Categorized | Business Authors

The 24-Hour Customer: New Rules for Winning in a Time-Starved, Always-Connected Economy

Adrian Ott

Adrian Ott

Authors Bio:

Library Journal said Adrian C. Ott is, “revolutionizing marketing by adding the concept of time.” She is the award-winning author of The 24-Hour Customer (HarperBusiness) which was named a Best Business Book 2010 by Library Journal and received Editors Choice and Readers Choice awards from Small Business Trends.

Adrian is also CEO of Exponential Edge® Inc. consulting ( and was named Silicon Valley Enterprising Woman of the Year 2011 by the National Association of Small Business Owners (NAWBO-SV). She is a regular expert contributor to Fast Company and has been featured on Bloomberg TV, Fox News, and Forbes for her work helping companies innovate breakthrough offerings.

Prior to founding Exponential Edge, she was an HP executive for 15 years who was recognized in an annual report for “infusing HP with new revenue streams, new technologies, and new business models.” She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.S. from U.C. Berkeley.


Time is a scarce resource today. The 24-Hour Customer provides a framework that guides business owners and executives on what to do about it. It means much more than simply saving time – it is about the value of customer time relative to your offering. Consider why some offerings such as Facebook are addictive, while standing in line at the post office is one minute too many. The 24-Hour Customer explores how time and attention impact customer behavior and how businesses can create breakthrough offerings by applying Time-Value innovation techniques.

Why Should Readers buy the book?

The book demonstrates how to make your offerings more addictive through the use of key buying triggers and techniques that redirect customer time and attention in your favor. It helps businesses to capture opportunities that arise because of time and attention constraints through a Time-Value Innovation approach.

Why did you write the book?

I am constantly under time pressure and I realized that those around me felt this pressure as well. Businesses devote tremendous resources to pricing and demographics but relatively little effort is spent on evaluating how time is valued in the customer decision – they evaluate economics but tend to ignore what I call TIMEonomics. Yet time is integral to most of decisions today.

In addition, the amount of data available is exploding from user generated content and the Internet of things (devices). This information overload is placing even more pressure on time and attention scarcity. This is a challenge that is going to become more prevalent in the future.

I wanted an approach and tools to help my clients manage this trend for their business but I could only find books on time management, and speed of execution which didn’t get to the heart of how to address today’s time-starved, always-connected customers. This book provides a roadmap to help businesspeople to navigate this.

Do you do speaking events? What are common ones and what do you talk about?

I keynote frequently at private client events, major universities, and industry groups. Private client events range from a small group of senior executives to large groups of more than 1000 people. I just keynoted for a F500 CEO’s annual planning meeting, and for an organization of 1500 employees. I present ideas and case studies based upon my book on Time-Value Innovation and other tailored information to help executives conceive of fresh approaches to their business. We discuss ideas such as Just-In-Time Information to help develop more effective customer and sales information to close business more quickly. We also discuss how to make the offerings easier to engage with such as time-slicing e.g. train your channel partners on 10 minutes a day. For another client, we took a case study and worked through it in teams to gain further depth on the concepts, and to develop teamwork across the organization.

I conduct Time-Value Innovation workshops ( ) where we roll up our sleeves and apply and prioritize these concepts to a client’s business. This can typically take from ½ day to three days depending on the scope and complexity of the offering. In this case, we are moving beyond idea generation to developing the product or service concept and go-to-market plans.

I also speak at industry conferences such as TEDx. Here is a link to my TEDx Bay Area Presentation on The Invisible Hand of Time.

What do you most enjoy about what you do?

I enjoy developing new approaches and frameworks relating to a major trend and helping clients conceive and deliver breakthrough results based on my approach. Prior to my book, no one had created practical tools and systematic frameworks for businesses to proactively address how time impacts customer behavior. I greatly enjoy the challenge of helping my clients to succeed by using these and other tools.

I am also called upon frequently to help clients visualize the future in new applications of emerging technology and new business models. For example, I was asked by a major consumer packaged goods company to help them brainstorm and plan scenarios on potential applications and uses of tablet computing in the home. We applied Time-Value Innovation concepts to help devise new products and services they could provide to their markets with this technology.

What’s a good marketing/PR strategy for budding authors?

One tool we created that has had tremendous value was a video trailer for my book. Rather than the typical talking head video, we deployed kinetic typography and music to tell the story. This video has been used on YouTube, our website, and I use it to generate an upbeat theme and excitement to kick off my keynotes. You can view it here on YouTube:



Adrian C. Ott

The 24-Hour Customer

New Rules for Winning in a Time-Starved, Always-Connected Economy

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