I don’t play World of Warcraft. I have nothing against the game, it’s just that I know (first hand) how addictive PC gaming can be. About a decade ago, I got hooked on a little game called Age of Empires, and spent countless hours conquering the Medieval World while time slipped away from me. It is so easy to lose all sense of time when you have all these fascinating, tiny, little characters within the game that you control as you map our your strategy and chart your path to victory. The power! The Glory!
OK, I’ll stop before I have a relapse and my family finds me staring at the computer screen in a zombie like state.
Anyway, in the highly addictive Age of Empires, you control little characters and build up an army to totally annihilate the other side. You have Villagers (Serfs, Peons, whatever you want to call them) that collect supplies for your tiny kingdom (food, lumber, gold and rock) so that you can build up your empire with buildings and create more fascinating little characters.
Some of which are Warriors. Fighters. Manly Men that go off and destroy other civilizations. Sort of like the Sims, if the Sims made fires and then danced around them while beating on their chests and making howling sounds.
Yes, it’s primitive, but then again, take a look at the year 1200 AD. Monty Python jokes aside, there was a lot of mud and life was hard. Good thing we’re only playing the game, and not in it.
Recently, I found the CD of the game in my stash and loaded it up on a computer for my son to play. Much like his dad (me), he loves it and has created a few virtual empires of his own.
A few days ago, I had some spare time and decided to play the game myself. I sat down in front of the computer, selected which vicious civilization I wanted to be and lost myself for several hours in a tiny world of forests and buildings and bloodless battles (this is an old school game where slain Warriors fall down with no senseless gore, very A-team like).
As I defeated city after city, I found myself in a final battle with the last Civilization that stood between me and Total Victory.
I fought a battle that would have made William Wallace proud. And in the end, my forces were defeated. The enemy defeated my army, my Warrior forces, that is (although I had killed almost all of their Warriors as well) .
To be sure, I still had plenty of Villagers left, but no materials with which to make more Warriors. And as it stood, we had already scavenged the entire map and looted it of all the “Warrior Making Materials”. All I could do was wait for the handful of Warriors left on the enemy civilization side to come and destroy my empire.
As I stared at the screen and debated turning the game off (because there was no point in watching my own demise), my son (who was sitting beside me watching) said, “Dad, don’t turn it off, remember the power of ants.”
I turned to him and stared. I did not understand. “Ants,” I asked him?
“Yes, ants, Dad,” he replied. “Remember, a group of ants can take on anything. You don’t have enough materials to build any more Warriors, but you can build as many Villagers as you want to. Just build hundreds of Villagers and then go take on the few enemies that are left. There are only a few enemy Warriors left and once you kill them, you can destroy their buildings and win!”
I stared. I thought. This may work.
So, I created legions of Villagers and sent them forth in masse to attack the few Warriors left on the enemy side.
My son is a genius. In a matter of seconds, my pitchfork and torch carrying peons overcame the enemy and I won. Victory was mine.
Wow. The Power of Ants. I never thought much about it, but we have this same effect in more and more of what we see and do all around us. Whether it is a hundred angry Customers blogging about the lack of service at a company, or rabid fans who create sites dedicated to your product, the power of the masses is rapidly becoming a business force to be reckoned with. is a force that every business must include in their strategic planning.
Harness the power of your Customers to overwhelm your competition.
Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go waste hours of my time on Facebook.
Thanks for reading,