Dan Katz: Games, Games, Games

Another in our series of ‘getting to know you’ posts: interviews with our BOLO 2011 speakers, who were gracious enough to share their innermost selves with us. Meet Dan Katz of Bunchball who will be speaking on gamification in our Digital Disruption series on Tuesday afternoon.

BOLO: What do you like to discuss with close friends?
Dan: Politics, religion, and evolution of mankind. It always makes for a lively discussion.

BOLO: What do you love about the marketing industry?
Dan: I love the creativity – it is always great to hear innovative thinking that is unlike any other industry. It is inspiring, and always gives me a different vantage point for the same problem.

BOLO: What do you hate about it?
Dan: The same thing I love about it, the creativity. Being a technologist and product manager, creativity is awesome, but I am always thinking about time and budget constraints, which often puts a damper on the overly creative concepts.

BOLO: Why do you think your BOLO topic is important in today’s marketing climate?
Dan: From a recent interview with Rajat Paharia, Bunchball’s Founder & CPO:

“Once just amusing pastimes for children, games have now become the equivalent of behavior modification ray guns aimed directly at our brains.”

Marketing is all about persuasion and perception, and gamification has been, and continues to be an extremely effective tactic when done right.

BOLO: List 5 things about you that only your (best friend/spouse/dog) knows about you?
1.      I was a Bunchball customer before joining the team; it has given me a unique understanding of how a gamification program can be implemented successfully and result in behavior modification.

2.      I think most clearly when I am by myself, flying my airplane a mile above the Bay Area.

3.      I loathe egg salad, cheesecake, and tomatoes. I barfed on separate occasions from eating these items as a child, and have been scarred ever since.

4.      Martha’s Vineyard is my favorite destination. I have not found a destination that matches its beauty and serenity. (Lake Tahoe comes in second place.)

5.      My dog knows that I will eventually pick him up and let him into my bed when he whines. (Advice to new dog owners: don’t ever let your dog sleep with you; you will regret it.)

BOLO: If you’ve attended BOLO before, what was your favorite memory? If you haven’t attended, what are you looking forward to the most?
Dan: I am a BOLO virgin; absolutely looking forward to hearing all of the thought leaders at this conference.

Dan Katz is the Director of Product Management at Bunchball, where he is responsible for Bunchball’s product strategy and roadmap. He works closely with customers to help define and deploy world-class gamification applications. Prior to Bunchball, Dan has held roles as CTO, Technical Project Manager, and Technical Advisor for financial brokerage, e-commerce, and consulting firms.