The Future of Brand is Experienced and Shared

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That one time I was in Genève…

What a wonderful way to start any sentence.

Shortly after X: The Experience When Business Meets Design launched, I was invited by my good friend Arnaud Grobet to visit Genève. The trip was meant to serve as a mini book tour, with two speaking engagements at LIFT (one of my favorite events), media interviews and also a vist to CREA University to speak to students.

Any time I have a chance to speak with students, I will do what I can to make it happen. They are our future. I don’t want to be a subject of the past for them. They inspire me to stay ahead of trends and share what I learn along the way. And, in this case, I left inspired. In fact, I hope to visit again.

I wanted to share some highlights from that moment.

Brian Solis – X : The experience when business meets design from CREA Genève

Arnaud also wrote a nice summary of some of our time together in Genève here.

Brian Solis

Brian Solis is principal analyst and futurist at Altimeter, the digital analyst group at Prophet, Brian is world renowned keynote speaker and 7x best-selling author. His latest book, X: Where Business Meets Design, explores the future of brand and customer engagement through experience design.

Invite him to speak at your event or bring him in to inspire and change executive mindsets.

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Brian Solis

WeWork launches joint venture with SoftBank to bring its shared work spaces to Japan

Heavily funded startup WeWork is launching a joint venture (JV) with telecom giant SoftBank that will open WeWork’s shared working spaces to the Japanese market.

The new JV, which will be known as “WeWork Japan,” will be 50 percent-owned by each company and will enable the New York-based tech firm to gain a solid foothold in a potentially sizeable and lucrative market.

Founded in 2010, WeWork offers shared working spaces in dozens of locations across the U.S. and globally, including in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. The company already has hubs in China, India, and South Korea, and with the backing of SoftBank — one of the world’s largest public companies — it will now set out to conquer Japan.

“At WeWork, we want to create a world where people work to make a life, not just a living,” explained WeWork cofounder and CEO Adam Neumann, in a press release. “When I met Masa (Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO of SoftBank) and understood his vision for a technology-enabled future, a vision I share, I knew that together we would be able to make a big impact, grow our community and change how and where people work. Both WeWork and SoftBank have established reputations for connecting people and creating partnerships to facilitate innovation and inspire new ideas.”

The tie-up should perhaps come as little surprise, though. WeWork has raised north of $ 4 billion since its inception, with around $ 1 billion of that coming this year alone — and SoftBank represents roughly one-third of that investment.

WeWork may not garner the same kinds of headlines as other well-financed startups, such as Uber, but with a reported $ 20 billion valuation, it is now among the top five most valuable startups in the world. And with SoftBank’s backing, it’s laying the foundations to infiltrate another major business economy. The first Japanese location will open in Tokyo in early 2018, and Chris Hill, who joined WeWork early on as chief operating officer (COO), will serve as CEO of WeWork Japan.

Social – VentureBeat