Reached my thirties and now what ?

I have millions of ideas coming to my head all day long, when a subject is interesting enough to me I take notes or also spend time looking into it. Then I try to figure out if it’s worth sharing to the blog or not.

“Everything I know I learned after I was thirty.” 

– Georges Clemenceau

I’ve been feeling the need the last few days to write articles. I always write my articles in one shot, then publish them and make a few corrections on the go the next few days. I felt the need to mention this, because I am not yet happy with my lastly published article about gamification ! Sometimes I would take notes during the day on my phone about subjects I want to write more about later, and then spend some time compiling the similar notes together in order to form sort of a backbone of the next article. There is no logic on when I publish or write these, it can be between two classes, between two meetings or in the middle of the night when I can’t fall asleep. 

Believe it or not, I am sort of suffering of a little down time following my birthday’s celebration last weekend 🤔 

I have millions of ideas coming to my head all day long, when a subject is interesting enough to me I take notes or also spend time looking into it. Then I try to figure out if it’s worth sharing to the blog or not. 

It can be super diverse thoughts and subject such as how trains are going from China to Europe given the fact the track width is changing between different countries, found out there are dedicated train stations with special tracks that allow trains to gradually widen or narrow their width (of course they need trains who have the ability to do so) at the speed of 15km/h which is nonetheless impressive given the forces and weight at stake. Or how come property developers all around European cities are building super small 15 square meters surfaces and how this type of apartments on the market is influencing rent and property prices. I think that last one is a really big & important subject which I will write about later. Everywhere I have been, Paris, Lyon, Berlin, Wroclaw, I have seen the exact same phenomenon of newly built overpriced 15 sqM apartments, the size of a student apartment but sold has one room for young couples … driving the prices of the whole city market up like crazy. It’s also crazy how now kitchens are disappearing in modern 2 rooms apartment, with part of the living room becoming an open kitchen. 

Anyway I keep this one for later, because it’s quite a large subjects ! By the way I am surprised that even today we do not have any European size newspaper with journalist coming from all the countries and publishing about a wide range of subjects, maybe there is not anyone really interested in the end about Europe as a whole but only citizen of different countries only caring about their own land, SAD. That’s another subject again , see ! Writing on a subject is always widening my thoughts to new important subjects 😅 European Union has been build politically, forgetting the citizens themselves, who only see it has a nice way to cross borders (except during the first part of covid times brrrrhh) and use the same currency. 

I am currently creating my own company in order to be able to freelance in France and offer my help to companies needing help with their customer care. Not sure how well it will go, but just spending time to create things makes me want to create even more !
 I have a few entrepreneurial projects on my mind, and I think I finally have the confidence (maybe it comes with age ? Or at least maturity ) to try, I am not scared of failure at all, had my own failures before but each time it helped me progress.

 I already mentioned it before, but I am following intensive class of Python development, following some live Python also on Twitch, king of becoming a geek. Since it’s mobilising quite a lot of mathematics I had to take a few classes again also… On the side I also study Front End in order to be able to start interviews faster than Python which is much more complex. It’s definitely a new passion, I love technical fields, I should have gone into it from the beginning 🤔 ! The hardest part when you study/work alone is to not feel guilty while you are not doing it ! 

I think programming is the logical learning to work on right now, it should really be taught at school in France, not sure when our government plans to finally update the way they teach technical fields at school ? Maybe in 20 years … I feel the how annoying those subjects are just by writing about it, when I was mentioning already European Union I felt that it’s a hot topic, probably not worth the burden. 

Gamification, the future of work ?

Like any application today, the first goal of gamification is to gain attention, making it’s user (in this case worker) concentrate on its goal and not be distracted by his smartphone for example.

Motivating your teams through games is a concept that is becoming more and more popular. I am convinced that this concept will be the new grail taught in management schools to motivate teams, if not already. Not so far from the alienating concept of metaverse, gamification is probably going to become the new standard of management for the new generations of workers.

You probably today already use tools at work which are on the verge of gamification, like a data visualisation tool, showing you charts, graphs, tables or infographics. With the recent progresses made in big data analysis, these tools are a must when it comes to get maximum value out of it, great for improving conversion rate for example.

The definition of a “game” is an activity that one engages in for amusement or fun. Think about it, would you be more happy at work if you constantly got little rewards ? Hard to say no right ? But can we really play when our main source of income is at stake ? Hmmm, not so easy anymore 🤔

Like any application today, the first goal of gamification is to gain attention, making it’s user (in this case worker) concentrate on its goal and not be distracted by his smartphone for example.
There has been quite many studies on how an employee checking it’s Instagram during work, is losing a LOT of productivity, and how long it actually takes him/her to fully concentrate again on it’s work. Smartphones and moreover social networks are a real problem today when it comes to work.

To make it easier to understand, if you are a truck driver and you are checking your phone during your work, the risk of accidents because of those few seconds out of your phones is most probably 20 times higher than if you did not. Same applies to any worker, without of course the life threatening results (it was an example) but with the economical consequences for the company.

Here we can easily see, how gamification will most probably automatically link an employee to the lost of a client in real time. This implies a risk of amplification on the employee side of the the consequences of a negative action. It could be seen as a good point on a manager side, being able to immediately take action, but the effect on the psychological health of the employee in this case are probably made worse.
It’s not without reminding me the way Amazon treat their employees, whether it is in their warehouses or their office workers… (external link)

Therefore, in my opinion, what is sold today as a full solution of gamification, is just a very nicer way to present what has been the daily life of very large customer services, with robots dividing work in between agents, constantly measuring the time on the phone, time to answer a live chat, watching their every moves, choices, toilet breaks and monitoring their customer satisfaction ; basically all measurement that we can englobe in a standard set of customer service SLAs (Service Level Agreements).
No need to spend hours researching what could be in the end the limits and the bad sides of gamification, we already know most of them 🤓

In the end, the main challenge with the future of gamification is finding the perfect balance between benefits and risks for the company and it’s employees, to maintain a life / work / balance and a psychologically stable environment of work.
Mistakes should not become GAME OVERs otherwise people will work sick with fear. The ultimate goal being to make work pleasant and motivating and not making it addictive and dangerous, ending up in a greater overall performance.

Note for myself : I think I would love to work on the product side of a gamification software solution. But until that, let’s first finish my career shift in development 🤔

The ugly (but lucrative) future of metaverse

I was surprised to read recently a lot of articles about something called the metaverse, Meta (ex-Facebook) and other tech companies declared wanting to invest tons of money in this new form of online social life.

I was surprised to read recently a lot of articles about something called the metaverse, Meta (ex-Facebook) and other tech companies declared wanting to invest tons of money in this new form of online social life.

It turns out I remembered reading when I was younger a collection of comic books called Convoi TM, happening in the end of the 21st century. This comic book is written by Thierry Smolderen and Philippe Gauckler, and was publised in 2004 by their editor “Les humanoïdes associés”. It turns out that metaverse was already described in it, with the story putting a focus on how ugly that future of VR entertainment would be.

Convoi comic book

3D spaces in the metaverse will let you socialize, learn, collaborate and play in ways that go beyond what we can imagine

Mark Zuckerberg

A little summary of the first volume ( 4 in total) :

“We are in 2069. A virtual game, Convoy, threatens to supplant real life… While the first space colonies of the Earth enjoy independence, a great program of robotization of the conquest of space is launched by the President of the Earth, disregarding bitter failures and the despair of young generations deprived of dreams. For the disenchanted citizens, there remains the virtual reality of Convoy, a second world where hundreds of gamers try to attack a regularly passing money transport. Among them, two undisciplined and resourceful twins, Gil and Fred, their mother, Karen Springwell, a journalist, and their grandfather, a senator and ardent supporter of the President, will find themselves caught between virtual adventures and real dangers.”

Unfortunately I could not find any EN version of the Convoi comic books, only the French version exists, fortunately it is available on digital format.

The best of us will remember the first of its kind metaverse “Second life”, I was myself a little too young to be able to join this community at the time it was really popular but yet I was already a lot curious about the possibility to have a new second life in a virtual world. When you think about it, anyone who is at the moment not happy with their current life would easily fall for a dream world where they could be who ever they want, build their own dreamed universe and bring to virtual life their deepest fantasies.

The metaverse in Convoy is, in my opinion, describing quite accurately the dangers of such projects, with people becoming totally addicted to their online life and therefore not living their real life, even forgetting to “wake up” from their VR and dying of extreme long sessions of online activity. I think this phenomenon already exists in countries like for example in Japan. People living in very small appartements, disappointed with their social life, spending so much time playing addictive games, that they forget to eat or drink.
It’s just the easy way out for many people and with all the crisis we are facing, it will probably just make more and more people potentially vulnerable to this solutions.

Yes investing in metaverse is probably the best new thing to do, and builders of these online worlds will be the billionaires of tomorrow, imagine all the possibilities, crypto currencies will easily find their new markets in those VR worlds, 3D designers will be able to freed their creativity with no physical limits in making building, art or any artefacts that they will then sell to the online public. The new reality will not be to post your cute picture of the new restaurants on Instagram, but to share how beautiful and creative your online place will become. I could write pages on the possibilities of a full VR world 😁

Facebook has recently been a lot in the spotlight for putting it’s own economic interest over proper censoring of conspiracy content, it is just an example that we probably unfortunately can not trust private companies to regulate themselves on this kind of projects. But when at the same time you see how ignorant governments are to this kind of technologies, regulation might never happen (I am referring to the lunar questions asked to Zuckerberg in Congress : 9 weird questions asked by Congress ).

If Meta or Facebook, could not yet launch a viable crypto currency for regulatory reasons, it will certainly be able to do so in it’s own virtual world, with the only law applying being their own one… smart 🤓- Meta coins are coming – soon

Following my first publication of this article I was looking for ways to invest into the Metaverse, since it’s probably going to be THE ONE THING TO INVEST INTO (as ugly as it could get), a quick search on Google reinforced my belief that it is a MUST to invest in these companies or tech, here is a few interesting articles I found :

Fancy creating your own world ? Meta is encouraging creators to come expand its metaverse called Horizon Worlds, all you need is a bit of technical training and a oculus VR headset. They announced a $10 million creator’s fund, find more about how to create your own VR on this video :