The counter intuitive approach to achieving your goals (AKA Opposite of Zynga)

I have an confession. I really did care a lot about the number of comments on my blog, the number of my twitter followers, facebook friends etc. I say I did because a year ago I gave that all up. I even dont review the google analytics dashboard for my blog any more.


I found that when I did that they went nowhere. Meaning I would target 1500 views per post and found I was consistently below 1000. It was frustrating.

So I gave up (meaning admitted failure) and found out that it was the most liberating thing that I could even have done.

I changed my outlook for a self defined “happiness index” for myself. If I was / am happy writing a post then I am satisfied. No longer was I looking to get multiple comments, get it RT on twitter etc.

That’s very counter intuitive to the Zynga approach. They measure everything and no decisions are made unless there’s data to back it up.

I wonder if that’s the way to run a company? I know that the Amazon long term approach is widely criticized, but it seems like it works for a certain set of people. I am sure they measure everything as well since “if you cant measure it, you cant manage it”.

I am not talking about the chase excellence vs. chasing success approach.

I am talking about liberating yourself from the daily metrics that are “head fake”. They tell you go one way, but you’re not really sure if after you keep doing what they tell you, the position you end up at is the right place for you.

Try it, and see if it works. First, you’ll probably stress a lot less. Second, you’ll be happy (which is different from being successful) and finally you might end up overachieving anyway.

4 thoughts on “The counter intuitive approach to achieving your goals (AKA Opposite of Zynga)”

  1. Thanks !, I like this article. it reconfirms some of my thoughts about recent functioning of my company. I work for a NY based Investment bank firm and since the 2008 meltdown of economy the federal policies have become so stringent that everything is audited, every procedure/process related to risk, stability,IT architecture/design, Systems and federal reporting should become very transperant.

    The above impact has caused our senior management executives to set some strict goals for the firm in last few years. These goals have water fall effect on people in middle management and eventually on every employee.

    Part of my frustration with my current role is that my mode of working is becoming more and more goal/procedure oriented and less and less that fun solution development.

    In short everything is so much Zynga like (meritocracy at project execution/performance level).
    Is there any advise you can give to stay motivated ? and keeping my team more motivated.

    I do understand the purpose/reason behind such outlook but I feel that some of the approach isn’t rational and practical.

    1. Great question Raj, but I dont have a great answer yet. I need to think more and adopt a few techniques for motivating my folks before I tell you what works.

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