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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to create a demand-creating culture
Many books published in recent years offer excellent advice on how to create and then sustain what I call a hyphenated culture: quality-driven, customer-driven, innovation-driven, results-driven, etc. The given objectives are eminently worthy and I have no quarrel with any of them, nor does Adrian Slywotzky. The fact remains, however, that an organization must have...
Published on September 28, 2011 by Robert Morris

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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Similar to Peter Drucker (both good and bad)
My opinions tend to mirror many of the other reviewers of this book. "Demand..." consists of a collection of stories about successful companies and lavishes praise on each company for their foresight. Author Adrian Slywotzky also fits each company into a specific narrative; be it eliminating obstacles (hassle-map), striking and emotional chord with customers (magnetic),...
Published on October 5, 2011 by Derek G


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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Similar to Peter Drucker (both good and bad), October 5, 2011
This review is from: Demand: Creating What People Love Before They Know They Want It (Hardcover)
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My opinions tend to mirror many of the other reviewers of this book. "Demand..." consists of a collection of stories about successful companies and lavishes praise on each company for their foresight. Author Adrian Slywotzky also fits each company into a specific narrative; be it eliminating obstacles (hassle-map), striking and emotional chord with customers (magnetic), or otherwise.

The hindsight of what made a particular company successful is largely the opinion of the author but who is he to say there weren't other additional factors which played a part? For instance, I doubt that eliminating hassles for traders alone was the secret to the success of the Bloomberg news service and trader terminals. Even the author attests there were many other factors such being more comprehensive and getting news and headlines faster than the competition. So was Bloomberg a success because they were they less of a hassle to use or because they were faster and more comprehensive? (Having used Bloomberg for years, I would argue the latter). In any case, it's hard to extrapolate a single formula to success as the author tries to do.

Because of this, I have the same problem with this book as I did with Drucker in the past. The stories of companies like Netflix, Bloomberg and Apple are interesting as the stories of FedEx and Toyota were when Peter Drucker was reporting on them in the 1980's. If you like reading success stories you'll enjoy this book. Whether the information will make your business a success is debatable.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to create a demand-creating culture, September 28, 2011
This review is from: Demand: Creating What People Love Before They Know They Want It (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Many books published in recent years offer excellent advice on how to create and then sustain what I call a hyphenated culture: quality-driven, customer-driven, innovation-driven, results-driven, etc. The given objectives are eminently worthy and I have no quarrel with any of them, nor does Adrian Slywotzky. The fact remains, however, that an organization must have compelling appeal to those on whom it depends for success: employees at all levels and in all areas with talent and skills as well as character and commitment who create great value for customers. That's precisely what Herb Kelleher always stressed when asked to explain the extraordinary success of Southwest Airlines: "We take great care of our people, our people take great care of our customers, and our customers then take great care of our shareholders."

Demand: Creating What People Love Before They Know They Want It is a "must read" for business leaders in organizations that are struggling to answer any/all of questions such as these:

o "How can we get our customers to buy more of what we sell?"
o "How can we convince more of our competition's customers to buy from us?"
o "How can we convert fence-sitters into buyers of what we sell?"
o "How can we attract, hire, and then retain the people who will create the greatest value for our customers?"
o "Meanwhile, what must we do each day to improve the quality of life in our workplace and increase the appeal of what we produce there?"

In each instance, the challenge is to create and then sustain demand.

Whatever its size and nature may be, every organization must be led by what Slywotzky characterizes as "demand creators," people who "spend all of their time trying to understand [begin italics] people [end italics]...They try to understand our aspirations, what we need, what we hate, what gives us emotional charge - and, most important, what we might really love...They seem to know what we want even before we do. They wind up creating things people can't resist and competitors can't copy. Yet they almost never succeed on the first try...These demand creators recognize the huge gaps between what people buy and what they really want - and they use those gaps as the springboard for a process of reimagination that you might call the demand way of thinking."

There are hundreds (thousands?) of books now on sale that offer advice on how to increase sales, how to market with "a bigger bang for the buck," how to improve customer relations, etc. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first book - certainly one that is most cohesive, comprehensive, and cost-effective - to explain "how to create what people love before they know they want it." Dozens of real-world examples are provided to illustrate key points. They also suggest all manner of practical applications. It should also be noted that the wealth of information, insights, and recommendations that Slywotzky provides are relevant to almost any organization, whatever its size and nature may be. Moreover, after reading and then (preferably) re-reading this book, almost anyone can become a highly effective demand creator.

As Slywotzky explains, "Demand creators have a hidden advantage. Many of their rivals are `anti-demand' organizations - organized in disconnected silos. Focused on meeting yesterday's demand, and often remarkably immune to the signals that customer behavior is trying to send us...Great demand creators are special, in part, because they understand that the things we buy and the things we actually [begin italics] want [end italics] aren't always the same...[begin italics] Great demand creators eliminate or reduce the hassles that make most [products and services inconvenient, costly, unpleasant, and frustrating [end italics]." With relatively minor modifications, these attributes of demand thinking insofar as marketing and customer relationships are concerned could also be said of recruiting, hiring, and training the talent needed as well as of creating what Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba characterize as "customer evangelists." It is no coincidence that employees of the most highly admired organizations, "the best to work for," are also their evangelists and refer to themselves as such.

Adrian Slywotzky has written a book in which all this is explained so well that the reader is well-prepared to become an effective demand creator. Then, after reading this book, I think that one of the first tasks at hand is to convince one's associates to develop a sense of urgency about knowing whatever is required to help create "what people love before they know they want it." Demand creators cannot do that alone. They build and excite great teams that effectively reach thousands or millions of customers. And by doing so, they seem to have a lot more fun in their business than many of their rivals do. Meanwhile, highly-valued workers do not leave; on the contrary, they are among the primary reasons why other peak performers and high potentials are eager to work with them.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVE THIS BOOK!, October 17, 2011
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This review is from: Demand: Creating What People Love Before They Know They Want It (Hardcover)
I LOVE THIS BOOK! Never in a million years did I think that I'd be so captivated by a Business Book.

But is it a business book?

Who cares!

I was RIVETED by the unique storytelling of the histories of systems that are so integral to our lives - Netflix, Zipcar, Teach for America - as well as those that should be - CareMore, Symphony Concerts, Tetrapak. (I'm desperate to keep a brick of milk in the cabinet so that I never again have a breakfast crisis - for what is coffee and cereal without milk?)

Reading Demand has given me a new perspective on the world around me. I am a more informed and engaged citizen of the world. Thank you, Demand!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Truly an Innovator's Book, September 29, 2011
By 
Jon J. Cardwell (Anniston, Alabama) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Demand: Creating What People Love Before They Know They Want It (Hardcover)
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This is truly an innovator's book. If you are looking for bullet point directives or the ABC's of sales, marketing or invention, this book may disappoint. The very nature of its subject prevents such a simplistic "how to" as a method to harvest results. It is very positive in its expression of ideas, providing a very enthusiastic motivation for one who is innovative (that is, for someone who innovates from the truest and fullest sense of the word: one who makes, provides, or implements changes, novelties, or something new). If you just have many great ideas that would make life convenient, and you are looking for a way to get those ideas out there, this book isn't for you.

Although a book like is not my typical read, the title intrigued me. As a Baptist pastor whose perspective is rather of the Reformed/Calvinistic/Puritanical perspective, I was interested in what a secular marketing guru had to say of "meeting a demand" before there is one, in hopes that it might give me some insights into what many churches are trying to do these days by implementing sales and marketing techniques. I read this out of pure research on my part, but had enjoyed the read. I liked it, but wouldn't have put it on my list as a "must have" book were it not for the Amazon Vine program.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Fascinating!, October 13, 2011
This review is from: Demand: Creating What People Love Before They Know They Want It (Hardcover)
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I picked up this book hoping to find a few tidbits here and there to improve our Children's Ministry program at church. I didn't expect such a gripping tale from a business book. The stories in this book were so interesting -- from the history of Netflix, the Kindle, Pixar, and even the Nespresso. The writing was captivating, the content was great, and I really enjoyed reading it. I found myself talking to other people about it on almost a daily basis while I was still reading it. I could see this being helpful in an number of different fields, not just business.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boosting Revenues in Difficult Times, October 16, 2011
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This review is from: Demand: Creating What People Love Before They Know They Want It (Hardcover)
In "Demand", Adrian Slywotzky dissects the elements that turn a regular offering into an irresistible one.

Every business owners is familiar with a breakout of customers - some love the product and recommend to others, some buy but never say much, some try and don't buy, and some just don't bother. A 10-15% swing in proportions can have a significant impact on your business. So, how do you change those ratios?

Through telling stories about many modern day successes, Slywotzky breaks down many of the elements that contribute to that desired shift. Understanding the major purchasing triggers, building the correct "backstory", and establishing a successful trajectory are but a few of the levers to be pulled to increase the magnetism of your product/service such that you get your customers down off that fence.

This is not a "5-step" process manual - specific steps are precluded by the richness and complexity of the topic. But what you will find are stories that cause you to think about your own business, and in the process lead you to successfully identify ways to drive increased demand and profits.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book about Creating Demand, September 13, 2011
By 
Bayou Jenny (west monroe, la) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Demand: Creating What People Love Before They Know They Want It (Hardcover)
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This book sucked me in from the get-go. I love reading books about successful businesses and this one is at the top of my list. The book explores why some products go viral while others do not. Many people call this the X factor, but the book leaves you wondering if it can be duplicated.

The only thing that I would like to see more of in the book is some instruction as to how you can create a viral product of your own. It's very inspiring to read case studies, however without the instruction, the book leaves you wanting more.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who wishes to create their own product.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthwhile read, October 16, 2011
By 
monkuboy (Temple City, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Demand: Creating What People Love Before They Know They Want It (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
A few reviewers have criticized this book for not being practical - that while it gives many examples of successful organizations and how they managed to create demand for their products, it does not provide a roadmap for people on how to do it themselves. Well now, that's the million (or billion) dollar question now, isn't it? And if there was such an answer, everyone would be doing it. This book is not for people who are looking for that roadmap, a list of numbered steps to follow.

The author does present key points. He does this within a lot of examples of successful companies. I enjoyed reading these examples and there was plenty of food for thought on which to chew (so to speak). What this book seems to be designed to do is to get the reader thinking about his or her own situation and what factors are relevant to creating demand - creating what people love. Now perhaps the full title is a bit misleading because it says "creating what people love before they know they want it." I don't think that is entirely true.. we've all had our wishes. I think it is better stated, "how to make people realize what you have is what they want." One of the things mentioned in the book is the "Hassle Map." People don't want to be hassled. They don't want to have to put up with a bunch of inconveniences to get what they want - the key is to make them recognize your product offers the solution for them. They already want it, but they don't always see that you offer it; the key is to make them see.

This is a book to read leisurely, and digest the various points that are brought up within the company examples that are presented. It's not a textbook that sets forth a list of steps to memorize or follow, but rather a text that is there for the reader to apply to his or her particular situation and see what fits, and to get ideas from. Personally I like the idea of illustrating points with real-life examples and to me that is really the most practical way to teach a subject like this, instead of saying if A do B, or follow steps 1,2 and 3.

If the title interests you, I would recommend that you read the book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What it really means to be an entrepreneur, October 24, 2011
By 
Bill (Massachusetts) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Demand: Creating What People Love Before They Know They Want It (Hardcover)
Through a series of engrossing anecdotes, Slywotzky teases out the factors common to creating customer demand for a new offering. It is not a "how to" manual, but it puts you in the shoes of entrepreneurs trying to develop customer demand in both startup and corporate environments.

"If you find a problem, you can create a business" is a core idea. Slywotzky describes how opportunities evolve out of an objective of eliminating customer hassles large and small. But it is seldom a straight path to success, and the book brings alive the continued focus on customer behavior, the continued iteration to improve the offering, and the shear persistence required to create a business around the idea.

There are several themes in the book that can be helpful in remembering the learnings from the case studies it develops, but I think that the book's primary value is in providing a context and mindset around the challenges of demand creation. It is a must read for any team that working on this challenge.

Although not the focus of the book, it should be a must read among economic policy makers as well. Demand creation is fundamental to creating economic growth, but Slywotzky illustrates clearly that it seldom lends itself to a "quick fix". It requires sustained commitment over a period of a decade or more in many cases--and economic incentives to encourage demand creation will need to reflect this.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Explains A Good Deal About Behavior, October 16, 2011
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This review is from: Demand: Creating What People Love Before They Know They Want It (Hardcover)
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This book would have earned a five star rating from me simply by having done one thing. It crystallized in my mind why I, who has made a good living from MS/PC-DOS, Windows and UNIX, is part of a nuclear family which is all Apple save one Win 7/64 box stuck over in the corner. The reason is that we enjoy the hassle-free operations that Apple products offer in lieu of the hassle-bound world of 'other' which has provided us the money to buy Apple. I'm sure I've offended a few by those remarks but that's the fact of the matter and well explained in this book.

Essentially this is a business case book with analysis of how successful companies and products wowed the world while, in many cases, functionally similar or even identical products or companies failed. A major area where this book elevates beyond the golly gee whiz sort of 'get quick rich' sorts of summary analysis books is that it takes the analysis seriously. Time and again the book shows that getting from start to success took people a long time and they made numerous errors on the way. Also the break out successes had to be timed rightly. Zipcar, one of the cases studied, demanded not only population density but several solid technology infrastructures for it to work. It is a growing success today (after a very rocky start where it had to shed its visionary founder) but it couldn't have been, in, say, 1988 due to that infrastructure lack.

As with all business oriented books which are case studies, it seems, some of the success stories look a bit rusty by the time the book is published. A good example is one of the most studied company: Netflix, which has gone in a few months of publication from a wunderkind to having a good deal of egg on its face. The founder is even quoted in the book saying Netflix will be all streaming in 2011. Well, think again, Mr. Hastings. Then again, if you read the book carefully, you'll see that even in the word of Netflix founder Hastings, his recent move which lost so many subscribers violated one of his own rules for success. He should have listened to himself.

Personally speaking, I enjoyed the case studies of the companies I with which I was familiar such as Amazon and Netflix while I found interesting but a good deal less engaging discussions of companies I'd never heard of such as Wegmans or Pret A Manger. However, certain other companies, such as CareMore which likewise I'd never heard of, were outlined so well that I found myself riveted by their stories. For example, CareMore has grown prosperous by providing more plentiful and better medical care to its Medicare only customer base. Imagine a managed care company which cut its costs 20% not by denying care, but enhancing it. Hey - Mr. Politician - you reading this? You better.

The book does cite some successes vs. less successes or failures but without explanation. For example, it gives as a success Google search where Yahoo search is an also ran but no analysis of why lay folks consider Google cool as McQueen while Yahoo cold as yesterday.

The final part of the book is a good exposition on where innovation and demand should come from in the future and the challenges we as a nation and a world face in creating needed product or service which will be accepted by those who now don't know they will demand that product. Overall a great and fascinating read well above the usual dry business case studies. Highly recommended.
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Demand: Creating What People Love Before They Know They Want It
Demand: Creating What People Love Before They Know They Want It by Adrian J. Slywotzky (Hardcover - October 4, 2011)
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