From the Inside Flap
Chief, DiMassimo Goldstein
I've spent my career working with prophets.
A couple of decades ago, in the 20th Century, I founded a brand and business-building agency with the express purpose of working side-by-side with them. I said we'd have a mission to, "Inspire Greatness."
The prophet represented that greatness, concentrated.
I had been a serial entrepreneur and an award winning creative director. I knew that my work, my career and my life would only be as great as the people with whom I got to work. I wanted to work with greatness! I would earn my place doing everything in my power to inspire these leaders.
When I was a kid, living in Edison, New Jersey, visiting Edison's laboratory, seeing the framed patents from my Dad's engineering work crowd the walls of our living room, childhood was a constant Socratic seminar in the ways technology alters the future.
But technologists like my Dad were only minor heroes in my father's stories. The true hero was always the prophet.
Jack Welch was the prophet who built General Electric to the very pinnacle of global public companies and made my Dad's career possible. Even in retirement, Dad's habit of investing in prophets has served him well. Steve Jobs, he explained, combined those rare abilities of understanding what the technology would make possible, appreciating what the consumer would love, and knowing how to lead an organization through the needle's eye and ship at the right time. Jeff Bezos was another of my father's discoveries. My stock accounts have benefited from my father's nose for prophets.
I've tended to think of these leaders as "business artists," and "master change agents," and I chased them throughout my career and as my agency grew. As a result, I've been able to participate in many firsts. The first social network, for example, the first auction website, the first online banking account, the first electronic trading app, the first multi-channel direct technology company, the first no-fee credit card, the first company to deliver from the internet to your door, the first online movie and video entertainment site, the first global meal-kit delivery company, and many more.
Working with founders, growth leaders and turnaround masters is the best education money can't buy. Getting to be on the tight team that orchestrated the dramatic turnaround of Weight Watchers over the past few years has been yet another degree.
You'll read about Weight Watchers in this wonderful book.
My world of building brands and businesses has changed dramatically over the past decade, and no one understands why or what to do about it better than Tony and Betsy.
There was a time, not so long ago, when products were commodities differentiated by their advertising.
Back then, the most important thing that separated Campbell's Soup, for example, from the many soups of lesser market share, was the brand. And the brand was built by the advertising, year in and year out over decades.
That world is over. Many large agencies don't know it yet, but their shareholders do.
Today, customer reviews are ubiquitous. Today, your prospects are connected to your customers through social networks and the global web.
Yesterday, the advertising ruled. Today the experience rules.
As in this and all things, working along-side the prophets has served me well.
They always did, rather than just said, inspiring things.
They always built organizations with purpose and culture.
They always put a winning experience first.
More than twenty years ago, I had already learned from them that word-of-mouth truly was the best form of advertising.
Then, to be truthful, it was the exception, whereas today it is the rule.
Tony and Betsy not only understand the rule, they understand it with a depth and complexity that is unmatched. They have analyzed the data, run the experiments and worked with some of the best.
The stories they tell and the principles they share will help you navigate today's market and business landscape. They may even help you be a business artist, a master change agent - a prophet!
Why am I so optimistic about you?
You bought this book. You're on the right track, which also happens to be a much more interesting and worthwhile track.
Enjoy the ride!