It all started with a Tweet. A casual, fairly absent-minded Tweet typed in about 5 seconds flat. On the eve of US election day and the World Travel Market conference, where he was due to deliver a keynote speech on his groundbreaking concept of “Digital Darwinism”, I didn’t think the great Brian Solis would have a spare moment to Tweet a reply to, let alone meet, a random follower amid such a busy schedule.
But to my absolute delight, this is exactly what happened. Brian, whose book “X: The Experience When Business Meets Design” takes pride and place on our office mantelpiece, promptly Tweeted back and offered me a “free pass”. Here’s most of the convo:
@briansolis hi Brian, looking forward to hearing your keynote tomorrow, if I can get in!
— Josh (@CheekyJaunt) November 7, 2016
@mrsolis Brian that would be amazing! What time do you need me to be there?
— Josh (@CheekyJaunt) November 7, 2016
@CheekyJaunt meet at the venue for wtm ??
— MrSolis (@mrsolis) November 8, 2016
@mrsolis fantastic! I’ll text when I arrive ?
— Josh (@CheekyJaunt) November 8, 2016
I have not included the tweet in which Brian gave me his phone number (nor have I been able to relocate it so I presume it has been deleted) but the interaction continued by SMS. I arrived at the World Travel Market conference and waited patiently by the main entrance for him to finish a press conference. It was surreal. I couldn’t believe I was about to meet one of the world’s biggest digital thought leaders, having done nothing to deserve the opportunity.
15 minutes later, there he was, hurrying towards the entrance, wearing that “oh shit I’m late!” look, as though he was on his way to meet an important client. His physical height betrayed his industry status; the man is surprisingly short! Then again, I’m pretty lanky, so I’m sure he won’t mind me saying that.
“Brian!” I exclaimed. His face lit up and his right hand shot out. “Hey Josh, I’ve got your pass!” he exclaimed back as we shook hands. I looked down at the pass and immediately realised the misunderstanding. I’d thought there would be so many people queuing for a seat in the Inspire Theatre that I might not get in, hence my original Tweet. When Brian said he had a spare pass for me I took that to mean the keynote was invitation only, so went along with it. Brian, however, thought I needed a general pass to get into the conference, which I already had! Oops.
But did he care? Was he irked that he had taken time out of his busy schedule to meet me? Nope. Not one bit. We laughed it off and suddenly were weaving our way towards the VIP lounge. Here, Brian and other keynote speakers including Jeremy Jauncey were going through their notes. Now at this stage you’ve probably gathered I am quite the fan, so it wouldn’t surprise you to learn that I had in fact brought Brian’s book with me in the hope he would sign it. He did so gladly and insisted on posting a photo of me holding the book to his Snapchat account!
What happened next was incredible
[bctt tweet=”I interviewed Brian Solis about digital disruption, his roots in digital + the future digital landscape + its probable effects on business!” username=”@supposeiam”]
Below is the interview in full (apologies for the vertical screen – I recorded on my phone). Digital marketers and more importantly C-suite bosses, watch, listen and learn!
Later, Brian delivered a fascinating keynote in the World Travel Market’s Inspire Theatre. He spoke inspiringly about his concept of “Digital Darwinism” – the phenomenon when technology and society evolve faster than an organisation can adapt, the impact of resisting Digital technology, Generation C – the new “consumerist” generation – and the matter of “iteration versus innovation”.
Some take-home Brian Solis quotes:
“Once you’ve felt a truly personalised experience, it becomes the new standard for engagement. You and other customers like you don’t go back. Every business needs to recognise the Ubers of the world as disruptive, innovative competitors.”
[bctt tweet=”Experience IS the brand. We can’t define an experience if we can’t understand what someone values. – Brian Solis” username=”@supposeiam”]
“There is no one way to succeed in the future. Success is dependent on a balance of iteration, innovation and disruption. If you do not disrupt yourself, it will be a gift given to you by someone else.”
We share Brian’s philosophy on Digital. We are making a constant effort to help brands and businesses understand its value and the importance of embracing, not resisting it. Digital innovation will continue to happen all around us. Anyone who chooses to ignore that will get left behind. If you want to talk about creating a digital marketing strategy for your business then drop us a line on our contact page.