In this episode, Stewart starts off by razzing Travis about his new Twitter verification. Twitter recently opened up an application process to help the right people — not just the Wright people — get verified, and it goes to show if they will verify Travis, they will verify anyone. Well, except Stewart.

And while we aren’t going to become the Pokémon Go podcast, we have to touch base on some of the fascinating statistics around Pikachu-flavored mobile engagement. Apple this week announced that Pokémon Go was the most downloaded app in the first week of any app in the history of the App Store.

Stewart explains, based on new research, that 40 percent of the people playing Pokémon Go were not fans of the franchise before the app’s arrival. And a serious percentage of you have walked 11 to 30+ miles while chasing virtual beasties. So perhaps it’s an incognito exercise app. Or an incognito “‘experience all the horror movie clichés’ app.”


Pokémon Go is an outlier, and everyone is downloading it. However, there has been a stat flowing around since 2014 stating that people, on average, download zero apps per month.

However, Tune released new research, based on data from 74 million smartphones, that says on average, people download at least 1.5 apps per month. This data is not affected by Pokémon Go, as this research predates the launch of that app.

Facebook Messenger also passed their one-billionth app install this week. So, the bigger apps aren’t growing at the rate they used to — obviously, as once you grow huge numbers, sustaining growth is much harder. But apps are far from dead.

On to Brian Solis! In fact, we start out the podcast by chatting with his chatbot, which is in public beta.

We first ask him what he thinks about messenger platforms and chatbots, due to the fact that everyone has this powerful computer in their pockets at all times.

We live in a mobile-first society, where companies can’t even figure out what a website click-path should be in a mobile world.

Brian suggests that we haven’t reimagined what the customer journey should be in an era where we constantly experience what Google calls “micro-moments.”

He goes on to say that we haven’t figured out how to make content relevant when people are searching for information. And now that we have chatbots, many companies will end up using new technologies in old ways. That is a process that needs re-imagining.

We also discuss the narcissistic nature of the smartphone. Everything you do on your device tells you that you are the most important person in the world, and chatbots aren’t going to be responding to your selfies, so there needs to be a human element in the communication. Or maybe a “just like human” element, but we’re not there yet.

Brian suggests that, right now, all large companies are in some way competing with Uber. He says that brands need “experience architects” because people are going want to have experiences, and we have to design what those experiences should be.

In the end, there is a confluence taking place where technology is accelerating, behaviors are changing rapidly, and disruptive technology hasn’t even scratched the surface yet.

Companies have brand style guides that describe the words, tone of voice, logos, and Pantone colors that we should use, but very few companies have an “experience style guide.” There is no common experience standard. Brian asserts that there should be an experience architect within each organization.

We also talk to Brian about his influences. He pulls inspiration not from the latest social media bloggers and articles, but from people who challenge convention. He’s more likely to be reading about the art Ralph Steadman created for Hunter S. Thompson, or listening to Led Zeppelin, than watching what the latest “guru” is talking about.

His mission is to better understand the problems that real people are having, how we’re evolving, and how you engineer a better experience for them.

This is a podcast that is full of wisdom from Mr. Solis. Thanks, Brian!

And if you haven’t listened to last week’s episode, Peter Shankman joined us to talk about tech, entrepreneurship, and how he thrives with ADHD. His podcast, Faster Than Normal, is a must-listen if you have attention issues.

Make sure to tune in next week for our interview with the chief digital evangelist of Salesforce, Vala Afshar, who is widely regarded as the top influencer for CIOs. You’ll want to tune in for that one.

And if you like the show, please go to your favorite podcast app and give us a rating and review. This will insure that we can continue to bring you the best and brightest minds on the VB Engage podcast!