Nick Johnson from Brooklyn became the first “Pokemon Go” player to “catch them all” and complete the North American Pokedex! Learn more about how he did it!
He revealed in an exclusive interview how he happened to come across the game and the moment he knew that it is actually possible to have the complete collection (minus the 6 legendary Pokemon, of course). Also, find out why Snorlax is his favorite Pokemon!
1) How old are you?
2) What do you do?
I am Head of Platform at Applico, a company that provides technology services and advisory to startups and Fortune 500 companies to help them build and scale platform businesses. I am also the co-author of the recently released book Modern Monopolies, an Amazon #1 best seller.
3) How did you come across “Pokemon Go”?
I was a huge pokemon fan as a child. I caught ‘em all in gen 1 (on both red and blue, each) and used to pit my pokemon in battles against friends around my neighborhood. At one point we even created a pokemon league…
4) Which aspect of the game attracted you the most?
It’s Pokemon! I gotta catch em all. That and the social aspect of the game, in real life. It was incredible to meet so many other interesting people while playing this game. That was one of the most fun parts and a big part of what kept me going through pretty long hours.
5) Did you have a deadline in mind for catching them all when you started playing “Pokemon Go”?
I didn’t. I figured this would take months at least. But once I reached about 135, I decided to go for it.
6) When did you find yourself getting addicted to the game?
No, it’s certainly addictive, but I even took a few nights off to hang out with my girlfriend in the last couple of weeks, in addition to working 50+ hour weeks.
In fact, my interest in Pokemon Go was actually related to my work at Applico. Applico works with lots of platform companies (which includes social gaming platforms) and I’m very interested and involved with how these platforms work, what makes them tick, etc.(I even co-authored a book about it!) So my big attraction to the game was looking at how it worked, understanding the underlying mechanics of things like spawn points, mapping, and how players interacted with each other, and thinking about how to translate that into the work we do with our clients.
7) What were some of the challenges that you faced while playing the game?
The biggest challenge was finding some of the rarest pokemon. Luckily I had my fellow trainers who helped me out with tips on where to find them. I never would have made it without their help!
8) What is your most cherished Pokemon capture and why?
My Snorlax (Nicknamed “Marshmallow”). Because 1) come on, it’s Snorlax 2) I nicknamed one of my dogs Marshmallow…and he’s totally a Snorlax in real life.
9) Do you think playing “Pokemon Go” has health benefits?
Absolutely. One of the reasons I found the game so attractive was that it’s a very convenient excuse to exercise. I think Pokemon Go is doing what lots of wearable devices have tried to do for years, but with much less success: make exercising fun!
10) Is it correct that you are more inclined towards “Team Valor” on “Pokemon Go”? Why?
I did choose team valor because I liked the color. That’s it. The inter-team rivalry is fun but kind of funny given that most probably choose more or less at random.
11) So many “Pokemon Go” players are putting their lives in danger by being reckless. Do you think the craze has gone too far?
I don’t think anyone should put their life at risk for this or any other game. That said, when you have tens of millions of people playing and a huge spotlight on the game, there are bound to be a few crazy stories that come out. I can tell you that these stories don’t reflect the vast majority of people playing this game. I’ve met hundreds and hundreds of people, all of whom are kind, generous, sociable, and lots of fun! The game is really changing how people interact with each other and bringing people together. This is technology at its best.
12) Care to share some tips for the aspiring Pokemon Trainers out there?
Talk to your fellow trainers. They are your best resource! The best part of the game is meeting other people who you never would have had the chance to interact with before.
13) How does it feel to be the first one to “catch them all”?
It’s kind of crazy. It’s been a lot of fun, and I never thought I’d be the first one to get here. I’m really thankful for all the fellow trainers that helped me along the way. I never would have been the first one without some very helpful tips from them. The community around this game, especially in NYC, is just incredible.
14) Would you consider visiting other parts of the world to complete your Pokemon collection? To get the legendary Pokemon, we mean?
Yes, there are actually three pokemon that are region-specific that I don’t have, as they aren’t available in the U.S. I’m looking for a travel company to partner with to help me travel to catch these remaining Pokemon!
15) So “Pokemon Go” is done (for now). What’s next for you?
Pokemon Go is never done. To catch them was my real test, but to train them is my cause.
Jokes aside, I’m continuing to channel my master-level energies into Applico and helping translate all the lessons I’ve learned from Pokemon Go into the work we do with our clients. I want to help each of them catch ‘em all in their respective fields!
16) Will you get the Pokemon Go Plus when you already have all the Pokemon?
I’m definitely considering it. Not having to keep the app open the whole time would be much better for my battery.
Nick Johnson’s amazing achievement has shocked most “Pokemon Go” players around the globe. However, this just goes to show that even the impossible can be accomplished with enough determination.
We at MNU, wish Nick all the best for all his future endeavors and hope that his finds a sponsor soon who helps him travel to other parts of the world to catch the remaining Pokemons!
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