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11 Rules for Creating Value In #SocialEra Paperback – September 12, 2012
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About the Author
$18 billion dollars. Nilofer Merchant has personally launched more than 100 products that netted this astounding amount. It’s this kind of leadership and business models – the type that results in innovation, and growth - that she now shares. Merchant works with teams to create enduring advantage. From working with Steve Jobs at Apple, to defeating Microsoft in an epic industry battle, to advising the C-Suites of GE, IBM, Logitech and more, Merchant brings a world-class pedigree to her work. Fast Company recognized her most recent book, 11 Rules for Creating Value in the Social Era – a Harvard Press book, as a Best Business Book of 2012. Her earlier book, The New How, on collaboration has been widely recognized as one of the best to show how to close the proverbial AirSandwich gap between strategy and execution. You’ve probably seen her byline and ideas in publications like the Harvard Business Review, Wired, and Oprah. A TED speaker, she shares the stage with luminaries regularly, including Malcolm Gladwell, and Bono (yes, THAT Bono). Merchant lives in Silicon Valley where she has worked for over 25 years. She's at work on her next book. You can find her sharing and thinking aloud at Nilofermerchant.com. Or at @nilofer.
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I know and respect Nilofer, so take that into account. On the other hand, if you read this review and hate the book, that reflects on me, and I'm very well aware of that as well. These are some of the issues that arise when you start taking social into account. It's not straightforward, and the book provides a useful roadmap for navigating some of these issues. It also includes a number of very practical exercises that you can work through to apply the ideas that are discussed.
If you're grappling with the implications of the increase in the interconnectedness that is driven by the internet, then this book is essential reading.
One of her most powerful concepts, at least to me, is "Onlyness". It implies a sense of value and contribution by and for each human being - something that was lost in the 20th C. Nilofer balances the needs and importance of the aggregate with the individual - an imperative in this social era.
If you want understand, leverage and contribute to the social era, then please read Nilofer's book. It doesn't matter if you're in the C-Suite, the plant floor, the soccer mom, the government worker - as long as you're a human being living on this planet, there will be something for you. And, as you progress on your journey of finding and providing value in this new era, you'll want to reread 11 Rules for Creating Value in the Social Era".
I think Nilofer Merchant may have discovered the root cause. Apple people and Google people and Microsoft people have not bought these vendor's products; they've bought their vision. In 11 Rules for Creating Value in the #SocialEra, Nilofer Merchant writes:
The social object that unites people isn't a company or a product; the social object that unites people is a shared value or purpose. Purpose is a better motivator than money. Money, while necessary, motivates neither the best people not the best in people. Purpose does.
This is true for your employees and it's equally true for your customers.
Apple's value is elegant, seamless solutions. They've chosen to do it in a relatively "closed" way, which is what annoys the Anti-Apple people. Apple products don't do everything but what they do, they typically do well. Google products, by comparison, are "open" and that's great. But it also means that apps look different from one another and integrate with different levels of elegance. Microsoft products have never claimed to be elegant; they're workhorses. Business runs on Microsoft. You know sharepoint is a mess but you also know it'll be supported in the years to come. You and your IT folks may explore alternatives but, in the back of your minds, there's always this idea that Microsoft will still be there and maybe your alternative won't.
Brand loyalty comes from this shared purpose between vendor and client.