knackIn today’s society we picture big things coming from big places, but we never realize the impact small companies are making. The small startup field is growing rapidly allowing for more creative ideas to be introduced in the world. This became apparent during our visit to Knack on the Wabash College San Francisco Immersion trip.

Located above a small shopping complex in a 30×30 room Knack is reimagining how people discover their future in education and the workforce through the development of games. People discover their personality traits and strengths, their “knacks,” by the way they play games, whether as a button masher or a more strategic player. These knacks are determined through multiple tests and factors this small company has developed using the latest behavioral and positive psychology. (Look for links to the games at the end of this segment.)

We stopped by Google and got to try out Google Glass, and we pitched ideas to Indiegogo. But some of the brightest minds on the trip came from the employees at Knack. After speaking with a few of the lead designers who have previously worked for EA Games and Zynga, they expressed how being a number in a company is not the way to make an impact. The ability to help someone discover his or her calling, whether in education or in the workforce, is something a big company cannot teach you; only a small place like Knack can teach a lesson like that. Another lesson taken from speaking with Knack Co-Founder John Funge, who previously worked at Netflix and on the Sony Playstation, was to celebrate failure. In the bigger companies failure is not an option; it is the difference in keeping and losing your job. When it came to Knack, failure is the greatest learning tool you can use. Failure only creates a greater drive to succeed and work harder to achieve your goal, rather than being forced to succeed each and every time.


So the next time you are apply (or hire) for a job, think how a computer game created from a small group of people with a mission to change the way we look at employment could be the interview.  Thanks again to all the great hospitality these amazing companies gave the Wabash men that attended the San Francisco trip! to request an invite to wasabi waiter, balloon brigade