Previous classes have some advice for you before you begin your quest for Will World domination. The advice covers everything from dividing up group tasks to dealing with group conflict to strategies for winning.
The simulation will not be exactly the same as last year. You are free to ask for advice from friends who took the class last year but market conditions and specific events may or may not be repeated. Don’t make a decision based on what someone from last year tells you will happen next. They could be very, very wrong.
Read on for the specific tips…
Advice from Winter 2016
You just entered a market with several other competitors who sell the same product — how do you stay on top?
After five months of anxiety, blood, and tears, here’s what Kaleidoscope wants to share about how to succeed in the Will World economy:
- At the beginning of the simulation, it is essential that you get to know how the game. Read all the articles you can find on the Macnomics page, the Will Worlds Words page, and even the CuttleBank! Make sure you understand how the how much raw materials and employers you need, where to get bank loans, and where to make investments! We didn’t realize until the very last cycle that we could’ve invested our money in the CuttleBank. Knowing how the game works before you begin will enable you to get better footing than your competitors.
- Be the first to get a blueprint. Acquire research points early on by hiring engineers so that you are able to purchase an upgrade blueprint independently when they become available. Only one of each blueprint is available for grabs, so be the first to get it. This will allow you to be the monopolist for a lucrative product (painted or luxury goods) and differentiate you from your competitors. This significantly helped our company succeed.
- Acquire reputation points through purchasing advertising, completing reputation tasks, or converting cash into points. Your reputation matters; the higher it is, the more your consumers like you, and thus, the greater your sales. Never overlook any opportunity to boost your reputation.
- Have a spreadsheet that allows you to calculate your profit each cycle based on the amount and quantity you produced. This will help guide your production decisions. Remember: producing the greatest quantity doesn’t always mean the greatest profits (something we should’ve thought about during our initial few cycles).
- Keep track of all decisions and amount spent each cycle. This will help you keep track of how much profit you are making and identify key “next steps” for future cycles. For example, for three cycles, we did not realize we had 11 more workers than were needed. Keep a shared, organized folder containing everything from contract agreements to calculated production decisions.
- Assign roles and tasks within your company based on strengths. The person with the fastest reflexes can be in charge of sending in ads. The person who is good with numbers can be in charge of calculating your current profit and costs. The most logical person can be the negotiator and decision maker.
- Plan before each cycle. Discuss what you need to do during the simulation and what your best options are. Even though this might be a tedious process, do it. Although you won’t know the specific rates (consumer confidence/ inflation , etc) until the day of, you can make some predictions. The reason why planning is essential is because during the simulation you won’t have a lot of time. You need to be on your toes. You need to go into the simulation knowing exactly what you want to do. Keep your eyes out for small details such as a countdown timer during the goosie auction or increased prices in a particular raw material company that usually sells for cheap.
Finally, don’t forget that this is a simulation, which is an imitation of the real business world. In reality you will need to work with other companies to grow your own company, so work with other companies but don’t forget that the end goal is to have your own company succeed. Sometimes companies need to make hard decisions in order to drive their own company to success. Get into the mindset that you are part of a real company in today’s business world. Keep the end goal in mind, and lead your team to success.
The best advice I have to offer to next year’s students is to take risks, be unpredictable and always continue expanding your company. There will be many decisions you have to make throughout the game and one wrong move can push you far behind the rest of the companies. However with that being said there also many opportunities for you to rise up, even if you start from the bottom.
From the beginning, play a risky and aggressive game, playing safe will only hurt you in the long run. I recommend taking out huge amounts of money in the form of loans from the bank, in the initial cycles. Even though the debt may seem quite large in the long run, don’t worry as further on in the simulation your company will have grown so much that not only will you be able to pay off your debt but your profits will be quite high.
The simulation gives you a sense of the actual market economy and it undergoing the different phases in the business cycle. So in the start when in the economy is in a boom, charge high prices for your goods and purchase a lot of machines so you can increase production, as your goods are guaranteed to be sold out. Throughout the course try your best to earn as many reputation points as you can (through activities, “Cuttle buck Slips,” Cooper Sterling Advertising). Stock up on raw materials as well since they do become quite expensive as the game progresses and are included within your assets, while determining the value of your company in the end. Hire a lot of engineers and research assistants in the beginning as they will provide you with Research and Innovation points, which can give you a competitive advantage over other groups, while getting blueprints. Try your best to get a blueprint, once it becomes available as it will let you upgrade your machines to painted and luxury goods and earn more profit than you can while staying in the standard market. For this, try to be an independent company and get a monopoly over the Mac or Lyon market however if need be, form collusions with other companies to acquire blueprints as early on as possible. Apart from this in the latter half of the cycles be sure to take care of pollution credits and obtain as many Goosies as possible because non compliance will result in hefty fines.
For next year’s classes all I can say is be super organized, keep track of deadlines, read up on the conditions at Will Worlds in advance and ensure that all tasks for reputation points, money and advertising are done on time. Some of these tasks are time-sensitive and others are a competition between companies, so always be aware of what is happening and the decisions you make. As they say “Winners are not people who never fail, but those who never quit.” Even if you aren’t number one from the beginning don’t stress, be positive and work hard because victory is a thousand times sweeter when you’re the underdog!
Early on, earn as much money (Cuttlebucks) as you can in activities during class. This will allow your company to have a head start on the simulation compared to other groups. As the early cycles progress, make sure you borrow a lot of money to expand your company. Expansion is key to getting your company off to a good start. Once your company has produced some goods and gained a large profit, you will be able to pay off your loans without a problem. Additionally, make sure you invest in a lot of research points so that in cycle 3, your company can afford the blueprints necessary. Blueprints are the #1 key to success in the simulation. Try to rack up as many blueprints as possible so that you can sell better and more expensive products. If you can’t buy a blueprint, try cooperating with other groups. This gives you a greater chance to sell the best products. Furthermore, when you have the ability to set prices, try to find the perfect equilibrium price to sell at. This will make sure your company sells all the products you make but also ensures that you sell at the price that makes the most profit. However, remember that the equilibrium price is always changing! In addition, try to gain a lead in reputation points. The higher the reputation of your company, the more products you can sell compared to other groups. This makes sure you always have an advantage when your company is in competition with another company which is especially important when trying to differentiate your products.
In addition, make sure you keep track of everything you are required to do for the cycle. This includes buying raw materials, hiring/firing workers, advertising, etc. A lot happens in each cycle, and if you forget to do something or if you make a miscalculation, it could cause a lot of problems for your company. For example, our company did not properly calculate how much pollution we were going to create for one cycle. We inadvertently used the wrong numbers, causing us to earn a fine of nearly $10 000. If you later realize you’ve made a mistake with your calculations, it is possible to ask Ms. Cuttle to change them to the right amount provided that you contact her and she hasn’t completed the cycle yet. This brings us to teamwork. Make sure you divide up the tasks well among your group members, preferably catering to each member’s strengths. This way, your group can maximize the workload of each cycle. If a group member has too much work on their plate, then they may not be able to work efficiently or they might forget something, which hinders the entire company.
Finally, be wary whenever you collaborate with another company. It is indeed beneficial to cooperate in the early cycles, as most of the blueprints are too costly for one company to handle. With two companies, we were able to split the costs and both parties could receive the blueprints. However, when companies are strong enough to buy the blueprints themselves, they will. Since this is a competition for marks, some people are willing to do whatever it takes to get ahead of the other groups, even if it means backstabbing the company they partnered up with. Make sure you know who you’re cooperating with, whether you believe they are your friends or not. If you do not intend on cooperating with any group, make sure that the groups that are cooperating don’t gain too much power by buying all the blueprints and creating large monopolies, putting you in a situation where your group would not be able to compete.
A piece of advice we have to offer is to pay attention to the state of the economy each cycle. This should influence your decisions on how much to produce and what price to sell at. Especially in the first few rounds, it is important to make good choices to ensure that you have substantial financial ability so that you can purchase things like engineers and research points. This is important when blueprints and upgrades come into play.
It is also really important to keep an organized record of all your decisions each cycle. It would be useful to have a record of all your expenses so that you can make more informed decisions in future rounds. It is really important to know how much you can spend on things like advertising. The importance of organization is especially noticeable in later rounds when there are more things to manage like pollution credits.
Our last piece of advice is to be bold and take risks, especially in early rounds. Take loans and make risky decisions because it will pay off in the end.
Reflecting on the simulation, there are definitely some key aspects and pieces of advice that can be given to help guide future groups on what can turn into a competitive advantage. The first thing to mention is that blueprints are very important in this game. Based on this year, the more control a group had over a blueprint, the better they did. Particularly, the groups that have uncontested control over 1 certain market ended up performing the best in the simulation. Ideally, you want to control 1 blueprint on your own, but if you don’t have enough resources (cash and innovation points) to get the blueprint, teaming up with another group is your next best option.
A general piece of advice that can improve your performance during the game is that you should learn to cooperate as a group from the start; figure out who does what best and work to your strengths. If each person is dedicated to doing specific tasks, it’ll allow everyone to be more focused, and on task. A specific example from our group where this worked was a bit later in the simulation when it came to emailing our ads to the Will World’s email. At one point we decided to dedicate one person to sending the email on time, and it worked for the last 2 cycles. Since this person had 1 specific job, it allowed less room for error, and freed up other member’s time which allowed us to multitask as a group. In addition, if you are making decisions and calculations slowly, you may end up pressured for time which can cause fatal mistakes to your company; more specifically, our group was pressured for time during one of the last cycles which resulted in us ordering the wrong type of upgrade on our machine which had a significant negative impact on us in the next cycle.
Reputation is an important part of the game. Essentially, a higher reputation will allow you to price higher and still sell the same amount when compared to groups with a lower reputation. Rep tasks are your free source of reputation points, meaning you should be completing it every cycle- for the most part they’re straightforward and not hard, so don’t be lazy and slack off. Directly purchasing ads and spending money on the Cooper Sterling site, and emailing the Will World’s email on time are the other ways you can “buy” your reputation.
From our point of view, it’s better to price your goods higher rather than lower. Our reasoning behind this is because if you price high, most of your goods will probably sell, leaving your company with some unsold inventory. However, unsold inventory has no penalty and you can simply try reselling it the next cycle. On the other when priced low, although your inventory will be guaranteed to sell out, your overall revenue will most likely be lower than if you sell everything at a higher price over a few cycles.
To finish off, don’t be afraid to take loans and certain risks, but also make sure you keep track of you current standings from cycle to cycle (keeping your information up to date in a spreadsheet or even just making sure you write down your decisions in a notebook can be a good strategy to stay organized). Although it may sound counterintuitive, if you aren’t performing so good in the simulation (in the negatives or last place), you should probably take a loan. At one point, we were in the negatives, and taking a loan was what got us out and allowed us to start producing and selling more. Outwardly, taking a loan seems like a go-for broke hail mary if you are in last place, but in reality, there isn’t much risk because the money will allow you to produce in the short run, and once you can get your revenue’s up, repaying that loan after a few cycles won’t be an issue. During the first few cycles, your goal is to expand your business, and since you probably won’t have a lot of starting cash, loans can be helpful with buying machinery and materials.
To summarize, the key pieces of advice we have to give are that blueprints are very important, and obtaining one should be a goal of yours, reputation is important so make sure you do rep tasks and buy some points, pricing higher is better than pricing lower, and do not be afraid to take risks and loans- they can save you in some cases and turn the game around for you.
Advice from Fall 2015
In the beginning, take risks, being cautious will ultimately hurt you in the end. We recommend not being conservative, to find your maximum selling point, sell at high prices instead of low. This way you will be able to still make large profits and find a price point where all your inventory is sold out. Additionally, remember that the market grows each cycle, meaning that if on the cheat sheet there is x demand at y price, the same price will have a demand greater than x in the next cycle.
As everyone starts on an equal playing field, you want to gain leverage, initiate negotiations, buy blueprints, invest in research points and advertising, and take out loans. By being the first people to have your hands on the blueprints, you are in control. You can choose to sell them at a high price or capture the market for yourself, we recommend the latter. You can also strike up deals with other companies to acquire blueprints as early as possible. As Willians are willing to pay higher prices for painted and luxury goods, there is more profit to be made in the painted market than if you are selling in the regular, so your initial loans will be far less than the profit of your decision.
When making contracts leverage the wording or circumstances to your advantage but be careful when price fixing or monopolizing a market, as the government will investigate, and possibly sue if the decisions you make are violating the rules of the game. For example, to avoid an investigation, let a competitor enter your market, but only in such a way that you are still in command.
Also it is important to have a positive, organized company dynamic. When allocating tasks put strong willed, knowledgeable people at the forefront of the decision making and negotiations. Additionally, less competitive people should still have a part calculating expenses, creating advertisements, writing reputation tasks and getting intell/building trust with other companies. All roles are important and make sure that you keep an open line of communication between all members. Work together as a team to make the best decisions for your company, and you will be very successful!
Investing more in reputation points is something that our group should have done. It is important to remember that the amount of reputation points in relation to every other group matters (rather than the total amount). Even if your group just a few less rep points than the group above you, you would have to price your products lower. If you have more points, you’ll be able to price your products slightly higher, bringing you more revenue and giving you a substantial lead in the long run. Hence, investing in reputation points is a great way to get ahead. Our recommendation is to buy the most expensive form of advertising from Cooper Sterling when you can. Additionally, try your best to send in your advertisement for Will World Words on time, and when given “Cuttlebuck Cards”, allocate a large portion towards reputation points.
Hiring engineers and collecting research points right away is also a game changing decision. This allows you to upgrade your machines as soon as blueprints become available, potentially allowing you to monopolize the painted and luxury markets. Waiting too long to upgrade will result in you falling behind in profit and being forced to lower your prices as more sellers will have already upgraded their machines.
Finally, keep a detailed and organized document of all the decisions and transactions that your company makes so that you can avoid unnecessary costs such as loan overdraft fees. Remember that the updated ranking every round is only for revenue for the previous round so don’t get thrown off if you’re not at the top! Keep in mind that in the end, you’re being evaluated on the final value of your company, so ask what is counted as assets and if only a certain percentage of that value is considered.
The biggest piece of advice we could give to future classes is to focus on non-price competition, as it is an important aspect of the simulation. The groups with the highest reputation had an advantage in pricing and were very likely to sell out compared to the competition. We were confident our reputation would help us sell enough to reach our revenue target.
Next, we would advise future students not to leave production and pricing decisions to the last minute because many important aspects of the simulation can be overlooked when in a rush. This is especially important when pollution credits come into effect. The pollution credits are a very significant part of production, and over polluting (miscalculating pollution production) could have serious setbacks in reputation as well as a hefty fine.
Quad also recommends hiring engineers as soon as they become available. Engineers are the key to obtaining research points, which are necessary for upgrading products. Upgraded products earn 3-4 times more revenue than regular products. Quad’s biggest regret is not hiring engineers in that cycle, as we were unable to obtain the required blueprints for upgrading our products. Ultimately, hiring engineers in the first available round could set your company up to win the entire simulation.
Last but not least, make production decisions with the current state of the economy firmly in mind. If the consumers’ confidence is increasing, it is probably the best time for your company to take the risk and expand. Conversely, if consumers’ income has been reduced (through such means as income tax) and the interest rates increase, it might be better to reduce production as these are all signals to an economy heading towards a contractionary phase. During these times, it is more wise to put your money into a GIC.
The best piece of advice that we give is “Expand, Expand, Expand!”. We believe that expansion is the key to success in the simulation. It allows a company to earn the much-needed revenue in a limited amount. The simulation may seem long, but it goes by very quickly, and one bad cycle can result in the company trailing for the rest of the cycles. This is why when times are good, do not hesitate to expand. It is good to borrow a lot from the bank in the initial cycles because that money will help you expand your company. In the long run, the debt will seem small because your company would have reached a size where your profits will be multiples of your debt. The good thing about borrowing and expanding early is that you have a very good chance of selling out all your units because the economy is in a boom. Having money in this game is very important because it allows you to differentiate and control over different markets. expansion brings money into the company while increasing its size. In conclusion, don’t hesitate to expand all you can during the initial cycles because if you don’t, we guarantee that you will regret it later on.
To all future companies, make sure to earn as many research and innovation points as possible early on in the game and try to get yourselves into a specialized market. Don’t make contracts with other companies simply because they are your friends, it is your responsibility to help yourself in this simulation. Be sure to take note of all production decisions and prepare ideas before the start of each simulation to ensure that your group will run smoothly and efficiently. It is also very important to read and understand what is going on in Will World, as this will affect your sales and production. There will be twists and complications during the simulation, and it is vital to stay organized and stick to your company’s goals throughout.
Advice from Spring 2014
The best piece of advice for next year’s economics students, is to take risks at the beginning of the simulation and then continue to be aggressive throughout the later rounds. In addition make sure you try to get the highest amount of reputation points, and to stock up on research points at the beginning in order to upgrade your machines. The more smart risks you take, the higher the potential for success.
For next year’s economic students I would suggest to not trust anyone. The second you walk into class on simulation a simulation day anyone you thought is your friend becomes your competition. We made that mistake at that beginning and on the day where we had to buy contracts, we had to make a last minute dash to sign contracts after being pushed out of an agreement from the other groups. Don’t be too nice and actually care about everything you do and say because every decision you make matters. Being too nice means you’ll be stepped all over and not caring means you won’t do well. It’s that simple.
Our decisions were made as a group and for our group and we managed to pull up first.
At the beginning few cycles of the simulation, it is important to take out as many loans as you can to expand operations. This would help to buy more machines, buy more raw materials, as well as affording the advertising. Doing as many tasks to gain reputation is essential to succeed. This includes buying all the ads and doing ALL of the reputation tasks. It is also important to acquire at least one of the upgrades to be able to sell more valuable goods. By creating this steady foundation, it was much simpler to succeed with a loyal customer base, and produce a nice, steady flow of revenue and profit.
A piece of advice that I would give to next year’s economics students is to take risks. One may feel uncomfortable with producing a lot products, buying all the advertising, and upgrading machines. That’s because these decisions take up a lot of money, it may even require a big loan. It is scary to spend so much on something uncertain. But the best thing you could do is ignore your self-doubt. Expansion is important. If a company produces and expands fast enough, and provided they have high enough reputation, they will dominate the market. That way, students can grow their small business into a hugely successful one.
DO THE REPUTATION TASKS. You might think skipping one or two is okay, but those mistakes add up. Your company NEEDS reputation in order to make sales – don’t just rely on the demand of your product.
Don’t forget to advertise. You need a combination of timely advertising, reputation, demand and production to run a successful company. Don’t neglect the little things like advertising.
Pay attention to the Will Worlds economy to see how the market is doing. This information will become key when deciding what to purchase, upgrade and produce.
Also, go to class and actually pay attention. Once you start goofing off and skipping you’re going to have no clue what’s going on. The simulation itself is pretty complex and thorough so paying attention in class is a must.
and….the #1 RULE: SNAKES ARE EVERYWHERE
Some advice for next year’s economic students is that before the simulation starts, make sure the group members you are with participate in simulation activities. It is essential to have every member take part, as it leads to an efficient outcome. Additionally, when it comes to making deals and contracts with other groups, make sure your group has a second plan just in case the other group backs out last minute, as this happened in our simulation period and created problems for our group and especially the group that wanted to cancel the already signed contract. It is crucial to always take risks at the start of the simulation especially, as it will help your group flourish as the simulation progresses.
6th Place Companies
To next year’s economics students.
Keep actively updated with the events of Will World Words, as well as have goals in mind when you produce. For example, have a goal toward creating Luxury Lyons and make decisions toward achieving that objective, and specializing there. Furthermore, complete your reputation tasks, you have absolutely no idea how much a lack of reputation hurts. Trust me. TFTZ would know.
Furthermore, keep an updated account of the assets/expenses/liabilities that your company has. This will give you better perspective of your relative prowess compared to other companies, as well as give you an illustration as to where your company’s shortfalls are. Finally, do not let single members make decisions unilaterally for the group, this is a group simulation, and you will regret it (especially if the choices that are unilaterally made end up with your company doing poorly). Teamwork, and equal accountability, is very important, so mix ideas and figure out strategies to use everyone’s skills to the company’s advantage. That is my advice to you young economics students.
One piece of advice for next year’s economics students is to keep careful record of production decisions in each round, and also to keep a sheet of relevant information to use throughout the game. Our group wasted a lot of time searching for production information, wages, and the previous round’s prices and it would have helped us to have all the information in one place. We also failed to keep track of the exact number of machines we owned and the labour we had hired and this led us to under-produce or over-fire in several rounds. A final piece of advice is to spend time dividing up tasks at the beginning of each simulation day; our company was very inefficient during most rounds because we worked together on all tasks rather than assigning them to specific group members. As a result, we often had to make important decisions like setting prices in a rush and failed to complete our reputation tasks on time because no specific person was made to complete them.
First of all, don’t forget to do EVERY REPUTATION TASK. They are a lot more important than they seem. They’re not too complicated, so just get it done as soon as possible. On the topic of increasing reputation points, donate as much as you can to the geese. Getting your advertisements in on time is also very important; even if you don’t, invest in the other source of advertising (where you actually have to pay instead of just sending your ad to Ms. Cuttle on time). Do everything you can to keep the demand for your products high. Do not over-price, as this will cost you customers, but do not under-price as this will lower your profits. Make sure to keep your workers happy, so your business runs smoothly. One of the best things you can do is to communicate with other groups and draft contracts together. What do they have that you need? What do you have that they need? Working with other groups is one of the most efficient methods of getting what you need. In addition, keep in mind to check the blog regularly to stay caught up with the status of the economy in order to be prepared for whatever is to come.
As the group that fell dramatically from a trailblazing first to dead last in the simulation, we learned what not to do in the simulation very well. Our main mistake was neglecting reputation points and falling far behind the rest of the class. Therefore, my advice for any students in the simulation is to focus on developing the company in all aspects, including reputation and innovation points. They are all as integral to the potential of the company as revenue and as such must be deal with carefully. Groups that focus on all aspects tend to finish successfully, while groups that focus on one aspect and fall behind in others fail tragically in the end.
1st Place Teams
There are a couple pieces of advice that I would give to future students. At the end reputation is king. As long as your company is in striking distance of winning, invest in reputation. Do your homework and complete the reputation tasks. They are free points that require no resources from the company. Read the articles the night before. It’s easier to come into class prepared and ready to just make decisions rather than having to learn what happened instead of strategizing.
The last piece of advice that I would give is to not sell too low. That may not apply to all companies because there could be a big difference in reputation in the final rounds. The first few rounds, Ms.Cuttle sets the price of the goods that you sell, you are price-takers. After that the individual companies set their own price. Ms.Cuttle provides the market price for each product. The majority of the companies sold well below the market price with the strategy that people will buy their cheaper products and won’t buy from the companies who have higher prices. Then when the companies that sell to high and go out of business you can raise your prices. The problem with this strategy is that people will spend more because the economy is growing. When the economy is growing out of a recession in Will World, the demand is higher than the quantity supplied. When the demand is higher than quantity supplied companies can sell for higher prices. Most companies lost out because they dropped their prices by as much as 33% of the market price. VGCS sold at market price or higher for most of the game and had significantly higher margins.
For next years students, track your company spending and the amount of employees and machines that you have careful, to avoid throwing out money. Make sure that all your companies assets are being used to the full potential and always try to maximize your efficiency.
My best advice for the next group to participate in the stimulation would be to read and understand the rules, carefully, maybe even have someone read them beforehand each of the designed stimulation dates, to be on top of the game. To consult and to not be afraid to ask Ms. Cuttle if you have a question or don’t agree with your group mates. If you simply are unsure of what to do next, and are confused by the task at hand.
The most important thing to remember while working is that this is a Grade 12 course. This is at the same time the worst and best thing about the simulation. The worst part is that inevitably, you will lose motivation as the game progresses. The best part is that this applies to all of the other people in your class. Our advice is to not forget how important the simulation will be at the end of the semester, and to work hard throughout, knowing that this is a mark that you can get more than 100% on.
This guide covers what you should be looking for and paying attention to at different stages of the simulation. So let’s dive right in!
When the course begins, make sure that you take advantage of every single opportunity to earn Cuttlebucks. At this point, Ms. Cuttle is handing them out for very little effort. Take advantage of your talents; many of the Cuttlebuck earning activities have very little to do with economics and more to do with co-operation or teamwork. This initial advantage will have a huge impact on how well your company will do. Before simulation work periods, make sure to check the website. Although a period may seem like a long time, it really isn’t. Ms. Cuttle will usually port information on the morning of a simulation day, so it is a good idea to check for any new developments or new tasks that you may have to do on that day. During simulation work periods, keep track of all deadlines, all of the different websites that you need to submit entries to, and all of the tasks that must be finished in and out of class. Many tasks will have a strict deadline, where you will be racing with others to be the first to hand it in. While other groups might be distracted doing more important things, having a dedicated member doing these time sensitive tasks for every round can save time, and ensure success. Divide up the work according to each group member’s strengths, but make sure that all of your group members have a final say on each decision in order to catch mistakes or errors that can end up costing your company. A good habit to develop in these early stages is to take screenshots of your final production decisions to keep a record of the prices you have set, the amounts that you have produced, and the investments that you have made. Mistakes may be made by the government while analysing your decisions, and this way you will have proof and will be able to correct such errors. Having these records will also help you decision making process.
When the groups are made and the game begins, everyone will make similar decisions. Decision making does not matter at this point so much as time management and division of work. Don’t get carried away, make sure you carefully read the instructions and ask questions if you don’t understand something. Ms. Cuttle uses many different websites and systems to run the game and the various functions of the game, and if you do not understand how to do something or where to find something, make sure to ask. In these early stages, all that really matters is that you get every single task finished and handed in properly on time.
As the simulation progresses, you must learn to take cues from Ms. Cuttle’s teaching in class. Although the simulation may feel like a game, you must remember that ultimately it is a teaching tool. Sometimes you will see that the events taking place in the simulation will be similar to ones discussed in class. This will help a lot with decision making, and as long as enough of your classmates are sleeping in class, this will put you and your group at a major advantage. It is always useful to pay attention to Ms. Cuttle at the beginning of the period; she will often reveal information about the current economic climate and things that you should be considering. It is also useful to have her in class notes out on your desk or open in a new tab so that you can refer to them while working. Ms. Cuttle will also help your group make decisions during the simulation. If Ms. Cuttle tells you not to make a production decision, don’t do it! She’s been doing this longer than you have. Students often think that they are being innovative or clever, mistaking Ms. Cuttle’s “pitying face” for her “amused face” when ‘gaming the system’ or ‘breaking the simulation’. You are not finding loopholes in the game, just repeating mistakes that you have probably already learned about happening in the real world. Take risks when she encourages you to, but otherwise, play it safe. Eventually reputation will be added into the game. The first place ranking on the results board is an important step towards victory, but you should also remember that it isn’t everything. Reputation will help you to set prices and to sell more during the simulation, beating your competitors even when demand is extremely low. Reputation isn’t hard to earn, most of it has to do with material covered in class, and by using the resources Ms. Cuttle provides, you should be able to get top marks under reputation for most of the simulation. When you get the opportunity to pay for reputation in the game, remember that the investment is always worth it, but don’t overpay either. For reputation tasks, going overboard and thinking outside the box are good things. If Ms. Cuttle appreciates the effort that you have put in, her appreciation may be reflected in the amount of reputation that you get out of the tasks.
In the later stages of the game, co-operation among the groups is also useful. Talking amongst your competitors and making pricing decisions carefully based on reputation standings in the class will help you to manage your production and sales greatly. Make sure you pay attention to what the other groups are doing. Do not spy, spying is not allowed. However, some people are very loud, and there are very many legitimate excuses you can find to stand directly behind a person. In all seriousness, if your opponents let something slip, it’s not your fault for being there to listen, and every bit of information is useful. Most importantly, don’t get carried away. Placing the highest bid on an auction to purchase a good is not winning. Winning is carefully calculating the costs associated with the good and any possible alternatives. Using the concept of opportunity cost, you can make sure that your group doesn’t end up losing money when bidding on items in auctions later in the game.
When the simulation is nearly over, one last thing to remember is the win condition. The value of your company is how your company will be ranked at the end of the semester, and sometimes, production and sales are not the best ways to increase your company’s value. Remember that producing less can be better for your company as demand wanes and changes. At this point, remember that there are other ways to earn money and add value to your company, such as investments in the CuttleBank, and deals with your opponents.
In conclusion, it is not hard to succeed in the simulation, as long as you outplay your opponents. They will lose motivation. It’s your job to not get lazy, lose interest, or give up. People are guaranteed to screw up the simulation, so make sure that you are not one of them. They will forget to hand in production decisions, fight amongst themselves, get carried away during auctions, even stop production and sell their assets. You will watch, smiling, as your classmates crash and burn; no matter how well they may have done in the beginning, it is easy to fall to the bottom if you don’t continue working hard. Don’t treat this like a game. Hang in there, and you’ll make it.
Simply put, in the world of business, money equals power. The amount of capital you have dictates your success and status in society, but getting rich is a difficult journey, so every decision you make throughout this expedition getting to the top is crucial, especially in the beginning. Of course, this applies to reality, but also in the Will Worlds simulation as well. My advice to you future economic students is to borrow as much money as you can from the Cuttlebank during the first few simulation rounds for expansionary purposes. You have to keep in mind that you’re the ones manufacturing the product for sale in the market, and in order to do so, you must have the machines and materials necessary to grow. If you want a high company valuation, think big. You can’t expect to keep producing Macs and Lyons on one machine each time, so I would suggest you putting any worries about being in debt aside. As long as you’re not blindly selling your products for less than what it cost you to produce at, you will manage to pay off any outstanding liabilities, and it would definitely be worth getting risky at the beginning of the simulation. On top of expanding (which involves a lot of money, as mentioned earlier), it would also be worth noting that reputation points are a significant component in the simulation as well, as they basically represent your “popularity”. You want to take advantage of all the times Ms Cuttle is giving out these opportunities to earn rep for your group because it advocates more consumers to buy from you instead of your competitors- and in an economy where all companies are producing the same product, you want to have a way to differentiate yourself and set your company apart from the others. The extra effort to earn one more reputation point can make all the difference.
At the beginning of the simulation, you will start to earn Cuttlebucks by simply doing activities that are made for you to earn. At this point, Ms.Cuttle is giving away money because you will need it. Take every opportunity to gain as much as you can. The occasions to gain Cuttlebucks quickly becomes scarce and you will regret not taking the easy money. The easy money is there to help you in the near future, trust me. Some of these activities may require working as a class. Cooperate, it’s always better to walk away with some then none. Again, the activities are there for a reason! Another big aid is the Will World Words website. You may want to put the simulation out of your head at the end of class and not think about till the next but it is important to read what’s being posted before the next simulation begins. Your group will have an advantage when it comes to certain things that may be on a first-come, first-served bases. Read the articles, they will help you when it comes to figuring out the market for Macs and Lyons. There are many different types of jobs in running a company. Know each member’s strengths and weaknesses. Some members may have certain skills that make them better at certain types of jobs. It is important to split up the work and not have every member sitting around doing the same thing. It may seem like a long time but the rounds will go by quick so try to maximize your resources.
2nd Place Teams
As your simulation starts off, remember one thing, popularity in the market is everything. Now that’s out of the way, watch out for your competition and do not trust anyone easily as many firms tend to bring down your company. When making a deal, the one and only way to go is a written document with signatures from both companies. Besides those things, the minor things you have to consider are the following, prices of goods in the market, keeping up with the latest updates in the economy and your level of popularity. These things are important when producing and selling your products as your main goal for this game is to keep the value of your company at the top. So ready, set, and go claim the MARKET!
My advice for the next years class is to: in the beginning when Ms.Cuttle gives out CuttleBucks for small task, take advantage of that and earn easy money to start your company. In the first 2-3 rounds your focus must be to produce a lot, and gain a variety of machines. This will jumpstart your business, helping it make a lot of money, since everything gets sold out. I would also advice to get as many pollution credits as you can, this will let you save a lot in production costs. Take advantage to earn reputation points. This will help you clear your inventory.
Our first tip is to put in effort! Though this may be a very cliche tip, it really will make a difference. Ensuring that the reputation point assignments were done in a timely and qualitative manner can either make or break your group. In the simulation, all companies are producing only two (eventually four) types of products, therefore your competition revolves around pricing since you are more likely to sell out if you price lower than other companies. You should take advantage of reputation point assignments & advertising because these allow you to differentiate your products and effectively increase your sales by gaining a better reputation and building up your company’s image. Not completing your reputation assignments can impede on your company’s sales, especially if every other group are doing it because they’ll be the ones getting a larger market share. Also, make sure you coordinate your reputation efforts with advertisements. By paying for advertisements AND doing reputation assignments, you’ll have a deadly strategy for turning up your sales.
Our second tip is to divide roles! Throughout the simulation, there will be many tasks that need to be done, and it is extremely important that they are all completed in order for your company to be successful, from purchasing raw materials, to determining prices, to acquiring advertisement spaces. Many tasks will be time sensitive so dividing roles will help ensure that all required tasks are completed. However, keep in mind that this is a team effort and that every group member should participate in making important decisions and that it is done so by thinking through everything clearly.
Tip number three is to do everything you can to get extra money! Our group lost by less than a couple thousand dollars in assets, and you will see that every dollar will count. In each round, there will be underlying economic concepts so try to apply what you’ve learned to help you gain some extra money. When NWA was in need of a bailout, we bailed them out, and made a profit of $920. Though one wouldn’t think this to be a large amount, it is essentially what pushed us into second place. When competing so closely with groups, the hundreds of dollars can add up. For example, when our group foresaw a recession coming, we decided to sell off our energy $12.85/unit when the market value was $13.00/unit. The price then dropped to $10.00/unit in the next round, allowing us to profit more greatly having originally purchased the units of energy for $9.00. Foreseeing the economic contraction taking place in Will World allowed us to make this choice. Be smart about how you spend your money, how you price your products, and how you play each round.
Lastly, try to have fun with the simulation despite the fact that it’s still a competition. It is important to know that some groups may attempt to sabotage you by deliberately giving you the wrong information so take any information you receive from other groups with a grain of salt. If you can, it’s better to build trusting relationships with other groups. This will help you when you need any assistance, suching as selling off assets or seeking bailouts. It also reduces your stress; we were fairly cooperative with another group and whenever we had to do activities together we always finished early while other groups were yelling at each other. Although at first the simulation may seem extremely competitive, it’s not as cut throat as it seems, so don’t be too intense about it. Try to play fair while making strategic moves, and you will do great. Remember to have fun, and keep your economic concepts in mind – and Will World will be at your will.
My suggestion for the future players of Will Worlds is to use your time wisely and teamwork is a must! I cannot stress on how much time is precious during the simulations. Our group gave everyone a role to do, which made things easier and more efficient. Two group members would work on buying things and calculating the figures, while 3 other group members would work on doing the reputation points. Some groups that didn’t manage their time well and got really messed up because one, they didn’t get to make correct calculations and two, they ran out of time to maybe even put in their orders. Also, during the game, groups will have opportunities to put up advertisements on the Will Worlds website our group always got the bottom advertisements because we had 2 computers working and we managed to get the advertisement sent right away while other groups dealt with lags. Also when we has to purchase pollution credits at 2:15pm, our group was there at 2:15pm, while some other group took longer and just wasted time. All I am really saying is that if you waste even a minute, than it can pull your company down. Teamwork is a must between players. If one person ends up doing all the work (which is a lot) it will be very stressful. Working together saves you time and gets the work done faster.
My advice to all future companies is to complete your reputation tasks, any and all reputation tasks. You’ll be surprised at how much your reputation points matter. There will be various chances to earn reputation points, from creating your own ads, buying advertisement packages, and most importantly, reputation tasks. Many groups in my class did not maximize their opportunities for points and as a result, were ranked lower than even Ms. Cuttle’s “fail companies” in terms of advertising. Reputation points will become a major factor if your group enters the Plus market, where you may be in direct competition with one other company, like my group was. Unfortunately, we had less reputation points than our rival in the Plus market. As a result, in order to compete with their better status, we always had to price lower than we really wanted to . We ended up charging less than what we wanted to in an attempt to undercut our rival company. Of course, reputation points will still come into play even if you are not in the Plus market. In our class, one single company completely dominated in terms of reputation points when compared to their competition in the regular market. This allowed them to price however they wanted and basically ensured their sales.
Basically, what I am saying is, care. Ms. Cuttle does not simply give reputation points for attempting to complete reputation tasks or questions. You have to answer questions with quality answers and complete the tasks with some level of decency in order to earn those points. If you are going to complete the tasks, keep track of deadlines and always put effort into your tasks. Once you gain those points, you’ll have flexibility in the game in terms of pricing. If you have the most reputation points you can even charge higher prices and still make sales, raising your overall value.
My suggestion for future players would be that you have to try to get ahead right from the start. Even before the simulation begins collect as many Cuttle Bucks as possible because you will need to put in a large investment right when the game begins. Many companies that fell behind in the first few rounds had a very hard time trying to catch up to everyone else, so be prepared from round one! Also it is vital to get your company rolling right away, even if it means borrowing money from the Cuttle Bank. Do not be afraid of borrowing money, in fact in order to succeed in this simulation, you need leverage (you will learn about this later), so borrow as much as you can to get a strong first couple of rounds. This is not to mention the fairly low interest rates ( starting at 4%) that make borrowing even more attractive. Although this of course this could possibly change in next years simulation. Good luck!
My suggestion for future players in Will World is going to be buying the machine or raw material earlier as you can. For the first couple of rounds, all the Macs and Lyons would be sold out, guaranteed. So in order to end off well, you have to be prepared for the beginning of the couple of rounds by buying as many machines as you can. Cuttle Bucks is another benefit advantage to take in the Will World and there is lots of opportunities to earn the Cuttle Bucks. So keep your head up and make your decision early on in the beginning.
Basically, my group divided in two, one team managing calculation and the other doing reputation points. It is really hard to do all the calculations and do reputation questions and make decision all together because you would not really have enough time to go through one by one. Therefore, dividing group members to work individually at the beginning is extremely efficient in the long turn.
Moreover, according to the evidence, you can not believe other groups’ members during any particular time. You won’t know if what they are telling you is truth or not, if you trust what someone said and made your decision based on that, you will probably make mistakes, so be ready to fall if you do.
My suggestion for future companies entering Will Worlds is to always be one step ahead of the competition in terms of being prepared for what the next round/cycle brings. This means regularly checking Will World Words and Twitter for updates. By “prepared” I don’t mean to simply glance over new posts (you should already be doing that anyways). You should physically take out previous bank statements and get an estimate where your company stands in terms of available money to spend. Of course, your sales from the previous round are still unknown, but you can estimate of whether any new updates will be beneficial to you. For example, there will be various government interventions staged, such as the introduction of pollution credits that require bidding. By previously having the knowledge of how much these pollution credits cost, how many are available, and other options (such as scrubbers for LM Supremes for $1000), you can determine how many you need to buy and roughly how much you need to charge in order to cover these new expenses. Bidding usually starts near the beginning of the period, so you never want to be put into a position where you outbid another group at a ridiculously high price, only to find out later that you have to raise the prices dramatically to cover costs because you had a lack of funds. This means you may risk having the bank charge you for not breaking even.
Also, being prepared will help you snag small reputation points. By preparing a properly sized advertisement before the beginning of class, you can claim that space before any of your competitors do. This is a main reason why consumers kept purchasing our goods, even though we had to charge extra to cover the costs of our Plus and Extreme machines. Lastly, being prepared involves keeping an eye on consumer confidence and the price of energy and raw materials. That way, during the next round you can allot some of the cash that is not going towards a new capital (pollution credit etc.) to stocking up on inventory.This may not be something you would think of while calculating during class time because there are so many decisions to make and aspects of the game that it is hard to keep track of it all unless you prepare before the period. In our case, since we had economics in the afternoon, most of the updates were posted in the mornings and we could prep during our morning spares. Unlike many of our competitors, we were never pressed for time, thus, making fewer mistakes and took advantages of opportunities right away.
3rd Place Teams
3rd Place Teams
From participating in the simulations, one very useful tip I can give to next year’s economic students from my experience would be working together as a group. The simulation is a heavy amount of work load but the work load can be managed easily if it was divided equally among each group member. For each round of the simulations the companies had to keep track of dead lines, come up with production decisions and complete tasks. This is where comparative advantage and absolute advantage comes in. Even if one member in the group is better than the other group members at every task, but pushing all the work onto one person is not only irresponsible but also inefficient. A more efficient way would be dividing up the tasks so each person is working on a task that they have a comparative advantage. This means the task they are most efficient in. My company had done great job at dividing up the tasks, I am glad that we were able to work together to tackle the obstacles in our way and we each put in equal amounts of efforts. This is exactly what made my experience so fun in simulations.
For future economic students eager to do well I would suggest a few important things. The first being purchasing many machines, roughly four or five, and a variety of them. I learned that buying machines gives you the ability to produce a lot and if you have different machines you are able to adjust to the market demand of goods. For example, if there is a high demand for Macs you can fulfill this demand or if everyone is selling Macs and your company sells Lyons they are likely to sell. Secondly, I would suggest stockpiling raw materials and energy especially in the early rounds because they are at their lowest price and you will most likely need them in each round. If you have an immense amount you have the option of selling raw materials and energy to other companies at a higher price than you originally purchased them, earning a profit. Plus, raw materials and energy also contribute to your company’s worth. Lastly and probably most importantly, being punctual and consistent is the most important advice I have to offer. When you are dealing with strict deadlines looking at the seconds on a clock becomes very essential. Especially when you are trying to submit your advertisements to the Will World site, which will help boost your reputation points significantly, it is only a matters of seconds that you could lose your advertisement spot to another company. Our group learned the hard way when we failed to submit our advertisements on time, either too early or too late. Also, submitting your reputation points on time or early is very important as well. The difference a few second or minutes make in the simulation is outstanding and you do not want to learn it the hard way. Knowing this you should be able to capitalize on each opportunity and it will benefit your company extraordinarily.
A piece of advice I would recommend to future students would be to take full advantage of the good economic times. If that means borrowing, then do so. Once the economy has reached it’s peak, things aren’t always going to be as good as they were before.
In order to do well in the simulation, do not be afraid to borrow money during the first few rounds, especially because interest rates (and thus, borrowing costs) are low. It will allow you to expand your company and the resulting revenue will, without a doubt, surpass the value of your loan. Failure to expand will stifle your success as a company, consequently yielding poor results in the simulation. Although you cannot set your own prices you are guaranteed to sell everything in these rounds, so do not strain yourself in trying to limit your production. For the initial rounds you must be capable of producing both Macs and Lyons (owning both the Lyonator and Macazoid or a dual producer), to remain competitive in times where a certain market (Lyon or Mac) becomes unstable.
After the first few rounds, you will begin to be a price maker, meaning that you will get to price your own goods, but you are no longer guaranteed to sell everything. At this point, reputation points will be introduced to the game, and these points will decide how “popular” your products are. Be sure to gather as many reputation points as possible, as getting higher reputation points will allow you to sell more goods at higher prices (reputation points raise the demand for your company’s product). Reputation points directly affect your sales; your sales become your revenue and your revenue determines your profit.
Also, be sure to keep track of your own pricing and production decisions, so that you have an idea of what quantity and price would be the best for each market. Read and understand each of the Will World articles, so that you are knowledgeable of market trends; this knowledge will enhance your production and pricing decisions.
At some point, there will be new machines available– Macazoid Plus and Lyonator Extreme. It is very beneficial to buy these machines, as they will allow you sell differentiated products– Mac Pluses and Lyon Pluses. These products can be priced higher and their markets hold fewer competitors.
Finally, when making all decisions, be sure to apply what you have learned in economics class. Always keep in mind economic concepts such as opportunity costs and the profit maximization rule (Marginal Revenue=Marginal Cost at the Profit Maximization Point). These will help you make rational decisions and make you successful. Eventually you will participate in auctions against other teams; keeping the economic concepts in your head will prevent you from making the deadly mistake of overbidding. Keep a clear head and calculate your opportunity costs! How much worse-off will you be by having another team win the auction?
Be smart, cool and collected and you will rule the simulation!
Don’t hesitate to take out loans at the beginning of the simulation, for it is very important to get your hands on as many machines as you can. This way, you can maximize profit during the period where there is a 100% guarantee that all your products will be soldout One thing to look out for is not to produce only Macs or only Lyons. Having too much supply for one product will cause the product to have a lower price. As well, take what you think other groups will be making into account when deciding how much Lyons or Macs your group wants to produce. Good luck.
My advice to future economists who will run the Will Worlds simulation is to stockpile raw materials and energy when the prices are low! In the beginning of the simulation prices of raw materials and energy were $4-$5 per unit but by the end energy went up to $9 a unit!! We were too nervous and unsure and scared to stockpile resources. There are absolutely no repercussions in stockpiling resources and by producing goods for a lower price, you will make a higher profit! Remember to buy EQUAL AMOUNTS of raw materials from the different suppliers. Make sure that all the companies (Perfect Processing, Mighty Mines etc) have similar amounts remaining so the companies don’t collapse. Don’t be afraid to buy 200 or 300 extra units of raw materials or energy in the beginning of the simulation, trust me, Ms Cuttle WILL raise the prices! Remember, raw materials and energy count as your assets at market price by the end of the simulation, so if you have a lot left over, they will contribute to the overall worth of your company! In fact, you might even make money through stockpiling. If you stockpile 500 RM at $5 each (which is worth $2500) if the market price of RM is $8 per unit by the end of the simulation, those 500 Raw Materials will be worth $4000! The total worth of your company at the very end will determine what place you rank in the simulation. Ms Cuttle uses this equation to figure it out: Cuttlebucks + Investments + purchased machines x 80% + inventory x 40% + fuel units x market price + raw materials x market price. Do not take Will Worlds lightly! It counts for a (potentially) easy 15% of your grade. If you come in first place, you WILL get over 100% in the simulation! We came in 3rd and still ended up getting 102% Good luck! I know everyone in next semester’s economics class will be VERY competitive. STAY ON YOUR TOES.
Calculations are one of the most important processes in the Will Worlds simulation. After discussing about the decisions, groups have to use numbers to figure out whether or not it is a good idea. It’s difficult because there are a lot of different factors in Will Worlds. Before a new round of the simulation, groups will receive the results from the last round. It’s necessary to make a summary of last round (production levels, etc). Then, we must decide how best to use the money that we have. Purchasing new machines is very good idea. Also, companies need to purchase get raw material, energy and labour. When calculating, it’s not necessary to worry about over-purchasing the raw materials, energy and labour, simply because we still can use it next round. Do not try to invest a lot of money – because the interest is really low, the returns will not be worth it.For our group, we were scrambling to calculate the money that we needed to purchase enough raw materials and energy. At the beginning of the simulation, we didn’t know that energy and material could be saved up for the next round. We spent a lot time calculating how much of labour, energy, and raw materials we that needed to produce, and actually It wasted much of our time. We made an excel spreadsheet near the end of the simulation to calculate the costs of producing Macs and Lyons and that helped.
In order to succeed in Will Worlds, it is very important to keep up to date with the news, which Ms Cuttle posts up on the Will Worlds Words website. A good way of making sure you do not miss any of the new posts would be to first make a Twitter account. After that, make sure that your Twitter account is connected to your phone (you can do this by going to settings>mobile). The next step would be to follow the WillWorlds account on Twitter. Every time Ms Cuttle posts something new on the WillWorlds website, there will be a Tweet about it. All you have to do then, is to ensure that every time that the WillWorlds Twitter account has a new tweet, it will send a text message to your phone, thus alerting you about any new information regarding Will Worlds. This was highly useful because our group were the first ones that were alerted about any new news, and we were able to make decisions ahead of time.
In the Will World simulation, time is the key. We always finished one round in one class. There are a few steps every round: getting the result from last round, discussing spending how to use the money to get machines, energy, raw materials and labours, and making the decisions to produce how many products. For our group, we lost an important chance to get a machine (Pluses) to produce newer products. The reason that we lost was due to time. There were only two machines, and the first two groups that were able to purchase it, will get it. For us, the losing of the machines resulted lower profit than that of two groups. In addition, the Will Worlds simulation could change its game rules in order to have companies bid for machine instead of buying them in time.
4th Place Teams
4th Place Teams
A piece of advice I would give to next year’s economic students is to think of the long run and the big picture when making decisions. At first, it’s good to borrow lots of money to produce lots of goods since everything is guaranteed to sell. That way, your company can get a sizable lead over the other companies who didn’t expand early. It’s really hard for a smaller company to get even with a bigger company who is in a better condition (cash, reputation, etc) in every way, so make sure your company is the bigger one by expanding early!
Looking at the big picture is also very important. When you change your decisions, think about how it affects everything else. For example, if you decide to produce fewer products for some reason, you don’t need as many workers and excess workers you don’t fire are being paid to stand around! On the other hand, firing too many at once can make your firm look bad, so again, think of the long term and big picture so you don’t end up making drastic changes or going back to the drawing board!
Also, keep in mind that the simulation is a game but it’s also supposed to teach you things! When new units are learned in class, you can try to predict what parts can be applied to the simulation and plan accordingly! It’s also good to check MsCuttle’s sites regularly so you and your group could possibly get a heads up on roughly what may happen during the simulation in the near future. That way you’ll have an easier time planning what you might do next.
For future economics students who will do this simulation, it is important to take every round seriously and make sure you don’t miss any critical information. If you do, it is really hard to recover and you will get a low mark if other companies are way ahead of you. Before each simulation, check both the macnomics and Will World Words site the day before your simulation and discuss with your group what your plans and goals are.
With that being said, the first couple of rounds in the simulation are the most important. Make sure you mass produce and sell at a high price during these rounds and buy the advertisement package every round. In the first couple of rounds all your products get sold, however it is important to not expand too much because that will hurt your company in the future. You shouldn’t buy too many machines since you’ll need pollution credits in the later rounds to produce from your machines. Stack up on resources, most importantly energy, since the price for it increases rapidly in the later rounds. If you have any money left after all your requirements are complete for that round, make sure to invest it short term so that you will get a profit next round, which is better than your money just sitting there. Most importantly, make sure to always fill in the production form or else you don’t produce.
In terms of the competition with other companies, it is best to stay neutral. You don’t want to be the group that gets picked on like my group since no one will trade with you and everyone will go against you. On the other hand, don’t be close allies with another company since both your goals is to make the most profit(to have the highest company value at the end) and you don’t want to get tricked or make a bad trade for your company which your “ally” made it look beneficial for you.
Make sure that your group knows that this isn’t just a “fun” activity. It is an ISP worth 5% of your final mark and it is very easy to get a high mark in it(over 100%) but also very easy to get a low mark in it(50%-70%) like my group. Reputation points are extremely important and therefore always submit the answers for them before the deadline. If you don’t have good reputation, your products won’t get sold even if you sell at the lowest price. When bidding for machines and reputation points, do not overspend. It gets really competitive and exciting during the bidding process since it’s timed and in most cases people some companies overspend. Make sure that’s not your company.
If you’re not sure about something, you can ask Ms. Cuttle for advice. Again, the simulation is being marked on your total company value compared to other companies so make sure you’re not behind in revenue from other companies by a lot. If you’re, it is easiest to recover in the earlier rounds when most companies are still very equal. Don’t be scared to borrow money from cuttlebank if it’s really going to help you. I would recommend making a checklist to make sure every round the following are completed;
- production form
- reputation questions
- advertisement package
The Will World Words economy depends on each companies decision such as how much they spend for assets, therefore in every simulation, the economy should be different. However, checking Will World Words for graphs and news articles can allow each company to make predictions for the next round. Also check the dates when polls are being opened and closed and when the advertisement for the website should be sent.
If I have any advice for next year’s students it would be this. Advertise early on in the game because reputation is everything. Reputation was the main thing holding NyBA down since we didn’t get a head start on the advertising early on in the game when it was available. This was because we didn’t think that it was important at the time. However, advertising is everything. This cannot be stressed enough because the only reason that people nowadays know of big multinational franchises like McDonalds pr Subway is that they constantly advertise all the time. Advertising changes people’s preferences whether they realize it or not, you’re going to get hungry one day as a consumer and you’re going to see an ad for KFC and you’re going to go eat their, why? Well because you’ve just been shown an easy and convenient solution to your problem, the food in KFC is fast to prepare and tastes good. We as a corporation didn’t realize that advertising could change buyer’s preferences and therefore didn’t bother with it altogether but we ended up 4th as a company and even the fact that we ended up 4th as a company out of 6 companies was a close call, there had to have been a $500 difference at most
between 4th place and 6th place, the low companies who didn’t do well, namely NyBA were that close to coming in dead last. This goes to show that if you start out late in advertising then almost none of your stuff, sometimes nothing at all will sell, you will be forced to reduce the prices on your products in order to sell more of them. One other thing you should do is to make sure you take out loans in the beginning of the game, loans are very important to start up your business and make some much needed profit. If you also make up that money through the products that you sell you can then become profitable, seem like a worthy investment to the bank as a result, and get larger loan to help make you more profitable. The best thing in hindsight is to do both, both strategies can help you get a head start on others and become profitable, as long as you can pay down your loans which when you have the help of advertising and thus reputation as a result shouldn’t be too hard to do since you’ll also have a much easier time selling your products.
My advice would be allocate task to individuals according to strengths. Those who are good with mathematical calculations should be the ones that carryout all the calculations for , what to produce, what quantites to produce, and what price should be set at the beginning of each simulation. All group members should also take time to read on all of Ms Cuttle’s posts in Will World’s as they have a few tips on what produce and the market trends. My colleagues and I also found that advertisement is key. Our group started out very well but we failed to cease the opportunity to advertise our company. Groups must take collective action to cease every opportunity to advertise their company. It is absolutely vital that ecery individual knows what is happening at all times, as this reduces over dependence on individuals in the case of absenteeism
A piece of advice that i would give to groups doing the simulation in Economics class next semester would be to advertise for their company! Our company started off average and second place, but then we dropped to third and then fourth because we just did not think about advertising for the company. We didn’t realize that you could buy advertising other than the banner spaces on the Will World Words website and it hurt our reputation A LOT because none of the consumers knew who we were. The top groups also did some of the most advertising and almost always got the banners on the website, but even if you cant get your company logo on the website buy advertising from the advertising company that sells “tv” and “radio” ads, because reputation points count for a lot in the simulation and you want to make sure that your companies name is out there!
My advice would be, to spread your resources, do not only rush for sales. Large revenues do not mean large profits, and even if you get high profits, it is only a part of the whole point of the stimulation. Invest more into charity and advertisements, as it increases popularity of your company, and gives you more chance to sell Macs and Lyons. Do not buy too many machines, because at the end, you will not be able to use all of them due to the pollution credits. Another reason to not invest all your money into production is that the more you produce, the lower the price is. So in the end, you will not really have much as a return. So spread your resources, think extensively, try different strategies and you will achieve desired.
An important suggestion for future groups coming from the Bauwses is as follows : It is vital to get organized from day one to maximize your time. Right from the start, assign specific roles among group members. One person should be in charge of calculating expenses, one trustworthy person should primarily be in charge of making purchasing decisions, and the other members should be focusing on the time relevant activities. If only a couple people make most of the decisions, it will avoid conflict and wasting time arguing, to end up going with your initial decision anyway. Most rounds will have an activity that will need to be submitted by a strict deadline, so focus and time should be carefully managed. Overall, one class period per round is a short amount of time to make all the simulation decisions, so dividing the tasks early on is a very helpful and intelligent thing to do.
One very important piece of advice that I would give to any future group taking part in the simulation, would be to keep up with any new developments and important information updates about the changing economic conditions that are going on in Will Worlds via the Will Worlds blog. This may sound obvious too many, but as you advance deeper into the simulation, the amount of variables that you have to consider before making your production decisions increases dramatically and keeping on top of things soon becomes a challenge. Ms. Cuttle normally updates the Will Worlds website periodically, which gives groups ample time to read over any new information regarding changing economic conditions in Will Worlds so you can plan around that and make production decisions accordingly. This will also save you precious time in class on simulation days, time that you can use to post advertisements on the blog or do any last minute calculations.
5th Place Teams
The advice I would give to next year’s economic student is, communicate with your group members the night before the simulation and to make sure that not only 1 person shows up. It is not fair for that one person as well there is a lot of work to be done and a lot of thinking to be done during the rounds. It is too much for 1 person to handle. In order to succeed in this game the whole team must put in a good effort.
Attention all of next year’s simulation participants: the first two rounds are for expansion. And by expansion I mean buying more machines, more workers, and ramping up production. You don’t want to finish those two rounds with only one of each machine, with the minimum number of workers on each. While all the other companies expanded, we stayed more or less at the same size. So for the rest of the game, we were constantly behind the other companies in value, because we were producing less. The biggest lesson you should take away is this: don’t be conservative, especially not in the first two rounds: it’s practically impossible to fail then. Besides that, there are all the regular pieces of advice: do your homework (reputation point questions), keep updated on what the other groups are doing, and never underestimate the power of pollution credits.
Advice I would give future economics students is to start safe. I would recommend them to buy a supreme machine and produce roughly around the same amount of Macs and Lyons. Our group produced a 70-30 ratio in the first round and it really paid off. However, when we continued with a 70-30 ratio for the next rounds, we made some wrong decisions on what to sell. We made a bad decision in the second round and ever since then, everything went downhill. If we played it a bit safer by having a 50-50 ratio, 55-45 ratio, or a max of 60-40 ratio of Macs and Lyons, I feel like our group wouldn’t have had as big of a fall. I would also recommend groups to invest some of their money, because it accumulates with interest in the end. One other important thing is to advertise. I found that the most successful groups in our class had advertisement all over the will world website. Advertisements get your group reputation points, and those are important in the game. Make sure to complete all the little tasks given to boost up reputation points. Reputation points are an effective way to boost up your sales. Once your group has a decent cash flow, taking risks wouldn’t be as bad because there will be some back up money. In summary, I would recommend groups to play it safe the first few rounds and maybe get a little riskier later. I would also recommend them to complete the tasks given and to advertise as much as possible to gain reputation points. If done correctly, those things should lead your group to success.
At the beginning of the simulation, all the groups were allowed to take out a loan of $800. I highly recommend that all future groups do this because it gives you enough capital resources in order to purchase machines to produce Macs/Lyons and the resources to produce them (raw materials, energy and labour). Another suggestion is to not invest. This is because this game is rather short-lived (approximately 6-7 rounds) in which your goal is to accumulate the most amount of profit possible. Investing will not do so since the return you get is paltry. It’s pretty safe but won’t win you the game. Finally the best piece of advice is to advertise. Many ways to advertise include: renting spaces, hiring consultants, charity work, group assignments and etc. I highly recommend that you take part in all of this no matter how small or insignificant it may seem (especially the little tasks) it actually adds up and makes a difference in your group performance/sales.
6th Place Teams
The most important thing to remember is that in the end, it’s about your company’s worth. Take out loans early in the game, it’s always good to have money, and don’t worry about not being able to pay them back, you definitely will be able to. When making decisions, make sure to consult your group members and get different points of view and don’t have tunnel vision, there are always a lot of options. You also don’t have as much class time as you think so always make sure to read the articles the night before so that you know exactly what is going on in the market. It’s also good to keep your calculations so you don’t waste time on them every round. Last, but not least, never leave your money sitting in the bank, invest it, DO SOMETHING WITH IT.
– The first thing to keep in mind when participating in this very educational economic simulation is to watch out for trends. Decisions are supposed to be based on the current state of the economy. If you suspect that the economy is growing, do everything your company can to expand. Take your maximum loans; buy machinery and extensions, stock up on raw materials and energy, etc. In other words, keep on investing because the value of your investments will for sure be worth more in the upcoming rounds. The consumers will also be willing to spend their money on goods and services due to the effects of a growing economy rather than saving it up. There will be lower unemployment rates, better flow of money, etc. If you think the economy’s growth is slowing down, expanding your company might not be the best decision you can make. Adjusting your production to meet the demands of the consumers is the best way to minimize loss in these kinds of situations. These important decisions are based on the trends of the economy. Usually, the company starts out expanding and at the end it will be contracting. So watch out on those trends!
– Second, reputation and pricing is an important concept in this simulation. Build up your company reputation constantly. Too much of a good reputation can never be bad. A company with a good reputation can mean that you might have a good company image and corporate responsibility that positively affects how people think of your company. It could also mean that you have good marketing skills (through advertisements and press releases) that would make your brand known to the consumers. These major advantages can create substantial effects on your company’s performance. More people will buy your products because they trust your company more than the others. You could also price your products above average and still sell out. In other words, it makes your products a bit more inelastic. It basically gives you an edge. On the other hand, in case you don’t have a good reputation, be sure to be practical with your prices to be able to compete with the better reputed companies. So create the best company image/reputation that you can!
– Third, learn how to communicate with others; your own group mates, other players, and the government (Miss Cuttle). Communicating with your own group mates lets you integrate more ideas for your company as well as divide the work more evenly. Just like what they always say “two heads are better than one”. What more if you have four heads working efficiently at the same time? It also decreases the probability of a group mate being left behind with all the information that your company has gained throughout the rounds. Just like what happened to us when half of our group wasn’t present on a simulation day and major decisions were made. It resulted to a disaster because some group mates did not know what was currently going on. Communicating with other players in the game lets you create good relationships with them that can be really handy later one when you want to make deals. It can also help you gain knowledge on their tactics that your company could adapt to. Lastly, communicating with the government can let you negotiate or ask for advice with almost everything. Since the government runs the game, pitching in rational ideas and suggestions is always something to consider.
– Last but not the least, always be competitive but don’t forget to weigh your decisions’ pros and cons. In other words, remain rational throughout the game. This maximizes your efficiency and minimizes your chance of doing the wrong thing. It’s definitely a win-win situation. Good luck to you all!
Some advices for future simulation groups is to make sure your group works together, share each other’s opinion and listen with an open mind. Don’t let one or two people end up taking control over the whole group’s decision because your opinion and thoughts count. Always listen to everyone’s opinion first without judging so quickly and take the time to think if the decision you’re about to make, is really the best for the company. As for the money itself in the game, earn as much as you can at first because you’re gonna need it BADLY! As each round passes, inflation increases and every gets pricey, if you don’t have enough money you’re pretty much doomed. Taking out loans is a good idea to! Take out as much as you can because it’ll be helpful in your production and you can make more money if you have a lot of inventory stored up. Also make sure Ms. Cuttle adds the money your group earned in class activities, being short of even a couple thousand dollars makes a HUGE difference! With that money you would’ve made different and better choices to generate the most revenue you could’ve possibly made. Reputation points also has a big impact on your sales because if your company has low reputation points, you won’t be able to sell as much but if you claim the ad space on will world words, it helps.
The number one piece of advice I would give to next year’s economics students is try and be as involved in you group as possible. There is a lot more work and stress involved in the game then one might think and working together is the best way to get through it. Even if you have a limited understanding of the economic concepts, you should to your best to contribute and be involved in all decision making. There is such a large amount of work that leaving one or two group members with the majority of the work is never a good idea, even if they are more skilled at this type of work. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
I would also suggest that you stock pile as much energy and natural resources as possible because they see price inflation throughout the game. Later on the game having a plethora of natural resources and raw materials will give you a lot of leverage over companies who didn’t stock pile.
Lastly, you should never be afraid to borrow money especially early in the game. The more money you have at your disposal the easier it will be to expand your company. More likely than not the amount of profit you make investing borrowed money into your company, will be greater than the cost of paying interest.
And most importantly LIST TO MS.CUTTLE’S ADVICE!!
First of all, remember the game only lasts 8 rounds and 9 at most. While it is worth it to spend a lot in earlier rounds and take out loans to keep expanding, be sure to keep amount of debt in check so you have enough to both pay back loans and keep producing in later rounds. Assign people individual roles (tasks they are in charge of EVERY round) that they can focus on instead of everyone doing everything at once. This way, there will be no mistakes such as forgetting to buy materials or energy. Grouping with friends is good, but also remember to find people who will provide valuable advice and listen at the same time. Be sure to listen to other group members yourself as well; hesitate to criticize and fully understand another’s point before making your own. When things go wrong, take the fall as a group and work together to find the best way out. Unity is important. Don’t be afraid to work with other groups and/or making bold purchases, but always do the math (i.e. don’t spend more on machines than they will ever produce in revenue).
My advice to future economic students is that each person should thoroughly read and understand all articles posted by Ms. Cuttle. They are helpful when trying to make decisions based on current information. Also, if you read the information thoroughly and other companies don’t bother reading the articles, you may have a strategic advantage by knowing the market better. Also, attending every simulation is especially crucial. The simulation counts towards a large portion of your final grade, and having the thorough understanding of the simulation, the interventions used and economic behind each round will boost your mark quite a bit. Good luck!
One word of advice I would give for this project is to play it safe and produce quantities of both Macs and Lyons. That way if one of the goods drops in price and lowers your revenue drastically, you can rely on revenue from your other good. In this market whenever Macs prices are low, Lyon prices are high. There will be times that if you only produce one good and that goes down in price you will do very poorly that round. It would be most efficient in the long term to produce both just in case of any market failures.
Right off the bat, our economics group never started off strong and that badly impacted our company. You would think that it will be okay, because it’s still early into the stimulation and plus you will have more chances to improve. However that is not the case, if you starts off strong you will have more to gain on and also it will give you more flexibility when you fall short. If you started off weak not only will it make your company have less to work with but also less flexibility in the future if something happens. So always start off strong! Everyone in your group should contribute. The more people you have to work with the easier it gets. Also have a plan! Like dividing out the works, for example one person should do book keeping which is keeping track of what is happening during stimulation or another person should be in charge of the math and etc. Keep in touch with your group, if one person is lost and doesn’t know what to do you should update them until they are 100% sure of what is going on. There will always be a person in your group that doesn’t really know what is happening, instead of doing all the work, explain to them. The next stimulation not only will that person be updated and know what to do, they will also be optimistic to provide me work efficiency simply because they know what they are doing.