The Experience Economy: Work is Theatre & Every Business a Stage Summary

The SQUEEZE: Long gone are the days where companies developed “one size fits all” products for consumers. Today, companies must tap into their resources to determine what value they can bring to the individual customer. It is this sentiment that B. Joseph Pine and James H. Gilmore offer in “The Experience Economy: Work is Theatre & Every Business a Stage.” The economic growth of a company is predicated on the experiences that become memorable events for customers. Companies now are tasked with the challenge of creating highly original, but practical strategies to help enrich the value of products and also draw in customers. Pine and Gilmore explore the urgency of department managers to go beyond concentration of pricing factors, but give due consideration to how goods and services transform the experience of the customer. It is in “The Experience Economy” where the authors script suggestions for how companies can direct their own transformations.


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Notable Endorsement: "One of the best business books of the twentieth century, now renewed for the challenges of the twenty-first."—Tom Kelley, General Manager, IDEO

Common Q’s Answered by this Book:

  • What is the “experience economy”?
  • What are some examples of companies that have utilized the approach of transforming the consumer’s experience?
  • What are some practical strategies for enriching the value of a company’s products?
  • What are some ways companies can transform the customer’s experience?
  • What is the general consensus regarding “one size fits all”?


About the Author: B. Joseph Pine II is an American author who has written and/or co-authored multiple books. His range of titles include: “Mass Customization: The New Frontier in Business Competition” (1992), “Do You Want to Keep Your Customers Forever?” (2010), and “Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want” (2007). Pine is also a business coach, pioneering unorthodox discussions between business partners and customers at IBM. He is the co-founder of Strategic Horizons, LLP, an organization through which he provides solutions for customers to increase their economic offerings. Pine currently writes numerous articles for the Harvard Business Review and The Wall Street Journal. For information about Pine’s speaking engagements, visit: For information about the book, visit: For more information about company strategies, visit: James H. Gilmore is co-founder of Strategic Horizons, LLP. He serves as a Batten Fellow at the University of Virginia, Graduate School of Business Administration. Gilmore is also a visiting lecturer at the university. Gilmore served as a co-editor of “Markets of One: Creating Customer-Unique Value Through Mass Customization" (Harvard Business Review Press, 2000). Gilmore completed a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Wharton School. He became one of the partners at Computer Sciences Corporation. For a complete biography, visit: For more information about Gilmore’s academic pursuits, visit: For an author highlight, visit:


Book Vitals:

Publisher: Harvard Business School Press (April 1999)

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