I finished reading Velocity last night. I suppose the obvious joke is that it was a fast read. And it was, really. It was also a bit of a ‘lucky’ book as it happened to be in the right place at the right time to ensure a short time in my reading list since I usually have several books on the go and read whichever one is within reach when the moment presents itself.
The format of Velocity is, in a word, unique. The entire book, with the exception of the chapter summaries, is a transcribed conversation between ‘co-authors’ Ajaz Ahmed (founder of AKQA) and Stefan Olander (of Nike). That format makes for an energized read, though one I question would appeal to the C-suite or other management types who would benefit most from the insight in the book. That Sir Richard Branson provided the introduction is more likely to appeal to young entrepreneurs and those already immersed in the participatory web.
Velocity outlines ‘seven new laws for a world gone digital.’ Without going into the specifics of each law, the book makes the case for being bold, brave and human based on determined — and lived-by — values.
The stories and examples in the book largely centre around enterprises such as Apple, Sony and especially Nike; organizations which understand and even helped to define the laws.
It’s no surprise Nike figures centrally in the book. After all, the co-authors both have a strong association to that company. Besides, Nike epitomizes many of the ‘laws’ in the book. It’s a company that knows its ‘why’ and excels because of its very human values. Plus, Nike always puts out amazing creative; creative which inspires and builds community. Be sure to watch their latest ad, embedded below, to illustrate all of the points I just made.
Velocity would probably have greater appeal if it used a broader spectrum of examples and were a more traditionally formatted book. However, that would run counter to the ‘why’ and values of the book.