Velocity by Ajaz Ahmed & Stefan Olander - A Review
I didn’t really know what to expect from Velocity. I, probably like most people have a more than slight admiration for AKQA and Nike. So a book written by Ajaz Ahmed (Founder and Chairman of AKQA) and Stefan Olander (VP for Digital Sport at Nike) was either going to be really insightful or really boastful.
The book is written in a conversational style where Ajaz and Stefan discuss Velocity and the 7 laws for individuals and businesses in this rapidly evolving digital age. First and foremost, it’s a really good book. I ended up highlighting a quarter of the book with what i have now decided is a really user unfriendly (euphemism for crap) kindle highlighting function. Anyway I digress.
There are some great case studies, and yes there are a lot of Nike and AKQA success stories in here, but you come to expect that right? But more than anything they beautifully articulate what many others have tried and failed. They discuss very succinctly the notion that brands, if they’re to survive and succeed need to ask themselves a simple question - how are we making people’s lives better? And if we’re not, either by being entertaining or useful or valuable, then we’re just adding to the pollution already created by 99% of advertising. And I think, having just visited the States and seen the plethora of disgustingly bad ads, it’s hard not to agree. Brands need to start to think about how they create equity by delivering a service, not just at the point of purchase but throughout the relationship with their customer.
Did it tell me things i didn’t already know? Probably not. Did it say it ways I will probably steal the next time i present? Definitely yes. And that’s flattering right?
The only criticism I have is that both authors are way too agreeable. They are clearly on the same page about the way they think businesses and advertising should evolve, but often I think you get more depth from debate than agreement. It would have been interesting to see Ajaz and Stefan disagree and offer educated and well reasoned arguments to what is often never a black and white situation.
All in all it’s a good read and if you’re not reading Fifty Shades of Grey, than try this one.
Oh, and if you’re reading it on your kindle, here’s a warning. The last 10% is just the index. That’s not annoying!