I have had the pleasure of reading for review the latest publication from my friend, Steve Mouzon.
Steve was the town architect for The Waters in Alabama, a TND (Traditional Neighborhood Design) community in which I live and work. He is one of the pioneers and movers and shakers in New Urbanism- a cause near and dear to my heart.
Steve’s new book, New Media for Designers + Builders is an electronic book. It was written in Apple’s iBooks Author, which for the first time allows e-books to be what they’ve always wanted to be: beautiful, highly interlinked with the outside world, and full of interactive fun. You can read it on an iPad. There’s also a Kindle version in the works, which may be complete by the time you’re reading this.
I am having one heck of a time trying to decide how best to describe this book to you since I have never seen one quite like it. I will tell you this, it will never be deleted from my bookshelf. It is a reference tool like no other that will prove to be invaluable to anyone who designs: Planners, architects, engineers, landscape architects, interior designers, and other creatives. It’s also for anyone who builds: developers, contractors, homebuilders, and tradespeople of all stripes, plus allied disciplines like real estate. In short, it’s for those who work more often in the world of bricks-and-mortar than clicks-and-orders.
This one book answered more questions for me in a shorter amount of time than all of the hundreds of hours I have spent over the last five years trying to figure out how to best fit myself into this new world that we find ourselves in. It breaks down all of the different channels of the new media and explains what they are, how they work and why they might be important to your business. If you are familiar with that particular “channel”, say twitter, then you can simply skim or skip. If, however, you have no idea what a tweet is or why you should be on Linked In or why you might need to be blogging then you can spend hours if need be clicking on live links that take you as deep as you want to go into the subject.
If you, like most of us, have been baffled by the changes in our industry and have struggled to even recognize the “new normal” landscape, read the book. One comment made by Steve that I think is dead-on is that if you are waiting for the glory days of 2005-2008 to come back you are already out of business. It will not look like that again so you better be evolving to fit the new paradigm.
This is not necessarily a bad thing. Recognizing this in 2008 is what led me to design my line of fabrics and furniture. Embrace the change and you never know what is around the corner. Steve has great stories of his own to tell about this.
Another thing that I have always struggled with is branding. I know that those who have done the best job of branding themselves have made a lot more money than I; but it has always been so important to me that I give a client a space that reflects them, not me. So, I could just never make the leap. Steve saved me. He and Josh Miles discuss the difference between branding and causes; and how what we really want is to be remarkable. I love that. I loved it even more when I read this quote, “brands might be seen as ‘high-cost remarkability with handcuffs’.” YES!!! That is exactly how I felt. I don’t want to do the exact same thing all the time for every single person but still I do have a niche’ and within that niche’ my goal is to remarkable.
You have to read the book. Period.
To purchase go here.
Steve is a much sought after speaker on a variety of topics. He can be reached at
1253 Washington Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139