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What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences Hardcover – March 11, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Featured Review by Peter Gruber, author of Tell to Win

Peter Gruber
Peter Gruber

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.

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.

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. He professes that you can do this, and by following his code and credo, imagine what you can do...

From the Inside Flap

The volume of emerging technologies can overwhelm the best of us. Yet it's impacting business and society alike. In recent years, many top Fortune 500 companies have slipped out of contention as their business models failed to keep up in these turbulent times. Survival requires constantly adapting as your customers' behavior changes. You need new systems, processes, and intentions in place to recognize disruption as it happens, assess new opportunities, and quickly test new ideas.

Is your company equipped to change with your customers? Is it ready and able to create meaningful experiences that keep them hooked? If not, it's time to recognize how customers are not only changing but also how they're sharing experiences about you and your competition. This is where real transformation begins.

What's the Future of Business? is not a question—it's an answer. It explains how experience design helps your business and how you can harness its power for business growth. This book introduces a new movement that aligns the tenets of user experience with innovation and leadership to improve business performance, engagement, and relationships for a new generation of consumerism. What's the Future will also inspire you to rethink your business models, approach, and customer and employee relationships in order to create amazing, real-world experiences.

You'll learn:

  • Why experiences matter to your business
  • Why the future of business will come down to these shared experiences
  • The importance of brand in an era of Digital Darwinism
  • How to marry user and customer experience with business leadership
  • Why today's designs (and thinking) are failing
  • How to design experiences around the four Moments of Truth

What's the Future of Business? teaches you how to start creating and nurturing incredible and shareable experiences for your customers from the moment your brand touches them. Learn how to craft experiences that mean something. The future of your business depends on it.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (March 11, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 111845653X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118456538
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.7 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #155,442 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research-based business advisory firm in San Francisco. Solis is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. A digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging media on business, marketing, publishing, and culture. His new book, The End Of Business As Usual, looks at the changing consumer landscape, it's impact on business & what companies can do to adapt & lead. Solis' previous book, Engage, is regarded as the industry reference guide to build and measure success in the social web.

Briansolis.com is one the world's most read and linked to business and marketing blogs in the world.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Tom De Baere on July 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Brian Solis is a thought leader, as he is hailed by many. And that might be very well the case. That's also actually what triggered me in buying the Kindle version of his lates book "What's the future of Business".

The book is all about the customer experience. But I had a bad customer experience reading this book. The book does tough upon some interesting questions, but when you think Brian is going to give some real answers, he keeps writing pages and pages about, well, I can't remember. It just keeps repeating the same stuff on some ivory tower level, while never really giving concrete answers.

It just didn't stick.

In the end of the book, there's a case about Burberry. According to Brian, from an interview with the an exec from Burberry, they have really managed to align all channels, on and offline, to provide the same customer experience. Unfortunately they do not tell how.

And I guess that sums up the book. Sorry Brian, I know you musth have put a lot of work in this book, and I am sure lot's of people will enjoy this one. This book is probably not my type of book.

Tom
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Faulhaber on March 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This book is not the traditional business book. First, the size of the book is wildly different; it resembles a photo or coffee table type book. Second, the inside of the book offers a different look and feel than most business books.

Lastly, the ideas presented are fresh and new that "aligns the tenets of user experience with innovation and leadership to improve business performance, engagement, and relationships for a new generation of consumerism."

A few of the major concepts Solis addresses include:

* Listening and responding to the voice of the empowered customer.
* One of the catalysts for change includes disruptive technology.
* The great myth of implementing technology to bring a business into the 21st Century.
* The many moments of truth for today's competitive business including the zero moment of truth, the first moment of truth and the ultimate moment of truth.
* Ten priorities for business transformation.
* The four stages of change including inception, tribulation, transformation and realization.
* Branding is more important than ever as is building brand empathy.
* The six pillars of social commerce.

Take Notice Features of the Book

There are many features of this book that really stand out. Again the size of the book will surprise readers, the content is straight-to-the-point without adding a lot of unnecessary reading and the book is colorful and contains many meaningful graphics.

The author introduces relevant but surprising facts that will certainly enlighten readers. One that especially stands out about today's consumer expectations, "They not only expect better experiences, they believe they are entitled to them.
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Format: Hardcover
First, an introduction to Brian Solis who is principal at Altimeter Group, a research firm focused on disruptive technology. A digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging technology on business, marketing, and culture. Solis is also globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. His new book, What's the Future of Business (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold and flourish 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. Prior to End of Business, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.

The subtitle of his latest book, "Changing the way businesses create experiences," could be rephrased as "Changing the way businesses stay in business" because, since the ancient markets in Athens and Rome, then and now, the challenge is to create or increase demand for whatever is offered for sale or in trade.

Moreover, I cannot recall a prior time when customers had greater power and there are numerous reasons to explain that. Here are three: they have more choices when making a purchase (including passing), they have more and better information about their options, and -- as Solis explains brilliantly in [What's the Future of Business?], they expect the purchase to be a multi-sensory experience. This last point is especially relevant to another reason for their empowerment: Customers have the attention span of a Strobe light blink.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Shannon Clark on March 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
TLDR review - even more so than Brian's longer, more academic books, this is a fantastic book about the emergence of the primacy of experience and the rise of a new, always connected consumer. CEO's, CMO's, CIO's and in fact leaders and marketers at all sizes of companies should experience this book - in print if possible - and come away inspired to have their own Hero's Journey (and rethink the experiences they craft for their businesses).

Longer Review and disclosures.

First the disclosure - Brian Solis is a friend - he was invited to my wedding and I've known him for years since I moved to the Bay Area. That said, I pre-ordered the book and bought it myself. But as with so much in business at all levels the personal friendship certainly helped drive his book to the top of my "to-read" (and to review) stack and I was pre-disposed to like it. Furthermore as I know many of his co-workers at Altimeter Group and we have many other mutual friends much of what he is writing about in this book is among the stuff we talk about when we get together (yup, we're all business/marketing/futurism/tech geeks and nerds at heart).

A few weeks ago I joined a new startup as their Director of Marketing. We are a tiny company (I'm the first actual hire) but even as small as we are there were many insights and reminders in What's the Future the reminded me of important things we as a company and especially I in the context of marketing our firm need to keep in mind going forward. First and foremost that we have to think about the whole experience of our product - from awareness of the product to getting the product to using it to sharing it with others.

I am also a writer myself and a fan of the physical design of things - especially books.
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