… and if you do what you love, it doesn’t feel like work at all
How many ways can you say “I love you?” For many people, keeping the romance alive doesn’t involve turning that gesture into a profit-making phenomenon that would take the world into an alternate universe. However, for Brooklynite software engineer, Josh Wardle, this very gesture became an international fad that saw him negotiating with the likes of The New York Times.
The Twitter platform was amass with grey, mustard and green blocks at the dawn of the year and this had a few people lost in the dark. The 20-block grid was a call to engage and a challenge to bibliophiles in the Anglophonic world. Developed as a gift to his wife who loves puzzles and crosswords, Wordle is a simple game that any interested puzzler could challenge themselves with. With the proliferation of grids across people’s timelines, the game rose to astronomical popularity quite quickly.
The game, which runs on guessing a single word a day, is all about vocabulary and knowing how many vowels and consonants can fit in a five letter word. Players get to guess based on vowel and consonant presence in a word, and then have to figure out where the letters go in a matter of four tries. Failure to decipher the word means you have to wait until the day’s end in order to find out what your fellow puzzlers may have figured out.
Following the game’s popularity on social media, Wardle was approached by The New York Times to gain access to – and ultimately, ownership of – the game. While the publication already had its own word search puzzle, it appeared that Wordle was an attractive enough a venture to pursue. According to New York Times writer, Alexis Benveniste, the deal garnered a sum in the “low seven figures”.
On why buying Wordle made sense, the New York Times Crossword editor, Will Shortz praised its simplicity and accessibility, adding: “It’s a great puzzle, and it doesn’t take long to play, which makes it perfect for our age when people have short attention spans.” Perhaps this is a sign for those wishing to invest in the creative sector that multiple avenues for profit and impact are opening up. This is another testament to the adage that if you do what you love, it doesn’t feel like work at all. Love wins at the end of the day.