Aaron Shapiro, the CEO of digital agency HUGE, has just released a new book titled, “Users Not Customers: Who Really Determines the Success of Your Business,” which focuses on usability as a critical driver in today’s economy.
In the book, Shapiro tells the stories of startups like Mint.com, which in less than three years beat software giant Quicken by introducing a better user experience, and powerhouse brands like The Gap, Ford, and Procter & Gamble. To promote “Users Not Customers”, Shapiro pulled a fun PR stunt, and hired a group of former Borders employees to operate a mobile bookstore at multiple locations throughout Manhattan to emphasize the importance of the lessons taught in his book.
When Borders began liquidating its 399 stores this summer, nearly 11,000 employees lost their jobs. Today a handful of these individuals took to the streets of New York City to sell books again—this time, their mission, to communicate to businesses that it’s time to adapt to the digital age or else risk the same fate as their former employer,” writes Shapiro.
“Here’s what Borders did wrong. Borders was years late to sell books online. When it did, it outsourced the project to one of its chief competitors, Amazon. At the start of 2011, after the company took back control of its Internet operations, online hardcopy sales accounted for less than 3 percent of Borders’ revenue—that’s less than a third of what Barnes & Noble derived from its online hardcopy sales. Then to add insult to injury, it was also late on the e-book craze, creating a me-too e-reader almost three years after Amazon introduced the Kindle,” he writes.
If you’re interested in learning more, I bet there’s a former Borders employee who would be happy to sell it to you, or you can check out Aaron Shapiro‘s website for sales information.