I could not be more excited to be holding this book! Badass: Making Users Awesome is the best business book you can buy in 2015.
Badass starts with a simple challenge: Create a bestselling product. Without marketing, without competing on price. The book challenges you to think about what makes a successful product? Why did this social media book become a New York Times Bestseller and this one did not? Why did this software suite from Adobe sell a million copies while this one from Roxio was a bomb? What makes Product A successful while Product B (that has the same or very similar features, and pricing) is not?
“The key attributes of sustained success don’t live in the product. The key attributes live in the user.” (page 21)
Bam! It’s not about making a better product, it’s about making a better user of your product! It’s about making your users and customers be Badass, and Kathy teaches you exactly how. Not only does she teach you how to create badass users, she shows you why so many companies fail to create badass users. She shows you how the new user becomes the badass user. How they change along the way, how the way they use your product changes, and how they view that product and your brand changes.
Perhaps the biggest marketing takeaway from this book is the difference between how most companies market their product versus how most customers want to use your product. Most marketing is focused on the product, or tool. But most customers are more interested in what the tool allows them to do. It’s not about the DSLR camera, it’s about me being able to take amazing pictures. It’s not about the chemical composition of the carnauba wax, it’s about me being able to give my red car that gorgeous ‘wet’ wax look. The best marketing isn’t about your products, it’s about the larger context that your products lives in, that I am passionate about.
That passion is what can drive me to be Badass. And if your company is creating Badass users, it’s ensuring its long-term success.
Now, a word about the actually book itself: This is a simply gorgeous book. First, it’s printed on very slick and high-quality paper, which feels far superior to the standard newsprint-y paper stock that most business books use. Second, the book has literally hundreds of visuals, graphs and charts that enhance learning, and add to the value of the book. Here’s an example:
So colorful and a very welcome break from the walls of text you see in too many books. And for fans of Kathy’s Creating Passionate Users blog, these graphs and visuals are right in line with what we’ve come to expect from Kathy.
As you know from reading this blog, I was thrilled to have Kathy agree to write the foreword for my first book, Think Like a Rock Star. What you may not know is that Kathy co-created the Head First series of programming books, published by O’Reilly. This series has been so successful that Kathy’s books have sold over one million copies. Yeah. A big reason why these books have been so successful is because of how Kathy organizes the information in her books to help facilitate learning. It even includes worksheets and spaces for you to create your own formula for who your ideal Badass user would be, what they would be able to accomplish if they were Badass, etc. She was kind enough to help me greatly with the structure of Think Like a Rock Star in this regard, but of course she did a much better job with her own book 🙂 Which is one reason why Badass is going to be a hit. The bottom line is if you bought and enjoyed Think Like a Rock Star, you absolutely will love Badass, probably moreso.
“You have the chance to help people become more badass not only at using your tool within a meaningful context, but badass at life.” (page 282)
Word. Badass:Making Users Awesome is the best $20 you can invest in your business this year. Buy it right now at Amazon.
(Disclosure: Kathy is a friend and so are you. I believe in helping my friends be awesome so that’s why I want you to buy this book. Now, go!)