The Experience Economy: Work Is Theater & Every Business a Stage
FROM AMAZON.COM: Future economic growth lies in the value of experiences and transformations — good and services are no longer enough.

We are on the threshold, say authors Pine and Gilmore, of the Experience Economy, a new economic era in which all businesses must orchestrate memorable events for their customers.

The Experience Economy offers a creative, highly original, and yet eminently practical strategy for companies to script and stage the experiences that will transform the value of what they produce.

From America Online to Walt Disney, the authors draw from a rich and varied mix of examples that showcase businesses in the midst of creating personal experiences for both consumers and businesses. The authors urge managers to look beyond traditional pricing factors like time and cost, and consider charging for the value of the transformation that an experience offers. Goods and services, say Pine and Gilmore, are no longer enough. Experiences and transformations are the basis for future economic growth, and The Experience Economy is the script from which managers can begin to direct their own transformations.
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Two Comments
Jeff Howard on June 29, 2010 7:42am
Pine and Gilmore's Experience Realm framework (and their hierarchy of economic distinctions) have aged well. I think they're still relevant today and are the most important takeaways from the book. The authors organize experiences onto two axes according to the level of guest participation (active vs passive) and the connection between the guest and the environment (absorptive vs immersive).

David King explored these quadrants (in the context of library design) in a series of blog posts back in 2005:

  • Entertainment Passive events such as attending a concert, a sporting event or the theater.
  • Education Events that require active participation and reflection such as school, college or workshops.
  • Escapism Active and immersive events such as theme parks, casinos, video games or paint ball.
  • Esthetic Passive and reflective events such as viewing natural wonders or attending an art exhibition.
Samuel R Daines II on May 9, 2014 3:56pm
Extraordinarily robust framework for understanding the different levels of human experience. The authors take it to a fascinating end point with the concept of 'transformation', the level after experiences.
The Experience Economy: Work Is Theater & Every Business a Stage
By B. Joseph Pine, James H. Gilmore
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  1. Welcome to the Experience Economy
  2. Setting the Stage
  3. The Show Must Go On
  4. Get Your Act Together
  5. Experiencing Less Sacrifice
  6. Work is Theater
  7. Performing to Form
  8. Now Act Your Part
  9. The Customer Is the Product
  10. Finding Your Role in the World