion imagine it from numerous varied angles. Its like men and women don’t seem to be involved except it is one thing to do with Girl gaga! Your own stuffs excellent. All the time care for it up!

  47. I was suggested this blog by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my problem. You are amazing! Thanks!

  48. Usually I don’t learn article on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very pressured me to take a look at and do it! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thank you, very nice post.

  49. Wonderful beat ! I would like to apprentice while you amend your website, how can i subscribe for a blog web site? The account aided me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided bright clear idea

  50. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this website. I am hoping the same high-grade website post from you in the upcoming as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own website now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings fast. Your write up is a good example of it.

  51. Usually I do not read post on blogs, however I would like to say that this write-up very pressured me to take a look at and do it! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thank you, quite great post.

  52. Wonderful work! That is the type of information that are meant to be shared around the web. Disgrace on Google for not positioning this publish higher! Come on over and consult with my site . Thanks =)

  53. I got what you intend, appreciate it for putting up.Woh I am thankful to find this website through google. “Being intelligent is not a felony, but most societies evaluate it as at least a misdemeanor.” by Lazarus Long.

  54. Fantastic goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you are just too excellent. I actually like what you have acquired here, really like what you’re stating and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it wise. I cant wait to read far more from you. This is really a terrific website.

  55. I would like to show some thanks to this writer for rescuing me from this difficulty. Just after browsing through the online world and meeting suggestions which are not beneficial, I assumed my entire life was gone. Being alive without the presence of approaches to the difficulties you have sorted out all through your main article content is a crucial case, and the kind that would have in a negative way affected my entire career if I had not come across your blog. Your main capability and kindness in dealing with almost everything was very useful. I’m not sure what I would’ve done if I had not come upon such a point like this. I can also at this moment look forward to my future. Thanks very much for the professional and results-oriented help. I will not hesitate to recommend your web sites to any individual who should receive care about this situation.

  56. Hi my friend! I wish to say that this post is amazing, nice written and include approximately all vital infos. I¡¦d like to see extra posts like this .

  57. I view something truly special in this site.

  58. I’ve been surfing on-line more than 3 hours nowadays, yet I by no means found any interesting article like yours. It’s lovely price sufficient for me. In my view, if all webmasters and bloggers made just right content material as you probably did, the net might be a lot more useful than ever before. “Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical.” by Lawrence Peter Berra.

  59. You are my breathing in, I own few web logs and rarely run out from brand :). “Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it.” by E. B. White.

  60. You are my inspiration, I own few blogs and very sporadically run out from post :). “Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it.” by E. B. White.

  61. Wonderful goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you are just extremely excellent. I really like what you have acquired here, really like what you’re saying and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still take care of to keep it sensible. I can not wait to read far more from you. This is really a wonderful website.

  62. naturally like your web-site however you need to check the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling issues and I in finding it very bothersome to inform the truth nevertheless I¡¦ll definitely come again again.

  63. I have not checked in here for a while as I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are great quality so I guess I¡¦ll add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

  64. Hey, you used to write wonderful, but the last few posts have been kinda boring… I miss your tremendous writings. Past few posts are just a little out of track! come on!

  65. HelloHiHello thereHi thereHowdyGood dayHey there! I justI simply would like towant towish to give you aoffer you a hugebig thumbs up for thefor your greatexcellent infoinformation you haveyou’ve gotyou have got hereright here on this post. I will beI’ll beI am coming back toreturning to your blogyour siteyour websiteyour web site for more soon.

  66. Keep functioning ,remarkable job!

  67. I in addition to my friends were found to be examining the excellent procedures on your web page then instantly came up with an awful feeling I never expressed respect to you for those techniques. Those boys are actually passionate to learn them and now have extremely been having fun with those things. Thank you for simply being considerably accommodating and also for considering varieties of terrific subjects millions of individuals are really wanting to discover. My very own honest regret for not expressing appreciation to you sooner.

  68. Excellent blog here! Also your web site loads up very fast! What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  69. Keep up the superb piece of work, I read few posts on this internet site and I believe that your web blog is rattling interesting and holds lots of wonderful information.

  70. Thanks for sharing excellent informations. Your web site is so cool. I am impressed by the details that you have on this web site. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for more articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found simply the info I already searched everywhere and just could not come across. What a perfect site.

  71. GreatExcellentGoodVery good postarticle. I amI’mI will be facingdealing withgoing throughexperiencing a few of thesesome of thesemany of these issues as well..

  72. I was reading some of your blog posts on this internet site and I believe this web site is real informative ! Keep posting .

  73. fantastic issues altogether, you just gained a brand new reader. What would you recommend in regards to your put up that you just made some days ago? Any sure?

  74. You could certainly see your skills in the work you write. The arena hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who are not afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart. “A second wife is hateful to the children of the first a viper is not more hateful.” by Euripides.

  75. Thanks for sharing superb informations. Your website is so cool. I am impressed by the details that you have on this website. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for more articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found just the information I already searched all over the place and just couldn’t come across. What a perfect site.

  76. Really nice pattern and good content material , very little else we need : D.

  77. My brother suggested I might like this blog. He was entirely right. This post truly made my day. You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.