Ever since I started working at na2ure in March, I’ve known that I am part of something very special. My first glance at the website and I knew that the games were beautiful, my first conversation with Alex, and I knew that they had the potential to revolutionize science education, and the first time I played Ani-gram-it and ferret I knew that they worked. I could feel the information assimilating seamlessly into my brain, a sensation I rarely experienced in my formal education. Passive learning through play: it’s how the brain is designed to learn and we are making games that take advantage of that in a truly substantial way.
I haven’t always been so sure that others would understand how uniquely well na2ure’s games work. Doing sales and marketing outreach, you make a lot of calls and send a lot of emails that go into the void. For all that the modern marketplace professes to be all about “innovation” and “disruption,”* people tend to resist new ideas that don’t fit into a pre-existing format. Whether it’s the fear doing something different, or lack of effort to form the neural pathways that come with a new concept, the “early adopter” of the startup entrepreneur’s dreams is not so easy to come by.
Which is why I was delighted when so many visitors at NY NOW “got it.” Of course, the folks at New York’s Newest were actively looking for new products and new ideas, but even so. Actual words that were spoken include: “You’ve got a great product - I really hope this succeeds,” the more assertive “This is going to succeed” and “There is a real need for this in the market.” Not all were retailers. Some were fellow exhibitors who bought the game for their kids, some were buyers in a totally different category. It was exciting to see that so many people a) were aware of the need for this sort of educational tool and b) recognized that these are the games to deliver the goods.
And, yes, people ordered. I must tip my hat to a variety of early-adopting stores like Where’d You Get That in Williamstown, MA, Shananigans in Baltimore, Good Things in Life tutoring in New Jersey and Aldea in San Francisco. For the families in those communities: you have some very smart people looking out for your kids! Very soon, we will have list of all our early adopters on our site, where you can find out who “got it” first.
An interesting piece of our development is that our network isn’t expanding only through stores. Many of our early adopters are parents and educators connecting with us directly, who were actively looking for something new that would make sense of biology for their little ones. Same goes with press (most of whom are parents and educators).
Who knows how long we will be in the “early adopter” stage, however! Museums, schools, universities and educators are starting to “adopt” us too, and we’re now in NYC, the Hamptons, NJ, MA, RI, soon CA, TX and even Mexico, with reorders starting to flow in. Alex and Vijal spoke to the NY Hall of Science in August, and Alex made a splash at the World Congress of Play in San Francisco. Also, we have a pretty exciting yet-to-be-announced project in the works that is set to push us out in front of a larger audience than ever before.
We are at the very beginning of something very exciting.
* For a hilarious mockery of tech world jargon, check out this guy