Years ago, I was part of a marketing team that was managing the presence for global tech brand Intel at the Consumer Electronics Trade Show. Like most other big brands, Intel had a huge expensive booth to showcase all of their newest innovations. They were also the tech powering innovation from countless other brands at the show too. As you walked the trade show floor, you saw Intel’s technology inside cars or making smart appliances smarter or built into laptops. Everywhere you turned, it seemed like the brand was there … a running commentary on just how central their technology was to powering the technology industry.
More than a decade later, as Henry and I prepared to head to SXSW we imagined a similar strategy for our new book. The Future Normal tells the stories of more than a hundred entrepreneurs and instigators who are changing the world. The book introduces thirty trends that we compiled over more than three years of research and writing. The topics we cover, from psychedelic wellness to the future of remote work are widely present in the panels, lounges and activations across SXSW.
So this week, attendees of the show will see The Future Normal at all of them. When they land in Austin, they’ll see the book in the airport Book People bookstores. On Saturday morning we’ll start with our signature 7 Minute Meetup before heading to Ballroom D in the ACC to deliver a Featured Session on the book in our first chance to present about it together. In our big Future Normal Book Launch Party hosted by Canada House, we’ll be speaking about AI at the Equality Lounge, pouring drinks at the Inc Founder’s House, connecting with the diaspora at the South Asian House and conversing on the future of health and signing books at the two pioneering healthcare innovation day long events hosted by Finn & Humble and Real Chemistry. Throughout the weekend, we’ll be attending private meetings with corporate and industry groups, gathering with fellow insight and trend professionals, speaking at the Soho House, doing book signings at Capital Factory, The Velocity Global Oasis and broadcasting a live interview from the Established Lounge. Not to mention half a dozen live interviews from all corners of Austin. All told, either Henry or I will be part of more than a dozen activations across four days as we launch The Future Normal into the world.
It’s a fitting strategy for a book like this. The more we share the stories and topics that we wrote about with people, the more support we seem to get. At the end of the day, an optimistic version of the future is what we all want to see happen. The discussions for that will start this weekend in Austin but I know that many of you reading this won’t be there in person.
Regardless, if you’re a reader of my newsletter and you’ve ever written in and shared your insights with me (as many of you have), or if you’ve done the same thing with Henry, then you’re a part of building this future normal that we wrote about and imagined.
The launch is just the first phase of this journey.