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Do You Remember the SIMS?

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March 10, 2020

Who could forget?  For me, the SIMS served as the counter balance to my top three video/PC game obsessions of that era: Grand Theft Auto, Counter-Strike and Mission Impossible (of course, listed in order of preference). 

20 years later, this alternative reality gaming franchise recently hit 200 million copies sold on PC and has reached 20 million unique players worldwide. 

The SIMS creators recognized that “developing anything new, especially if it’s not (replicating) something else that’s already successful, there’s inherent risk. And it’s one of the hardest parts of innovation.”

While not an easy decision to make,  in light of the elevated health and safety considerations surrounding COVID-19 and large-scale in person gatherings:

Starting this Thursday, March 12th, we are temporarily moving the in-person #ThursdayGathering to a new video-conference driven platform: #VCMVirtual

We believe that innovation can thrive in a digital and decentralized environment — and hope you do as well. So, for this temporary pause, we’re asking to how to keep the connection alive in the virtual realms.

This week, I’ll share how the SIME and a McKinsey derived framework helped us reach the decision to go digital & decentralized in hopes you also find this approach useful in your decision making.

McKinsey’s insights for evaluating the transition to centralized  management structures suggest asking three seminal questions:

Is it necessary?

Since our Health Alert post last week, the number of domestic and local cases of COVID-19 has increased, including 3 confirmed contractions in Broward County, where a significant portion of our #ThursdayGathering community resides. 

As the largest weekly gathering of innovators in South Florida, your health and safety is our priority.  Thus it is both necessary and prudent to place a pause on large-scale in-person gatherings for the immediate future.

However, we firmly believe that the temporary #VCMVirtual experience will retain the characteristic community “soul” which, much like the SIMS, will still serve our basic innovation needs to “explore, experiment, build [] and create.” 

Does it add value?

SIMS developers attribute its value to “this network of everything from custom content, mods and community-created challenges helps to keep the game fresh time and time again,”

Similarly, you can expect the same value of connection from the digital and decentralized #ThursdayGathering.  You can still experience an awesome weekly lineup of breakout sessions, Office Hours, InfoTables and the MAGIC of connecting with each other in the cafe — now digitally via Zoom.  Plus a bonus – unprecedented access other sessions from Venture Cafés around the world (just pick your preferred time zone).

Additionally, in the coming weeks, we’ll roll out a decentralized #VCMVirtual Connect Crews– small groups that will meet up in person to participate in the #VCMVirtual Gathering via  Zoom.

Are the risks low?

Following the SIMS developers advice: “you can’t really evaluate how good your [virtual] space is until you put people in it,” we’re jumping headfirst into a digital gathering format this Thursday, March 12, 2020.

While technology has already changed how we access information and interact as humans, this temporary transition won’t be without roadblocks to overcome.  Yet, we appreciate your patience as we launch the beta of #VCMVirtual  this week and work out the technology kinks to maximize your experience.

Cheers,

Leigh-Ann / Venture Café Miami

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