Smart Customers, Stupid Companies

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NEW: Read Don Peppers’s article on LinkedIn about the book.

Last decade, companies strove to be great. Now they need to act as smart as the customers they wish to serve. Why? Because acting dumber than your customers is not a sustainable business model.

It’s the companies that get it versus those that don’t. Customers are getting smarter at the speed it takes a new app to download.

This new book by Bruce Kasanoff and Michael Hinshaw reveals the growing chasm between smart customers and those companies that act in a manner customers think is stupid. But it also explains how smart companies can thrive.

This visually arresting book not only challenges business leaders to profit from the wave of disruptive innovation making customers smarter, but it also presents an actionable five-step plan for doing just that.

Kasanoff and Hinshaw explain that disruptive innovation is “already providing individuals with tools more advanced, in many cases, than the most sophisticated commercial enterprises had just five years ago,” and argue that “established firms will need to reinvent themselves and disrupt their own industries to stay alive.”

Praise for the book:


Named Book of the Month by CIM, the world’s largest organization of marketing professionals.

One of the most exciting business books I’ve ever read. I dare you to try reading this book without getting at least ten brilliant new ideas for your business. You won’t be able to do it. I’ve never encountered a book that has such a masterful blend of future-think and business common sense – and I read a LOT of books. Kasanoff and Hinshaw have done an absolutely marvelous job here, showing with relentless logic and specific examples how new technologies are raising customer expectations, and what a business ought to do about it.”
Don Peppers, co-author of EXTREME TRUST: Honesty as a Competitive Advantage

“If your company regards customers as creatures they ‘acquire,’ ‘manage,’ ‘control,’ ‘own’ or ‘lock in,’ your company suffers from a fatal condition that only this sort of respect for customer independence and intelligence can cure.”
Doc Searls, author of THE INTENTION ECONOMY: When Customers Take Charge, and co-author of THE CLUETRAIN MANIFESTO

“We, as business leaders, are often so worried about our competitors we often forget about our customers. Kasanoff and Hinshaw remind us that our customers are smarter and know more than we know. The book is an easy read and stuffed with ideas that can be implemented on Monday morning.”
Michael Le Goff, CEO, Plessey Semiconductors

“Thanks to dramatic technological advances of the past decade, computers can help us become smarter and smarter in our everyday tasks. As a result, today’s customers are much more sophisticated, and companies need to change in response. Kasanoff and Hinshaw highlight some of these changes and help companies understand how to deal with smart customers.”
Roberto Pieraccini, author of THE VOICE IN THE MACHINE: Building Computers That Understand Speech and Director of ICSI, the International Computer Science Institute at Berkeley

“Entrepreneurs looking for the next big thing need to grab a copy of our book and this one, and fast.”
Bob Dorf, co-author with Steve Blank of THE START UP OWNER’S MANUAL: The Step-by-Step Guide for Building a Great Company

“So energizing it actually made my skin tingle and my pulse race. Lot of books prod you to think about the future; this book is like a punch in the face. My thinking has changed and I’m now light years ahead. I’m fortunate I had the opportunity to read this before my competitors.”
Chris Zane, Founder & President, Zane’s Cycles, and author of REINVENTING THE WHEEL: The Science of Creating Lifetime Customers

“Technology-enabled customers are getting smarter every day, while companies mired in the same old ways of doing business just come off as stupider and stupider. Do not let that happen to you. Instead, follow Hinshaw and Kasanoff’s prescription to ride the waves of today’s perfect storm of disruptive innovations.”
B. Joseph Pine II, co-author, THE EXPERIENCE ECONOMY and INFINITE POSSIBILITY: Creating Customer Value on the Digital Frontier

“This is a very insightful book, and one that provides a really different (smarter) perspective on customer centric value co-creation! Hinshaw & Kasanoff make sense of many recent trends and provide a number of coherent frameworks to analyze the state of the industry and to create actionable ideas for change.”
Frank T. Piller, Professor of Management, RWTH Aachen University, Technology & Innovation Management Group and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT Smart Customization Group

“Every CEO should read this book. The bigger your company the more you need a reality check and this book is just that. Your customers now know more than you do about your business and your competition. With so many innovative technologies present today and coming soon, this is a must read for all business executives!”
Jocelyn Smith, Managing Partner, CEO, infinitee Communications

“In healthcare, we need to realize that it is not just science and technology that are advancing rapidly, but also the expectations of the individuals we are here to serve. As this book so eloquently argues, an informed patient is a smart customer.”
William W. Burke, Executive Vice President & CFO, IDEV Technologies

“This engaging book provides a useful roadmap for navigating today’s and tomorrow’s technological innovations to improve your customer’s experience. Ignore its lessons at your (and your shareholders’) peril.”
Christopher Oddleifson, President & Chief Executive Officer, Rockland Trust Company