Author of The Revenge of Analog, The Tastemakers, and Save the Deli
Not yet released, The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter has already been long-listed for an Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence, and garnered enthusiastic praise for its blend of psychology, business sense, and old-fashioned reportage. Publishers Weekly calls it a book with “a calming effect, telling readers, one analog page at a time, that tangible goods, in all their reassuring solidity, are back and are not going anywhere.” Dan Lyons calls it a “smart, funny, glorious book,” while Douglas Rushkoff argues that it “makes a compelling case for the reclamation of terra firma and all that comes with it.”
Analog Revenge: How Analog Products, Experiences, and Processes Are Making a Comeback
It’s now a cliché to announce that business and culture have moved to the digital realm. But while times have changed, the value of analog goods, ideas, and experiences has actually increased. With journalist David Sax, author of the forthcoming book The Revenge of Analog, you’ll discover why a return to analog might be a welcome shift—and best for business.
Vinyl records, notebooks, Polaroids, board games, and other seemingly obsolete products have seen robust growth in the last five years. Less efficient, more expensive goods are now coveted consumer items, largely sought out by millennials who want more than phones and apps, and are willing to pay for it. Analog goods offer tactility, authenticity, and emotional experiences that digital programs cannot; their inherent disadvantages are now their chief allure. But the revenge of analog also means we’re rediscovering the relationship between analog ideas and how we learn. Print publishing means better connections for readers, and a higher value for advertisers. Brick and Mortar retailers can deliver better profits than even the best ecommerce operations. Some of the most forward-thinking organizations embracing analog are actually based in digital technology—think Facebook, Google, Evernote, Yelp, and Pinterest, who’ve switched to paper, pen, whiteboards, and tech-free meetings to help employees retain information.
For students of culture, this talk explores the anthropological importance of analog experiences—how we’re also heading back for soulful, deeply human reasons beyond talk of sales. For analog-based companies, Sax’s message is a rallying call to rediscover their worth and potential. And for companies with a strong digital focus, this is a great opportunity to imagine new (and very old!) ways of embracing analog culture for hybridized success.
Crazy for Cupcakes: How Food Trends Impact the Way We Eat and the World Around Us
In today’s interconnected world, food trends are popping up quicker, growing bigger, and having a greater impact on more of what we eat than ever before. In this talk, David Sax explores where these trends come from, how they grow, and what impact they have: on marketing, business, and the consumer. In doing so, he helps us not only understand why some foods become popular while others don’t, but he reveals how the power of consumer behaviour takes it way beyond just what we eat.
From the cronut craze to the impact of social media on food to world-changing trends (third-wave coffee, anyone?), Sax opens our eyes to the economic and cultural impact of what’s on our plate and in our pantry.
The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter
A funny thing has happened on our way to the digital utopia: we find ourselves increasingly missing reality.
In this spirited book, David Sax has found story after story of entrepreneurs, artisans, and creators who make real money by selling real things. And they're not just local craftspeople, either. As paper is supposedly vanishing, Moleskine notebooks—a company founded in 1997, the same year as the first dot-com boom—has grown into a large multinational corporation. As music supposedly migrates to the cloud, vinyl record sales were up over 50 percent in 2015, and generated almost $350m in sales. And as retail was supposedly hitting bottom, star Silicon Valley companies like Apple and Amazon are investing in brick-and-mortar stores.
Sax's work reveals not just an underreported trend in business but a more fundamental truth about how humans shop, interact, and even think. He captures what you're missing when you can't find a good song in a vast iTunes library, or can't recall the details of an ebook you read: any simulation of a sight or smell or activity you experience in the real world is just that—a simulation. As you read this enlightening book (preferably on paper!) that seemingly simple observation gathers ever more weight.
The success stories in this book are eye-opening, even inspiring. You'll come away from this book with a renewed sense of what it means to work, live, and shop. It is the perfect gift for a book lover—something you can unwrap and hold. And for anyone who has grown weary of overnight billionaires and social media market-disruptors, it is proof positive that there's another side of the story.
The Tastemakers: Why We're Crazy for Cupcakes but Fed Up with Fondue
Kale. Spicy sriracha sauce. Honeycrisp apples. Cupcakes. These days, it seems we are constantly discovering a new food that will make us healthier, happier, or even somehow cooler. Chia seeds, after a brief life as a novelty houseplant and I Love the ’80s punchline, are suddenly a superfood. Not long ago, that same distinction was held by pomegranate seeds, açai berries, and the fermented drink known as kombucha. So what happened? Did these foods suddenly cease to be healthy a few years ago? And by the way, what exactly is a “superfood” again?
In this eye-opening, witty work of reportage, David Sax uncovers the world of food trends: Where they come from, how they grow, and where they end up. Traveling from the South Carolina rice plot of America’s premier grain guru to Chicago’s gluttonous Baconfest, Sax reveals a world of influence, money, and activism that helps decide what goes on your plate. On his journey, he meets entrepreneurs, chefs, and even data analysts who have made food trends a mission and a business. The Tastemakers is full of entertaining stories and surprising truths about what we eat, how we eat it, and why.
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