Peter Guber Reviews Brian Solis’ Latest Book, What’s the Future of Business

Originally published on Amazon as an “Expert Review” by Peter Guber

While everyone’s talking about social media, professional motivation, or the need for change in business, people who are actually looking for answers to bring about change are left to draw upon the classic treatises of Peter Drucker, Dale Carnegie, Geoffrey Moore, Tom Peters, et al. Yet, what those pundits don’t provide is the “how to” shape your role and opportunity in this evolving landscape of consumerism. There’s an old saw, “technology changes, people don’t.” The tsunami of social, mobile, real-time, technology is disrupting everything; this means that for success one must make the change of how one influences. What changes is how people influence, are influenced, along with how, when and where they make decisions.

There is a plethora of material on the “new” tools and there is no need for another book that talks about the same businesses that are using new technology to pursue relevance. Nor do we need another book for dummies or wannabes. What is required are answers and experience paired with the concrete data that arms us with the confidence to make decisions with intelligence and strength in a time when many surrender to gut-based decisions or general assumptions.

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This is where Solis’s content is king: he’s a digital analyst studying technology and its impact on business. This is abundantly clear in the book, as he continually uses real world analytics to make his case that there’s a new generation of connected consumers (Generation C as he calls it) on the opportunity horizon that are behaving differently, yet the existing touch points (those typically aligned with the traditional funnel) are missing or underestimating them.

What is to appreciate here is Solis’s application of digital anthropology into a dialogue that’s often rooted only in technology and trends. What’s the Future (of Business), his “WTF”, will shape this discussion and its impact, adroitly breaking down consumer decision making to four moments of truth. He shows that these moments, whether b2b, b2c, or any industry where people rely on any aspect of the Internet to get information, create a new epicenter of influence. This “influence loop”, the moniker he gives it, claims to affect every moment of truth, rich with the shared experiences that populate Youtube, blogs, review sites, communities, and apps.

His point is crystal clear. What will happen in a world where a Google search is not the first step in discovery? What will be the reaction when a web site isn’t the result people desire? What will happen when people place greater trust on informed or experienced peers first? There is clearly a different kind of connection, and breathing real, shared experiences are everywhere. Truth is, they can be readily and easily discoverable. And, to SEO your way alone to be relevant will turn into SOS. That is the point.

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The core value in Solis’s book is its coaching on how to create and invest in meaningful and sharable experiences, and this is the future of business that Brian preaches by making the book an experience in and of itself.

I get this; he created a coffee table book for business by studying UX to better learn how today’s consumer reads, shares, and why. His congruence of feet, tongue, heart, and wallet all going in the same direction is proof of his authenticity, and promise of his premise. He fashioned with the team at Mekanism to create what he named an “analog app.” It’s textural, emotional, and colorful, even the paper is thick and unique to flip through.

He made a physical book matter again even in a digital era.

Solis professes that you can do this, and by following his code and credo, imagine what you can do…

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Photo Credit: Jim Alden, @techfrog

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ABOUT ME

Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. He is an avid keynote speaker and award-winning author who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation.

His most recent book, What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. In 2009, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.

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