Brian Solis

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Brian Solis
Solis speaking in Geneva, 2011
Born (1970-12-08) December 8, 1970 (age 50)
OccupationPrincipal Analyst at Altimeter, a Prophet Company, Author, Speaker

Brian Solis is a digital analyst, speaker and author. He is a principal analyst studying disruptive technology and its impact on business at Altimeter Group, a research firm acquired by global brand management consultancy Prophet in 2015.[1] Solis publishes annual industry reports that track technology and business trends and offer change management direction to companies. The author of several books discussing digital marketing, evolving business models, customer experience and brand innovation, Solis shares his research and insights as a frequent keynote speaker at technology, business and creativity events.[2][3] His work is credited with influencing the early digital and social marketing landscape. Most notably, he is known for developing the Conversation Prism, “a visual map of the social media landscape,” in 2008[4][5][6][7] and revising/re-releasing it again in 2013.[8]

Early career[edit]

Solis began his career as a programmer and database architect in 1991 at Dodge and Mansfield, a technology-focused advertising and marketing agency in Ventura, California. While at Dodge and Mansfield, he applied his technology skills to the firm’s marketing activities.[9]

As a 23-year-old, he published Reality Magazine, a free newsprint publication distributed in the greater Los Angeles area that focused on entertainment, fashion and social issues.[10]

From 1996 to 1999, he held the position of director at The Benjamin Group, a Silicon Valley agency later acquired by Weber Shandwick.[11]

1999 to 2011[edit]

In 1999, Solis started a digital and social media marketing company called FutureWorks.[12] FutureWorks helped startups with digital and traditional marketing programs, often experimenting with new channels and networks,[13] as well as global and national brands like Cisco, Conde Nast, Stella Artois and Swarovski.

As Solis struck out on his own as founder of FutureWorks, he began questioning industry conventions, at first casting himself as a critic whose statements helped frame the discussion on an industry reinvention. “PR, as we know it, is a dying practice,” he said in a 2009 interview with Adweek, observing that publicists had “evolved away from the public” to concentrate on “broadcasting messages to audiences through intermediaries.” [14]

“What if there is no box?” he asked, and said, “I am on a big anti-case study crusade.” [15]

Actor, entrepreneur and investor Ashton Kutcher took an interest in FutureWorks. Kutcher’s media company Katalyst partnered with FutureWorks in 2009 to work on several early social and digital campaigns for the likes of Oprah Winfrey, the United Nations, Pepsi and the launch of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.[16]

From 2008 – 2010, Solis served as co-founder to BuzzGain, a cloud-based platform for identifying digital influencers and managing influence campaigns . In 2010, BuzzGain was acquired by Meltwater.[17]

In 2011, Solis joined the Altimeter Group as a principal analyst.[18] In his role, Brian oversees research that studies disruptive technology’s impact on business and society. He has authored several reports on the subjects of Digital Influence, Social Media, Social Business, Digital Transformation, Mobile CX/UX, Disruptive Technology Trends and Corporate Innovation.

Conferences and authorship[edit]

Between 2011 and 2014, Solis served, with Mike Edelhart and William Lohse, as executive producer and host of the annual Pivot Conference, an event with speakers addressing digital innovation and business transformation that has been referred to as the “TED of Marketing.” Speakers at Pivot included Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz, Al Roker, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, “thinkfluencer” Jeff Jarvis, author Douglas Rushkoff and Deloitte futurist John Hagel.[19]

Brian is often asked to interview celebrities on stage. He interviewed the likes of Anthony Edwards, Jermaine Dupri and Mark Burnett. In 2012 and 2013, he interviewed Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan and Shaquille O'Neal[20] at Austin’s popular South by Southwest festival.

Brian has been named one of the “100 Most-Wanted Speakers” at tech conferences, ranked as an “Influential Keynote Speaker,” listed as one of “14 Speakers to Book for Conferences Right Now”[21] and one of “25 Keynote Speakers You Need to Know.[22]


Brian Solis signing a book at SXSW in Austin, TX, March 13, 2011.

Solis’ blog is ranked as a Top 10 Ad Age Power 150 blog.[23] Brian is also a regular contributor to AdAge, Forbes, The Washington Post and MarketWatch.

During the Fall of 2010, Brian Solis partnered with Landini Media to launch (R)evolution, a YouTube-based series featuring interviews with startup entrepreneurs, investors, business and political leaders, celebrities and innovators. Previous guests include Burnett, Corgan, Katie Couric, Adrian Grenier, O'Neal and Peter Guber.

In 2012, Brian was invited to become a LinkedIn Influencer, joining a highly curated group of leaders, thinkers, and authors on the network’s dedicated publishing channel Pulse.

In 2013, Brian Solis received a Webby Award Honoree for Best Web Personality/Host in the online film and video category.[24]


Solis authored Engage!: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web,” published in 2011, with a foreword by FutureWorks investor Kutcher.[25]

The End of Business As Usual followed in 2012, with a foreword by broadcast journalist Katie Couric.[26] In 2013, Solis published the book What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences. [27]

In 2013, Solis gave an overview at the C2SV technology conference and music festival about smart watches and other “creative destruction” technologies that would factor into the next wave of disruption.[28]

In 2015, he published the book “X: The Experience When Business Meets Design.” [29] In it, Solis explained how experiences in human interaction with products defined brands to become the new “social currency.”[30]

As a co-author, Brian Solis has released three books. His first book was co-authored with digital marketer Geoff Livingston, Now is Gone: A Primer on New Media for Executives and Entrepreneurs. Next, he partnered with media expert Dierdre Breakenridge on 2009’s Putting the Public Back in Public Relations: How Social Media Is Reinventing the Aging Business of PR. In 2013, Solis along with Altimeter Group colleague Charlene Li released The Seven Success Factors of Social Business Strategy.

His experience and thought leadership position within the social media community has also presented Solis with 15 opportunities to contribute the foreword to books about customer service, social media marketing, online reputation management, content marketing, digital workplaces and the Internet of Things.

His research-based presentations explore how businesses and industries are impacted by technology trends. A self-described “digital anthropologist,” his presentations discuss the evolution of society and culture to help individuals find their place in an evolving society.



  • 2008 40 Under 40 - Silicon Valley Business Journal[31]
  • 2009 40 Under 40 - PRWeek[32]
  • 2009 Blogger of the Year - PRNews[33]
  • 2009 Marketing Hall of Fame - NYAMA[34]
  • 2010 Influential Leader of the Year - CRM Market Awards (CRM Magazine)[35]
  • 2012 Twitter 140: Music Industry Characters You Need To Follow - Billboard[36]
  • 2012 Who's Who: Leader of the Marketing Industry - BtoB Magazine
  • 2013 Best Web Personality/Host - The Webby Awards[37]
  • 2014 Blogger of the Year - PRNews[38]
  • 2015 Top 20 Mobile Influencers - Mobile FOMO[39]
  • 2015 The 30 Best People in Advertising to Follow on Twitter - Business Insider[40]
  • 2015 The Top 10 People to Know in Silicon Valley - Huffington Post[41]
  • 2015 25 Keynote Speakers You Need to Know - Inc.[22]


  1. ^ Anthony Ha (July 22, 2015). "Consulting Firm Prophet Acquires Altimeter Group". Techcrunch. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  2. ^ Rosenbloom, Stephanie. "For the Plugged-In, Too Many Choices". The New York Times.
  3. ^ Norman, Joshua. "Boomers Joining Social Media at Record Rate". CBS News.
  4. ^ Jones, Kelsey (February 1, 2014). "Brian Solis' Conversation Prism Catalogs The Best Social Platforms". Search Engine Journal. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  5. ^ Lazar, Shira. "Brian Solis on Five Common Social Media Mistakes and How to Avoid Them". Entrepreneur Magazine.
  6. ^ Constine, Josh (March 21, 2012). "Klout and PeerIndex Don't Measure Influence. Brian Solis Explains What They Actually Do". TechCrunch.
  7. ^ Marshall Kirkpatrick (March 9, 2011). "Corporate Social Strategy Firm Altimeter Adds Industry Leader Brian Solis to Its Team". ReadWriteWeb. Archived from the original on March 12, 2011. Retrieved March 14, 2011.
  8. ^ Todd Wasserman (July 1, 2013). "2013's Complex Social Media Landscape in One Chart". Mashable.
  9. ^ Executive Profile, Bloomberg Business, retrieved January 14, 2016
  10. ^ Kurt Pitzer (February 26, 1994), "A Publisher's Dream Becomes Issue of Reality", Los Angeles Times, retrieved March 11, 2016
  11. ^ Courtney Boyd Myers (April 14, 2011). "An Interview with Brian Solis". TNW Social Media.
  12. ^ Ciarallo, John (October 2, 2009). "Interview: Brian Solis, FutureWorks Principal, Blogger, Author". Media Bistro.
  13. ^ Miller, Claire Cain (July 4, 2009), "Spinning the Web: P.R. in Silicon Valley", The New York Times,, retrieved July 19, 2016
  14. ^ Ciarallo, Joe (October 2, 2009), Interview: Brian Solis, FutureWorks Principal, Blogger, Author, PRNewser: Adweek, retrieved March 15, 2016
  15. ^ Ciarallo, Joe (October 2, 2009), Interview: Brian Solis, FutureWorks Principal, Blogger, Author, PRNewser: Adweek, retrieved March 15, 2016
  16. ^ Most Innovative Companies - Advertising & Marketing, FastCompany, October 2010, retrieved July 19, 2016
  17. ^ Meltwater Buys Social Media Monitor BuzzGain For $4 Million, Gigaom, February 24, 2010, retrieved July 19, 2016
  18. ^ Owyang, Jeremiah (March 8, 2011), Brian Solis Joins Altimeter Group, Web Strategy LLC, retrieved January 14, 2016
  19. ^ Greenberg, Paul (January 24, 2013). "Lessons from and for 21st Century Leaders".
  20. ^ Griggs, Brandon (March 12, 2013). "Shaq at SXSW: 'I'm the world's tallest geek'". CNN. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  21. ^ Berg, Jenny (October 13, 2014). "13 Speakers to Book for Conferences Right Now". BizBash.
  22. ^ a b "25 Social Media Keynote Speakers You Need to Know". September 4, 2015.
  23. ^ "Power 150". Ad Age.
  24. ^ "Revolution". The Webby Awards.
  25. ^ Solis, Brian (April 23, 2010). "21 Twitter Tips From Socially Savvy Companies". Fast Company.
  26. ^ Thomas, Jesse (April 12, 2012). "Engagement Ain't Nothin' But A Number: Brian Solis on Connected Customers". Forbes.
  27. ^ Clark, Dorie (May 3, 2013). "So What Is the Future of Business?". Forbes. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  28. ^ Stark, Clinton (September 28, 2013). "WTF is Brian Solis talking about?". Stark Insider. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  29. ^ Zwilling, Martin (December 24, 2015). "It's Time To Design Human Experiences, Not Just Products". Forbes. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  30. ^ Mainwaring, Simon (November 6, 2015). "Book Review: X: The Experience When Business Meets Design by Brian Solis". Huffington Post. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  31. ^ "Story". 2008.
  32. ^ August 01; 2009. "40 Under 40 2009". maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  33. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 10, 2016. Retrieved August 6, 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  34. ^ Cardenas, Nancy. "Marketing Hall of Fame Academy". Marketing Hall of Fame.
  35. ^ "CRM Magazine Announces Winners of 2010 CRM Market Awards". CRM Magazine. August 2, 2010.
  36. ^ admin (July 27, 2012). "Billboard's Twitter 140: The Music Industry Characters You Need to Follow". Billboard. Archived from the original on January 12, 2019. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  37. ^ "Revolution - The Webby Awards".
  38. ^ "Digital PR Awards: Blogger". PR News. October 13, 2014.
  39. ^ "The Top 20 Mobile Influencers on Twitter in 2015". MobileFOMO. December 30, 2015. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  40. ^ O'Reilly, Lara. "The 30 best people in advertising to follow on Twitter". Business Insider.
  41. ^ Lorenzen, Richard (October 30, 2015). "The Top 10 People to Know in Silicon Valley".

External links[edit]