FLOW

Nolan Bushnell is founder of my two favorite childhood pastimes, Atari and Chuck E Cheese. There was Decathlon at the neighbor’s house where the back and forth on the joystick gave me a blister on my palm during the 1500 meter dash. Or earning tickets playing skeeball at Chuck E Cheese at a friend’s birthday. I dreamt about that game, the tickets, and the prizes I could win.

Bushnell was interviewed by Jason Calacanis on TWIST. I was blown away at 19:03, when Nolan begins speaking of the work of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi on the “flow” state, or the ultimate state of happiness.

While not completely synchronous in the way Csikszentmihalyi intends, I believe we can incorporate some of the meaning behind the flow state with the meaning of Paleoflow and flowit.

I haven’t read Csikszentmihalyi’s books, but the focus seems to be on achieving flow in isolation. I’m not sure if he brings in the social element into flow theory. But I think all would agree that there is a social experience that is similarly satisfying and leads to an “optimal experience.”

Paleoflow is seeking a flow state of the social kind. As I wrote recently into the company mission, we seek to bridge social in the cloud with social on the ground. The closest to this concept I’ve ever heard was in a Steve Blank podcast I listened to on a road trip to Seattle last month.

Blank, in How to Build a Billion Dollar Startup, concludes by summarizing as follows:

Value propositions come in two forms, they solve a problem or they fulfill a human social need. Social needs are friendship, dating, sex, entertainment, art, communication, blogs, confession, networking, gambling, religion, etc. They have always been fulfilled face to face. They are now moving online. The market size for these applications equals the entire human race. These are the ultimate applications.

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