August 12, 2010
Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects - Brains on Fire
“Brains on Fire is not really a business book. It’s a love story …”
Those are the opening lines to an incredible collection of stories and insights that is, in fact, both business book and love story. Brains on Fire is also the name of a great company of people in Greenville, South Carolina from which the stories and insights originate. But, more than all that, it is what happens when you ignite movements that stir passion in people.
The online marketing environment is changing so rapidly that it can feel as if you’re tumbling down the rapids, sometimes above water and sometimes not, but never seeing very clearly what’s ahead. The authors know what’s happening to those conversations online, and have tips on how to join them, but they have a deeper knowledge of the fact that, eventually, that river empties into the ocean.
The authors know that what’s truly powerful in business (indeed, in society as a whole) is the creation of movements. And they know that “90 percent of word-of-mouth interactions happen off-line. Yes, you read that right. Nine. Zero. Percent. The good folks at the Keller Fay Group have done the homework, and it’s no joke.” They continue:
Look, social media is great. The Internet allows ideas to travel at the speed of light, and it connects us to both information and other like-minded people. But as great as all the Twitters and Facebooks and MySpaces and blogs and message boards and digital doodads are, they will never, ever replace the power of shaking someone’s hand, looking them in the eye, getting kindred spirits in the room (or better yet, at your brand’s Mecca), and laughing together, getting a drink, sitting at the dinner table—whatever.
The book clearly defines the distinction between campaigns and movements. And while making no call for the death of the campaign, the authors reveal how to ignite sustainable movements that build on and spread the passion that people already have for your idea, product or company. Those people are out there; you just have to get out and find them. Because “All it takes is one person to start a movement. … One. Passionate. Person.”
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.