Archive for April, 2013

What’s The Future of Business – A Commentary

Are you interested in where business is headed and how to prepare the future. You may want to consider Brian Solis newest book “What’s The Future of Business”.

My initial disclaimer is that I have been impressed with Brian Solis since we first connected two years ago, so a natural bias is implied. His perspective on the future of the marketplace extends well beyond that of most of the business experts writing today. I recently tweeted  “@BrianSolis is the @Tom_Peters of the future of (social) business #WTFofBusiness.  His prophecies are based on sound logic and an exceptional understanding of social media.

I read the book and then immediately read it again. For me it took two readings just to (partially) understand the import of the book. I considered writing a multiple part commentary here in order to give you the essence of the book, but decided it would be best to tell you what my impressions are and let you read it for yourself.

Before you even get into the book, you are struck immediately by the design. It is square. The Table of Contents lists seventeen chapters (not including the surprise at the end). Each chapter header has a list of 17 bullet points and an arrow at the particular chapter you are reading. On a separate page is a relevant quotation that matches the chapter theme. Solis believes that design is a critical part of future communication.

The book walks the reader step by step through a process of learning how to (try to) understand today’s empowered customer. The objective is to understand the “experience” that your customer expects to have with you.

Solis breaks the customers into Generations (age categories) but focuses on Gen C (the “connected” customer).  Gen C is primarily made up of Gen Y’s (millennial born between 1980 and 2000) who will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, but may also include boomers and matures (that’s me). The differentiator is how they connect and includes those who have crossed over to the digital divide. How they connect effects how you create their experience.

Most analysts agree that customers often go through 60-70% of the sales cycle before connecting with a salesperson. He personifies this process as the dynamic customer journey and helps us understand the buying process from the perspective of the customer. One of the most interesting chapters is a discussion of the psychology of social commerce.

As he leads us through the process of why the user experience is critical to customer relationships, he offers guidance on how to work through the path to understanding.  This is hard work and he makes no bones about it. He also makes no bones about how important it is for you and your company to understand where the customer is headed. He discusses how lack of innovation destroyed many companies that were household names only years ago.

If you are involved in business, I believe you will find a this book an excellent resource for managing your way through the evolution of Digital Darwinism. I also believe you will find value in connecting with and following Brian Solis on any social media platform you use. You can connect with him initially through his website http://www.briansolis.com/

I hope you enjoy the book and the journey into the future of business. I highly recommend it.

Thoughtfully yours

Todd