In 1999 Joseph Pine and Jim Gilmore identified a seismic shift in the modern econ- omy. To set yourself apart from your competition, you needed to offer your customers more than just great goods or attentive service. You needed to offer experiences— memorable events that engage people in inherently personal ways.
We’re now deep into this Experience Economy. But the physical world, bounded as it is by matter, space, and time, offers limited opportunities for creating experiences. Digital technology, on the other hand, offers limitless opportunities—you can create anything you want with immaterial bits, in virtual places, without the constraints of linear time. Which is precisely the problem. How do you make sense of and sort through such infinite possibility? What kinds of experiences can you create? Which ones should you offer?
In Infinite Possibility, Pine and coauthor Kim Korn provide a profound new tool geared to the task of exploring what they call the cosmos incogniti of the digital frontier, the unknown worlds out there to be discovered, explored, and exploited. They delineate eight different realms of experience encompassing various aspects of Reality and Virtuality and, using scores of examples, show how innovative compa- nies operate within and across each realm to create extraordinary customer value.
Think of the Xbox Kinect, which combines virtual video games with a powerful physical dimension—you play by moving your own body. Or new apps that, when you point your smartphone camera at a real street, lay digital information about the scene over the image.
Follow Pine and Korn out onto the digital frontier to discover the opportunities that abound for your business.