The Birth of Nuvana

Back in 2009, when Jeff and I began Nuvana, we held a brainstorm with our talented team of designers, technologists, educators, gamers, and all-around, hardcore doers.  Our office was pretty much a big, empty space dominated by a ping-pong table we used as a conference table with nothing on the walls except for two huge white boards.  In the corner of one of the boards, I wrote what you see in the picture:

Image

1 TOOL = NUVANA

“Change behavior — Change the world!”

It’s been our mantra, our mission, the guiding principle that has led Nuvana from birth to where we are now.

Believe it or not, in the ensuing years, we’ve never erased that scrawl from the board.  At times, we trace over those words when they fade or when someone’s new idea bleeds into that box.  But it stays on the board and it will likely remain:  to remind us why we’re doing what we’re doing.

Don’t get me wrong:  we love games and we especially love having fun which has helped us to gather the kind of cool folk that make up the Nuvana team.  But we all know on some level that what we are trying to accomplish is more than just amusement.  At its core, Nuvana is about constructing tools that change the world…for the better.  If that tool is wrapped in a game that is fun and engaging — wonderful.  But the tool below that candy-coating better be kick-ass.

In general, we believe there are three principles that create good tools:

1)  A good tool is powerful.

2)  A good tool is absurdly simple.

3)  A good tool is achievable.

Creating a tool for the field of digital media learning while adhering to these principles is what drives us every day.  Can we make our platform more effective?  Can we make it easier to use?  Can we make it more cost effective and more easily distributed?

Yup, it’s the old Better, Faster, or Cheaper conflict – take your pick.  In most cases, you only get two.

Well, with Nuvana tools – we want our partners to get all three – with the added bonus of a fourth benefit:  fun.

— JvK

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