Farmville is the Training Ground for Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs

Filed in Guest Post , Sharisax Is Out There 5 comments

Mike Maynard is my newest BFF. We met “playing” LinkedIn: I ask questions, and Mike answers.

When I started my new blog DRIVING MISS SHARI [DMS], the first post ended with the question “Who or what drives you?” What the heck, I thought, I’ll ask it on LinkedIn and see what happens.

MIKE MAYNARD: I’m not sure what the question is. When I was too sick to drive I found a cab company and actually talked to the owner. He told me he had a virtual monopoly where he lives. But although he owned a lot of companies, one in particular used easy-to-recognise cabs — and had a toll free number.

When I phoned, I would always say my name, where I was, and where I wanted to go; and I always got the same reply. “We’ll be there in 5 minutes” . . . and they were! It was actually cheaper than running a car. I prefer my car because I can carry things around with me and like driving, but taking cabs for a year or two wasn’t too bad. The main thing is to trust the drivers. I learned after taking a cab with a nut at the wheel! He took me to a city miles away and then brought me back and I arrived home at midnight!

“the rest is history” . . . as they say. Mike now writes regularly for DMS in his blog-within-my-blog: “Say NO to Credit Cards and YES to Getting Rich & Famous” [Check him out if you love British humor, irreverence, Monty Python, and Kafka.]

So what’s Mike doing here on a blog about social media?

1. He plays Farmville a lot, and I don’t know anything about Farmville, but maybe some of my prospective clients [and yours] may love the game, too. Maybe we’ll need to play?

2. If you haven’t yet checked out DRIVING MISS SHARI — Mike’s & my posts and the several hundred comments — please do. I’ll be writing more about the growth of this blog in the future.

3. Did I say that Mike’s a hoot. I have friends who tell me they kick off their days doing this or doing that. I start mine with a huge smile because I’m reading and posting Mike’s across-the-pond stories.

Here’s Mike and . . .

Why I play Farmville

by Mike Maynard

I planted grapes in Farmville last night, they take 12 hours to grow. You have to know the return on Investment when you sow a plough and sow a crop. The ROI on white grapes is 100 coins per plot. I planted around 400 plots – so the ROI was about 40,000 coins. I also planted other things that would take round 12 hours to grow. If I had planted raspberries, they would have withered by the morning – they only have an ROI of 5 coins per plot and take 2 hours to grow.

This is about improving business skills. It is also about time management. I have to choose to harvest manually which takes time or use fuel and use a harvester. I harvested using the harvester and planted most of the farm or vineyard with more white grapes but there is also rice growing for Saki and in 4 hours the strawberries for fruit wine will be grown. The grapes and rice needed to be done early around 9am then the 12 hours will be up when I go to bed. If the TV is boring – I harvest or do it after the TV finishes or in the commercials. I also made the wine and bought goods from my friends this morning; they will be exchanged for fuel. I need 1,000,000 coins to upgrade the winery and an extra 100,000 coins as working capital.

It is also about winning. My friend Rob introduced me to this; he went to agricultural college. I passed him after a week and he is now on level 31 and I’m up on level 87. It is not about Farming, it is about business!

My friend Marie was winning and it was hard to catch her. She lives in Alabama and many of my friends are American; but they aren’t chasing me! My friend in Holland is addicted to Farmville and I kindly gave her tips on how to play; she has now passed all her friends and mine and takes second place on level 82. Think you can catch us? She has already updated her winery with 1,000,000 coins.

This is about competition!

I need some new tricks. The better the wine, the higher the price I can sell it for. I can make a dozen different types. I need one to be really good and fetch a high price. I need that 1,000,000 coin upgrade – so I need to maximise my ROI as much as possible. The winner is the one with the most XP (experience points). I am still 130,000 ahead – so I’ll stay ahead but at what cost? I can’t spend more time on the game. I have to use time management again and even consider growing vegetables for a greater ROI and use my vast stock of wine to sell for a while.

It is a simple little game of business tactics really.

I’m certain that Mike will tell us HOW TO PLAY Farmville if we ask nicely.

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Posted by Shari Weiss   @   24 September 2010
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Sep 26, 2010
10:56 am

Business practises and Farmville.

If a group of business people get round a table and fix prices, this is a cartel and usually breaks some regulations if not the law. There can be cartels that are not done by a meeting, this is when a shop keeper competes with Joe down the street and his profit margin suffers. He doesn’t meet Joe but cuts prices on some of his goods and displays them prominently and on other goods at the back of the store he prices his goods more expensively than Joe. This is a cartel; he isn’t really competing, but if he cuts Joe’s prices across the board and then Joe retaliates, eventually neither business makes a profit. There has to be a compromise.

What does this have to do with Farmville?

I started a co-op to make wine and people joined and planted white grapes. Then you have to wait 12 hours for the white grapes to grow and harvest them. Does this make sense so far? But what if I plant white grapes and harvest a few minutes later? It doesn’t make sense does it when they take 12 hours to grow? I had some already growing and computers can’t tell one white grape from another! I’m ahead of the game within minutes – this is lateral thinking.

My main competitor in this ‘business’ we call Farmville lives in Holland. She is a good friend but we still compete, but now I can pull away and get a bonus. Does she compete or does she compromise? What would you do? She joined my co-op and compromised. His is a strategy many business people fail to understand; sometimes you cooperate even with your competitors and sometimes you compete and try to put them out of business.

If you’re in farming, you may join some kind of organisation that benefits all farmers and cooperate. When it comes to selling your produce if there is a surplus and you are more efficient than your neighbour or you have employed a little lateral thinking to get ahead of the game; then you can compete.

Play Farmville and learn business techniques – play against me and learn lateral thinking. My friend and competitor just thanked me for a free sample of wine.

Sep 29, 2010
1:29 pm

An interesting approach to learning. As a corollary, I have a friend who teaches computer science. His class text is an online comic (http://www.drdavidbrown.org/?p=80). When innovative avenues to education such as these are made available, barriers to erudition fall. Well done, Mr. Maynard.

Oct 1, 2010
10:09 pm

Farmville for beginners.

To play Farmville you must remember everyone is not the same. They may be smart or not so smart. Remember, the dreams? Smart people dream a lot, less smart people don’t dream so much and the terminally stupid don’t dream at all. First of all take on the dreamless playing Farmville; it takes them until lunchtime to work out how to switch the computer on…

Remember there are different cultures; they play in Chinese in China; this is not recommended for beginners…

On this side of the pond we drink tea and eat biscuits and on the other side they drink coffee and eat cookies. I am told there are other differences. On the other side of the pond I’m told they smile a lot, eat happy meals and say ‘have a nice day.’ Down under they do even more weird things; bear this in mind…

You start Farmville with a piece of land and some cash. Cash come in two forms FV cash and coins. FV cash is like gold dust so don’t use it unless absolutely necessary; people on the other side of the pond use ‘real’ money to buy FV cash – weird…

You don’t have much, no tractor and certainly no combine harvester. You need neighbours to help – ask your friends unless you’re dreamless and don’t have any…

Plough your land, this costs 15 coins; save some coins to buy some seed. If you are short on time, you could click market and buy soya beans for 15 coins per plot and harvest them the next day – same time; same place. These sell for 63 coins – the ROI is 63 less the cost and the cost of ploughing and so the real ROI is 33 coins and you get 2XP. You get XP for a lot of things and move up levels as you get more XP. If you have more time plant wheat it costs 13 coins; the ROI is 33 coins the same but it only takes 12 hours to grow. If you plant early morning and harvest and plant again in the evening you get an XP of around 24 over 24 hours – if you’re quick ploughing, planting and harvesting.

You get 1 XP for ploughing. Wheat gives 1 XP and so over a 24 hour period you can get 2 XP for ploughing and 2 XP for sowing; that’s 4XP compared to 3 XP for soya beans. If you get a free winery, plant grapes… I nearly forgot that…

Plough your land from the end closest to you, and plough the plots close to one another – don’t waste land. At the other side you will have a strip of land where plots won’t go; if you get gifts of trees – plant them there. Don’t buy buildings – crops won’t grow in them will they? Wait until you’re loaded before buying vehicles. Your first vehicle should be a harvester – harvesting fast is important. Upgrading you farm and making it bigger depends on coins and enough neighbours. More tips on making a start later…

Nov 21, 2011
4:56 am

An interesting approach to learning. As a corollary, I have a friend who teaches computer science. His class text is an online comic. When innovative avenues to education such as these are made available, barriers to erudition fall. Well done.

Jan 14, 2013
12:46 am

Have you ever thought about creating an ebook or guest authoring on other sites?

I have a blog based on the same topics you discuss and would really like to have you share
some stories/information. I know my visitors would value
your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e-mail.

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