Nazlı Öztürkmen Now Focuses on Web3 for Games and Gamification | Episode 324

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Nazli Ozturkmen has more than 10 years of professional experience in Fintech, insurtech, crypto technologies and Web3 as a Product Marketing and Product Management executive.

She is the author of “Transformers by Crypto” a book to attempt to make storytelling about games, gamification, identity, community, art and design transformed by crypto technologies and Web3. Transformers by Crypto is for readers who hear or read something but are not technically involved in this world and want to understand the big picture and general concepts. Nazli wrote it with a non-technical storytelling concept. The cover of the book was designed by a digital artist and is listed as an NFT.

She is a co-founder of SYSOF-3, a start-up stepping into the pre-seed phase. They are building a social, gamified financial literacy mobile app with L&E and C&E features for Gen-Alpha.

 

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Full episode transcription (AI Generated)

Rob:
Hey, engagers, and welcome to another episode of the Professor Game podcast. And we have with us today Nazli. But Nazli, we need to know, are you prepared to engage?

Nazli:
I have already engaged. I’m here.

Rob:
Let’s do this. We have with us today Nazli Ozturkmen. Is that a decent pronunciation of your name and last name?

Nazli:
Yeah, everything is fine. Nasley Osturkman and.

Rob:
And she has more than ten years of professional experience in fintech, insuretech, crypto technologies, and web three as a product marketing and product management executive. She’s also the author of Transformers by Crypto, which is a book that attempts to make storytelling about games, gamification, identity, community, art and design transformed by crypto technologies and web three. Transformers by crypto is for readers who hear or read something, but are not technically involved in this world and want to understand the big picture and general concepts. She wrote this book in a nontechnical storytelling concept, and the COVID was designed by a digital artist and is listed as an NFT. It’s in English.

Rob:
That was released recently in August 2023 and is sold worldwide, though mostly in the US. She’s a founder, a co-founder in SYSOF-3, a startup stepping up into pre seed phase. They’re building a social gamified financial literacy mobile app with L and E and C and E features for Gen Alpha. Nazli, is there anything that we’re missing that you want to make sure we mention before we get started with the questions?

Nazli:
Oh, Rob, everything is fine. You summarized my life, and everything I have. So that’s cool. Thank you so much. That was a great introduction.

Rob:
Thank you. Thank you for being here. So, Nazli, can you tell us what does a regular day or week, whatever you want to go for, look like? Essentially, we want to be in your shoes, see what it feels like to be you nowadays.

Nazli:
Okay. I think I’m one of those early morning person who are waking up so early and getting shower, having some meditational and personal time, and then start focusing the day and working. So I really start the day very early, which motivates me. And good part is, what I’m doing during day for the business are mostly the passionate topics for me, thankfully, so that I can say that my career becomes my lifestyle, daily lifestyle. And as you summarized, I’m working as product marketing manager in goart, which is a gaming and metaverse and entertainment ecosystem.

Nazli:
And also I manage my own business. I’m co founder of Csoft Three and this is a startup in us and we are stepping into precede phase where we are developing a gamified social financial mobile app. We are focusing two generation Alpha and I spent very good time with my co founder and that makes my day fruitful and quality. She’s an UX and gamification expert and CXO in our company. And finally, as you know, and as you told, I’m the author of Transformers by Crypto.

Nazli:
That is why I spend my day, 5 hours to tell about creating content and tell about my book and all of these concepts. And for sure some family time in the evening. But be sure that with games and gamified learnings with my son and my regular day is like that.

Rob:
That sounds amazing. Sounds like very exciting, very interesting. Many things to be doing. Nazli, let’s get to one of the deeper questions now on the podcast and it has to do with failure or fail first attempt in learning whatever you want to go for in this gamified world with games, gamification, all this stuff that we’ve been discussing, what would you say is your favorite fail? One of those times when things didn’t work, but of course you took some lessons out of it.

Rob:
We want to be there. We want to live that moment with you, that storytelling that you do, and we want to take, of course, a few lessons, if we may.

Nazli:
Yeah, sure. Like most of people, I have some lessons learned. Actually, this is good because you cannot be perfect and you shouldn’t try to be perfect. And you have some lessons learned with you years by years. And during your experiences, when you are doing a project that involves game based solution or gamification, of course you are not alone and you don’t have unlimited comfortable time.

Nazli:
All the projects in business or in your daily life has a limited project time. So for this reason, we can deviate from the flow of, or therefore we can skip some crucial steps. Unfortunately, by the way, at this point, possibility of making a mistake or reaching a stage where extra effort needs to be spent are increasing in that point. So what I mean is when a well, target audience or a personal study is not carried out in the correct time, in the correct phase for a digital product, I mean, I’m speaking only for my projects or for my experiences or any gamification dynamics. So it costs extra effort in the end or in the middle of the project, extra effort to design an incomplete flow that will divert the product from its main goal and business model.

Nazli:
For that reason, having a good project management, product management and general management skills are important, of course, and working with a talented team with theoretical and practical experience is crucial and I have some lessons learned and I definitely took them into my consideration during my own experience. So missing some steps, crucial steps, which is about searching or researching, like working with the Persona or some planning steps.

Rob:
Natalie, maybe without mentioning any super specifics of the company or whatever, but can you go in for a specific time when this happened so that we can. The thing is, essentially people feel like this sounds like a little bit theoretical sometimes, so it’s like, oh yeah, we want to be there and have a little bit of that experience that you had, if possible, of course.

Nazli:
Oh yeah, of course. I did this kind of missing step in a startup I was working I think five years ago, four or five years ago. So we designed a gamified translating and a new language learning mobile app together with the good team. But we just passed the step of working on the Persona and the segmentation of the user by age and the educational level. Only two or three topics.

Nazli:
We didn’t spend too much because of the time pressure from executives, from customers, clients. So we just say, okay, let’s go, and then we will focus this step later. But unfortunately it didn’t work like that. So this should be managed by me and very well or better not passing any steps while you are planning any user segmentation Persona study. And then that’s why our first marketing results, first download results were not expected as well.

Rob:
That is why we maybe a bit underwhelming.

Nazli:
Yeah, we just turned back and then worked on a research very well and then go better with the results with the successful KPIs.

Rob:
Sounds fantastic.

Nazli:
It sounds like very, this is so basic as nobody.

Rob:
It sounds basic. But even when you do have a process, do you have a series of steps? You know exactly how and what to do and when not to do it as well. Thing is, it’s easy sometimes to say, oh yeah, we’ll have time for that later. Or yeah, we know exactly what we’re doing, so we can just jump ahead and do these things.

Rob:
It’s easy to go there. It’s just something that can happen. And when you do it, the thing is that you input that process for a reason. So it’s a good reminder every now and then for following our own process every time that we can and reminding clients as well.

Nazli:
Yeah, I think also about some pressures in business world.

Rob:
It happens, but that’s it. That’s the thing. You didn’t come up with those processes and those things just to upset your clients, right? You did it because there was good reason for you to create those processes. There’s good reason for you to do things the way you do them.

Rob:
And that’s why you do. Right. So that’s what I mean. It’s easy to say sometimes like, oh, yeah, the client wants this, so let’s just go ahead. But you would have probably had a different type of success if you had listened to your own internal voice, so to speak, right?

Nazli:
Yeah, absolutely.

Rob:
And this happens, this is normal engagers. This can happen to experienced people like Nasley, this can happen to beginners, this can happen to absolutely anyone. And that’s why it’s important to have that sort of roadmap, those things to keep in mind that you have them, and again, you have them there for good reasons. So, Nazli, let’s turn it around and look for actually an experience where you did have all the success you wanted or even beyond what you were expecting at the start. Again, we want to be there with you and maybe look at some success factors of that experience.

Nazli:
Yeah, of course. Actually, in the same example, I can tell you that it creates a trust in positive way, in trust with our clients, because they realize that we have a knowledge or know how or experience with managing all of these risks and quickly set up a new study plan and then project plan. This is also the best good part of some failures because failures can be a smart failure that you can manage. So this is the good part, I think.

Rob:
Absolutely. And how did you get there? You mentioned that you had these difficulties, et cetera, but how did you manage to eventually really turn it around?

Nazli:
It’s a cliche, but currently a request for 20 days extra day from the executives and the clients. And then we just make a quick plan and we dedicated some tasks to our talented team and then we just turned back something. Surprisingly, it didn’t affect too much development time, but only some fine tunes. So with a good marketing strategy and then we realized that it is still a successful product, but some fine tunes. And by the way, I have another good example that I lived.

Nazli:
Maybe our listeners engages can have some good examples from it as well because I had a big challenge. It was a failure first, and then I found a way to solve this problem. I think it was seven years ago or something. I was giving an agile based organizational development coaching to a global insurance company where I was also a manager during two years at the same time. So it was not my main responsibility to giving this coaching, but I have some ability to do that.

Nazli:
So a biggest challenge for me to manage people. Resistance. This is not a product, this is not a client. This is the employee that we are working together, the colleagues we are working together, but they had a resistance. If you’re asking what kind of resistance you can face, they are working in the same company, in the same positions for many years, like 15 years.

Nazli:
So they might have a blindness or might have some resistance mindset. That is why for the Nieve position. Okay. In that challenge, I used some gamification techniques because it is also serving to people psychology and then some gamification techniques, starting from basics such as some icebreaker sessions or design thinking practices, or gamified product ideation, or storytelling and et cetera. So it was a challenge for months, maybe four months, to fight with people’s resistance to neve working style or the way of working in the business model.

Nazli:
And then I found a solution with the gamification techniques in this organizational development coaching sessions. And it worked. People with long term experiences, even managers, top executives, break their isis and then stop resisting the naive way of working. So it was a good example in my experiences in my career, which I challenged first and then go to the success with the gamification techniques.

Rob:
Amazing. It sounds like a great one. Why did you use gamification techniques on that one? How did the spark go off?

Nazli:
When I am managing projects with product development, we also integrate some basic or hardcore gaming or gamification methods. So it works with the product. But the product is human based, user based term. It’s not only floating in the space by itself, somebody are using that. So if a product on your mobile phone is used by people, real people, physical ones.

Nazli:
So anything can be gamified. Actually if it is not a boring or if you don’t make 100% of gamified life. So it can be interesting, funny or just put some game concepts to in their daily business life. For example, a gamified product name ideation, it is very basic, it’s so simple. But it works because people working almost eight or 9 hours in a day and business world is so tough, so busy, everything is hard in economic, in financial part as well.

Nazli:
So people need some freshman in their minds and gamification works with that. I have some agile coaching certificates and et cetera. I know this kind of stuff works with people, but I should believe in my methodology. It’s not coming true just with a sparkling. But I try to use with the organizational structure this gamified models.

Nazli:
So even for the insurance product, we find a name, mobile app name together with the, I think 50 or 60 people in a conference room, but in a very funny way. So after this seven years it is still live and it is still on the markets, markets, App Stores with the same name together that we found actually, it worked. And people interested, and then they were asking to me, okay, Nazli, just give us another game. Okay? It is not a game.

Nazli:
It is a gamification. But for our business, for our success, for our psychologies, for our fresh, meant in our minds, because business world and life itself is so hard and then so tough. So let’s make some good excitement parts to them. Do you agree? By the way, you’re the expert.

Nazli:
What do you think?

Rob:
There’s only one thing that I would. I don’t want to say correct, because everybody’s experience is different and how it works. And there’s probably a good reason why you say that. But you said, well, unless tasks are, like, super boring, they cannot be gamified. I think there is an argument for saying, well, some things cannot be gamified.

Rob:
And I’m not saying that’s not the case, but it’s not because they’re boring. The thing is, sometimes, and I heard this first from Anjay Marchevsky, and it stuck very much with me, that sometimes some tasks just suck. They’re horrible. And that’s fine. That’s something that just happens.

Rob:
And gamification can be there, maybe not to make it super fun and exciting and everybody clapping around to make it suck a little bit less. And that’s okay. That’s enough. That makes gamification be useful in such a situation, in such a circumstance. And again, that could be enough.

Rob:
That could be what you’re looking for, just to make it a little bit terrible, so to speak. Again, that works, even if it’s super boring at the start. So that was the only thing I wanted to comment on. But I agree, at least with most of the things that you said along those lines. Thank you very much for that, Nasley.

Rob:
Definitely. And again, we don’t have to agree on everything. That’s fine. There’s different ideas and there’s different things.

Nazli:
Yeah. This is enrichment of our dialogues and communication. That’s really absolutely why I’m asking to you, actually, because you are so rich with all of these experiences, and then I will just maybe hear from you one sentence, and then it will spark something in my mind, and then.

Rob:
Amazing. Amazing. So, Nazli, if you were to solve a problem today using gamification, because, as you mentioned, you have experience with it, you’ve done it before. You know that it works. You know why you want to make it work.

Rob:
How would you do it? Like what is the process that you follow? How do you come up with the ideas? I don’t know. We want to sort of be inside your head for a little while and see how that goes.

Nazli:
Okay, just let me think for a while. I think it is not a cliche, but it is a working progress. Because when you are already developed a product or any service or anything, and if you just want to integrate the gamification or game based solution, for example, I will give the way of working what we are doing. The process we are following in Cisoft three together with the co founder of my team and before we start designing any game based solution, such as integrating gamification to a fintech or educational mobile app, we first identified what we want our users to achieve because the target is so important. You cannot just integrate any game based solution to any product or service or something.

Nazli:
So we first what we want our users to achieve and then how we will measure their success. Because if you do something and then there should be some results with that, if it’s working or not, then you have modified it. And then we align our gamification with our mobile app objectives and outcomes and we should ensure that integrating this method or this game based solution is relevant or meaningful for our users, target users. And then of course the other step is choosing right mechanics. Choosing right steps.

Nazli:
This could be choosing right gamification genre or mechanics. For example, we want to create a habit in our users or what? And then a correct genre on flow. We should choose and develop at this point in the step of the process. For example, for the app that we are developing in Csoft tree, we are evaluating an effectiveness of our gamification solution because we need to ensure assessment are aligned with our learning objectives.

Nazli:
By the way, it is a learn and earn focused mobile app. That is why we need some actionable results or feedbacks from our users. We use quizzes, for example, learn, consume a content and then solve a quiz and then earn some benefits. So we use quizzes to give them learn and earn model in gamification. This is the only one method of course you can enrich and we are designing some celebration steps and patches.

Nazli:
And finally, we designed a game based learning solution with collaboration and earn C and A e. Sorry. This makes our users to socialize and encourage their self, with their friends, with their contacts to learn together and then earn together. So the process is in summary identifying the achievement, the reason, the objective of our product or the service, and then choosing the right method, right mechanics, and then some reason and result process. Integrating while designing the flow and then measure the results if it’s working or not.

Nazli:
I think the basis process that we follow when we are creating a game based solution is that, in summary, sounds amazing.

Rob:
So thanks for giving us the solution, giving us as well the summary of how it works. So, engagers, if you want to go deeper, definitely you can rewind a little bit and listen to Nasley once again. And there are similarities to what we do as well. I think most of us working in this area where we find success, there are common themes, for sure. There might be differences, but there’s a lot of common themes.

Rob:
So I invite you to get into that. And if you have a process like Nasley, like we do, follow the process. Unless you find that there is a need for an exception, document that and see if the exception actually worked or if you want to stick to your process the next time. Once again. All right, so Nazli, can you tell us maybe a best practice or something that you think almost any gamification project could benefit from doing like.

Rob:
Oh, I think if you do this, your gamification project will be at least.

Nazli:
A little bit better in these days. Actually, in last maybe two years or three years, I focused the mindset and the technology behind the web three, because this is some game based solution or gamification can benefit from it. It is something.

Rob:
Let me pause you just for a second. When you say web three, what do you mean for our audience? I want to make sure that everybody, we’re speaking on the same terms.

Nazli:
Oh, of course. I will just summarize it. It is like a new version of the Internet communication, not Internet itself, because it is full technical term, but Internet communication. It’s a niece version, for example. It’s a very basic description, but it is working every time and everybody understand, I guess.

Nazli:
For example, in the first version, I think 15 or 20 years ago, we were only reading what in the Internet. We couldn’t do something more. But after that, a new version became to us which we can create some content and put by ourselves, like the social media. For example, when you open a social media account, you put and you create some content by yourself. It is read and write section.

Nazli:
The second version, web two, web three, can be described first of all as a philosophy and a mindset because it gives you another opportunities like owning your own data and using your identity, not with the social media accounts. For example, in the second version of web two, web, you can sign in with your, any social media account, right? So in web three, your cryptographic identity, which can be a crypto wallet is the representation of yourself as an identity. So when you connect any environment, any website, if it is based off web three components, then this is not a regular username and password. Sign in for example, and your crypto identity, your crypto wallet can be a representation of your identity as a person.

Nazli:
So another mindset components can be community based flows like sharing some benefits. For example, brands are using this philosophy. I mean it’s a classic way to pay lots of money for the online advertisement for the paid users, having paid users. But in the web three area brands starting to share their income, just maybe a percentage of their income with the users when they communicate inorganically that they announced that they are sharing their income together with the community and the user. They don’t have to give all of these kind of classic paid advertisement.

Nazli:
This is also sharing benefits is another philosophical components of web three. So it is not only one description actually it has lots of components. For example a blockchain based economy which is using some crypto wallets and cryptocurrencies as identity as well. Not only a currency, some gamification components and then some community based flows or sharing benefits flows. All of these concepts are the parts of web three.

Nazli:
Actually I made another good, or one of the good explanation in my book as well. So that could be a good way to maybe understand all of these concepts.

Rob:
And great place to find it for sure.

Nazli:
Yeah, and if you are asking another benefits when we are using game based solution. So metaverse is also another component of web three. And it’s a new environment. It is not only a game or getting fun, it’s a new environment, new maybe kind of website or something. Web environment for brands, for any players, for investors, for the game creators or content creators.

Nazli:
So anybody who wants to engage actually metaverse is another option coming with this web three thing. So it gives an opportunity for blockchain based economy, immersive experiences and personalized digital products. Creating personalized digital products. So in last few years I focused benefit from all of these concepts when I’m managing some digital products in my professional life or the personal one from web three, from metaverse and all other components of web three. Actually I don’t think so.

Nazli:
This is a few years hype. I think it is ready to stay here. But let’s see, maybe it will be some customizable is not the correct word but maybe it will have some small new versions. Because mass adaptation is not easy. Because we are in this world, technically we understand things, but most of the people, I mean the mass people, mass users should understand in their daily life and use easily everything and then have benefits from all of these services.

Nazli:
So maybe web three components will have some new small version increasement. But this is not a hype from my perspective it is ready to stay here. So let’s see, let’s observe.

Rob:
Totally. It’s time to observe. They said gamification was a hype as well and it was. In many ways it’s not a hype anymore and it’s still around openly, overtly, covertly. Depends on who you’re talking to, but it’s still around and hopefully will still be around.

Rob:
But Nazli, we know you have a fantastic book. So next to your book on our libraries, is there a book that you would recommend an audience like this one?

Nazli:
Like the oh it is funny that it is not a focused to purely game or gamification, but I can recommend the book of Flov if you heard about it or read already from Mihail chicks and Mihail. Yeah, Mihail. Yeah, absolutely. Because it is giving some psychological components and psychological basement of engaging any flow if it is a daily life or if it is a game or if it is a gamification. So that is why I take it seriously and I really liked that book.

Nazli:
Actually I just read it in a few months ago, not years ago, but it really put a good approach to my life. So yeah, a good recommendation can be.

Rob:
This to our amazing, amazing. That sounds like a great book to recommend for sure and keeping up with the recommendations. Regrettably Mihai chicks and Mihai cannot be part of this recommendation because he is no longer with us. But if you wanted to have a guest after hearing the questions and knowing the flow of the podcast, is there somebody that you would like to listen to answering these questions? A future guest for professor game?

Nazli:
Yeah, I have. I definitely would like to share with you the name. You can search Burak but he is a gamified music education expert. He’s a psychologist actually for focusing to early childs and then some between maybe five to 18 or 20 years old people. And then he is really good expert in gamified music education and creating game music actually.

Nazli:
So that could be my recommendation to you for the future guest sounds definitely.

Rob:
Like a guest for the future, but you will definitely. Certainly. I’ll try to look it up in the Internet but have to give me the spelling of his name.

Nazli:
Of course I will share with you his name and then know things that he’s doing.

Rob:
Fantastic. It sounds like a great guest for the future, what would you say, nazli, is your superpower? That thing that you do at least better than most other people in this world of gamification.

Nazli:
I’m not super. I don’t have a superpower. But yeah, if you’re asking friendly way. So I will be honest. I think creating a story and focusing on value proposition and creating a storytelling from this is not a superpower.

Nazli:
But my good part, what I can do so I can say that this creating a storytelling and creating a story focusing on the value proposition of anything. I mean, it could be a digital product, it could be a brand itself or a company itself. I think this one and I like creating an experience. I think digital and physical hybrid Experience is on my agenda lately. I focus on this.

Nazli:
So I have some good experiences and examples with that. So that could be my superpower, I guess. I hope.

Rob:
I’m sure it is. And Nazli, I remember remind this to the guests and to the engagers. Superpowers are not exclusive. Doesn’t mean you’re the only one, right? Thor can fly, so can Iron man and so can, I don’t know, Doctor strange in the universe.

Rob:
So that’s fine. That’s fine. So thank you very much for that. And Nasley, what would you say is your favorite game?

Nazli:
This is the fantastic question. Now we are speaking a good topic, a very good topic. My favorite game console is if it’s okay to say that, but it’s Nintendo Switch and I play Splatoon two, I think, in last two years. But I have a guilty pleasure. I’m not playing frequently, but I like watching in Twitch or another places.

Nazli:
Journey. I’m sure you know of the game, the journey. It’s an indie adventure game. I think it’s passionate about. It’s my passionate about creating story and making storytelling because the journey puts you in the role of explorer in the world.

Nazli:
So in your own creation, you create in the way. That is why I guess I love journey. I love discovering new details, gathering new inspiration from that game. Even I’m not playing. I like also watching who are playing and broadcasting live.

Nazli:
So I think I’m sure especially designers, writers and other creative person would love journey. Yeah, these are two favorite games, Splatoon two, which I’m playing frequently in Nintendo Switch. And then my guilty pleasure is journey.

Rob:
Absolutely. For different reasons, for sure. So Natalie, thank you very much for sharing this time with us. Thank you for being here, for being part of this quest for the engagers. However, as you know and the engagers know, we are just about to reach the end.

Rob:
Before we let you go, can you let us know where we can find out more about you, about your work? Any call to action that you may have? I don’t know. This is the time for you to close it up.

Nazli:
Okay. I’m very active on LinkedIn, all about these topics and concepts that I am talking today, about my book, about the product that we are developing together. So in LinkedIn, with my name everybody can reach me and I will be happy to actually chat and happy to connect. I think I can also send an open invitation from here to developers who might interested what we are doing for some AI and web three parts, Gamefight parts, then we can connect on LinkedIn. That would be great.

Rob:
Absolutely. Thank you again for being with us, Nazli, as I said before, however, it’s been a pleasure. However, we still have to go. So engagers, thank you for being here. Nazli, thank you for your time.

Nazli:
Thank you so much. It was a pleasure with you.

Rob:
Now it’s time to say that it’s game over. Engagers, it is fantastic to have you around and you know this podcast makes sense thanks to you. So how about we connect on LinkedIn so you can let me know things like who do you want to have as a guest? If you have any questions, anything that you might need our help with, you can find us on LinkedIn as Professor game and you’ll find definitely the only page you will see with that and the logo you already are probably familiar with, we’re always sharing content gamification on the podcast, especially around education, learning and how can gamification and game inspired solutions help your project, your life, whatever that looks like? So before you click continue, remember to subscribe or follow, which is also for free using your favorite podcast app, and listen to the next episode of Professor Gang.

Rob:
See you there.

End of transcription

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