Velocity: The Seven New Laws for a World Gone Digital

  • Denise Horton
  • November 13th, 2014

For over two years, Ajaz Ahmed and Stefan Olander met in London, New York and in Sweden. Meeting in cafes and pubs, two of the world’s leading digital strategists crafted seven themes around which any organization can innovate, lead and capture the hearts of their customers.

Their conversations captured “what we’ve learned on our journey” and, with great clarity and a passionate voice, they share their management philosophies in Velocity: The Seven New Laws for a World Gone Digital. Hands down, this is best business book I’ve ever read.

At 21 years old, Ajaz Ahmed, founded AKQA, one of the world’s most innovative digital agencies. Stefan Olander, Vice President/General Manager of Digital Sport at Nike, is a 15-year veteran of a brand I admire (and have personally contributed to their P & L many times over).

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Velocity is a force, a forward momentum that can instill, in people and brands, a higher purpose. Velocity creates environments for people to courageously innovate and, ultimately, create a better world. What I love most about this book is that @ the heart of innovation is optimism.

As I read the book, I discovered seeds of wisdom tucked inside the Seven Laws:


  • Always play from your heart.


  • The world’s most innovative brands get to where they are because they aren’t afraid. Or more specifically, they are afraid – of being like everyone else. To achieve what others can’t, they must do what others won’t.


  • Let your imagination and curiosity power progress.
  • The most powerful force in the universe isn’t technology. It’s imagination.
  • Innovation, by its nature, is an experiment with unknown outcomes.


  • Digital is the means, not the end. Technology sometimes obscures this ultimate truth, and makes it easy to forget that at the far side of an app, a Tweet, an anything, there is a person.
  • “We don’t build services to make money. We make money to build better services.” ~ Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook


  • “Good design makes a product understandable.” ~Dieter Rams
  • “Good design is as little design as possible.” ~Dieter Rams


  • The philosophy has to be: let’s use the technology to make this the best way to do something, or let’s not bother doing it at all. The goal has to be about making a new experience an order of magnitude better than the existing way.


  • Instead of interrupting people, serve them and make them feel something.

Learn more

Buy the book

Here’s a great interview with Ajaz Ahmed:


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