Brian Solis: A Book That Embraces the 'X' Of The Future

Brian Solis: A Book That Embraces the 'X' Of The Future
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The challenge of writing about the world of digital involves the need to be able to see around corners. By the time you settle on a book, roll up your sleeves, get it written and published - the world has changed. So good digital business books are hard to find. Brian Solis is one of those rare authors who understands the fundamentals of business, and can write a roadmap that is both compelling and actionable.

Brian's day job is as a principal analyst studying disruptive technology and its impact on business at Altimeter Group, a research firm. And as a longtime friend of his -- I remain totally in awe of his ability to move almost effortlessly across the globe, from one A-list gathering to another. If you want to know where the digerati are gathering -- simply take a look at Brian's travel schedule to find out.

Steven Rosenbaum and Brian Solis (Photo: Steven Rosenbaum)

The question the book poses is compelling. What is the 'X' factor? That undefinable difference that means some rise to the top and others are left on the sidelines.

The 'X' factor, as Solis sees it, is the nexus of business and design. It's the experience that emerges when a business cares enough to think through their decisions -- the design of processes, retail outlets, customer interfaces, and, of course, products.

Here's how he describes it: "Close your eyes for a moment and think about the last time you truly had a great experience with a company as a consumer, an experience that captured your heart, mind, and spirit. What about it was special? Let's call it "x" -- that je ne sais quoi that makes something so special. This book is about x, creating such memorable moments for your customers through every encounter they have with your brand -- all day, every day."

Brian writes for people who are doing -- rather than just dreaming -- about the future. That makes this book extremely practical. He's a digital anthropologist, so the book is full of real-world examples and explorations.

I think his motivation was to spark readers to change the way they go about their business. If you're looking for a pat on the back and an 'atta boy' of your current approach, this isn't the book for you. As Brian makes clear, by embracing the 'good for customer' model instead of 'good for the business' old world rules -- you'll come out ahead.

Here are a few things you can expect from the book:

  • The importance of User Experience in both life and in business thinking.
  • The humanity of Human-Centered Design in everything.
  • Why empathy and new perspective unlock creativity and innovation.
  • The art of storytelling from marketing to product design to packaging.

X is about why the future of business is experiential. Brian has roamed the planet, listening and learning. You'll find in X, a travelogue of his journey and a roadmap you can follow.

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