Wednesday, March 9, 2022

What Can Wordle Teach Us About Entrepreneurship?

If you haven’t been living under a rock, you probably know that Wordle is an online word puzzle game that was invented by a software engineer, Josh Wardle, for him and his partner to play. Because of its simplicity, setup, and social attributes, the number of daily players (including me) has skyrocketed from about 90 on November 1 of last year, to 300,000 by New Year’s Day, to over 2,000,000 only a week later!

While that seems like a lot, it still isn’t as many people who at least occasionally play Words with Friends or Candy Crush. One of the biggest appeals of Wordle is that, unlike the countless hours that some people (you know who you are) spend on those other games, you can play it every day and only have to invest about 5 minutes.

When I was contemplating this post about Wordle, I came across this article which recounts some of the lessons that can be learned by entrepreneurs (and, no, it isn’t just that, if you get lucky and catch a shooting star, you can sell it to the New York Times for seven figures…). Here’s some of what the article says:

  • Wordle is simple
  • It does one thing, and does it exceedingly well
  • It doesn’t cost you anything to play (at least not so far…)
  • Wordle is a shared social experience, including being built for sharing in a way that doesn’t include any spoilers1
  • It leaves you wanting more
Think about how you can apply some of these attributes to your business by keeping it simple, focused, doing one thing exceedingly well, creating a shared social experience, and leaving customers wanting more.

Of course, if you are really wanting more and have time to kill, there are MANY Wordle variations (it was built on open-source software), including the twenty plus listed below:
There was even a musical-theatre themed game (which, for frequent readers, you know would be interesting to me) but it appears to be permanently stuck on Sondheim—like a lot of musical theatre fans. And, if you want to make your own Worldle puzzle for friends, you can do that at

1I loved the Twitter thread where one Wordle player was complaining that they didn’t even know what the day’s word (tacit) was and wanted people to use it in a sentence. A clever reply was “there is a tacit agreement among Wordle players not to reveal the day’s word to others…”

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