Published by HarperBusiness on January 27th 2009
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The business world has been changed by the internet. Consumers can jump online and in five minutes publish a video blog (vlog) detailing poor customer service. Give them another 30 seconds and the vlog has been sent to to 126 Twitter followers. A further 30 seconds and it’s with 130 facebook friends. If 10% of those people share the link, that’s potentially 6,656 people hearing of the bad experience in under 10 minutes.
Jeff Jarvis’s book What Would Google Do? (Amazon aff) looks at this reallocation of control from corporation to consumer and how you can use the same tools and tactics in your business.
While the book’s title suggest following Google’s lead (following the What Would Jesus Do? movement on the 90s) it’s really all about openness and transparency in business and our lives, and how to work with it.
The book details some excellent case studies, such as Dell Computers and Starbucks Coffee. It does fall down in the second part (of three) when the author attempts to “Google-ize” a range of industries, some of which shouldn’t have the level of transparency or user input Jarvis demands. It picks up again in the final part, allowing you to forgive his pontifications.
I totally recommend this for anyone needing to get a handle on the way business has changed or just to get some case studies of where transparency has worked.
Thanks to Davinia Khong for her help with this review. I had to leave my copy of What Would Google Do? in Melbourne, so she is my researcher.