Creating the right environment for life

I was almost a biologist. It’s not really a secret or anything. I basically would have been run out of town and branded insane before I finished my masters thesis if I’d gone that route, so I don’t feel like I sold out by going into advertising. I’m just capitalizing on my insanity. I do try to keep up with the latest biology news though. Like this article on the origin of life from New Scientist. This video sums it up pretty well if you’re just not as into the details of the biophysics as I am:

How the hell does this apply to advertising or video games or user experience? Think about two of the hottest buzzwords in those industries: viral marketing, and social gaming. For our purposes today, they’re essentially the same thing: something that can reproduce itself infinitely, as long people keep sharing it. Just like a real virus. Except instead of depending on the state of the user’s immune system, it depends on it’s ability to make him or her laugh/think/cry or accidentally hit “send”. This is traditionally seen as the battle for those creating them.

According to New Scientist, however, life didn’t just emerge this way. It was completely dependent on a very specific kind of rock in a very specific environment, at a very specific time, until it reached a critical level of independence and broke out into the seas and the land and eventually the freaking moon. Now that’s a successful campaign.

So why do some campaigns/games/random videos go viral, while others don’t? Because the time, place, and setup are just as important as the content. We have no control over the reproduction – only the ingredients and the environment.

The moral of the story? Brainstorm your RNA and your mitochondria, but don’t forget to build your rocks with proton gradients.

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3 Trackbacks

  1. By WTF FTW (Why absurdity is good for you.) on November 4, 2009 at 11:10

    […] that brand, and positive associations = brand loyalty = $$$$. Convoluted? Yes. But that’s evolution for you, […]

  2. […] to here. One is that frameworks and tools are more sustainable than static content or product, and creating the right environment for life may be a far better investment than trying to create that life from scratch, when it comes to […]

  3. […] I’m home, sober, and have caught up on my New Scientist RSS feed. I may have mentioned in a previous post that I’m a huge biology nerd. DNA is an amazing, self-replicating machine, with a brilliant […]

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