Digital Aboriginal: The Direction of Business Now: Instinctive, Nomadic, and Ever-Changing. Mikela Tarlow, Philip Tarlow. Business Plus.

Digital Aboriginal: The Direction of Business Now: Instinctive, Nomadic, and Ever-Changing Book Cover Digital Aboriginal: The Direction of Business Now: Instinctive, Nomadic, and Ever-Changing
Mikela Tarlow, Philip Tarlow
Business Plus
April 24, 2002

Once people moved freely in a world strung together not by roads or wires but by impressions, stories, and images. For these people, simple communication skills helped the individual stay tuned in with his everyday concerns. For centuries, the modern world branded these people “primitive.” But in Digital Aboriginal, two noted authors show that technology-driven information – moving as freely as the wind – now blurs old borderlines, and that in many ways our survival instincts resemble those of our mobile ancestors.

In this brilliant, forward-thinking book, Mikela and Phillip Tarlow urge business managers to re-imagine strategies and customers the way today’s leading companies do:


  • Rockport Shoes totally changed its marketing strategy to encourage less talk at its customers and to absorb more talk from them. The new economy is about conversation, and everyone has a story to tell.
  • Mega-camping gear supplier REI turned its Seattle store into a 100,000-square-foot simulation of an outdoor experience. In the world of digital nomads, brick-and-mortar stores are becoming oases that connect the nomad’s environment to the product.
  • W. L. Gore, the maker of GORE-TEX, pioneered a tribal structure in which workers “look around for something to do” instead of staying locked in job descriptions. In a world driven by external connections, the best companies make new internal connections.
  • 3M Corporation is famous for its 15 percent rule: Employees are authorized to spend 15 percent of every workday just experimenting with ideas. Aborigines grant ultimate respect to the dreamer.

By looking into the past, we can see our future. Digital Aboriginal will help managers, entrepreneurs, and CEOs enter this new age with a clearer vision of new markets, new products, new companies, and new rewards on the digital frontier.

Mikela and Philip Tarlow have worked with clients as diverse as senior executives of Fortune 500 companies, Grammy and Emmy-award-winning entertainers, and entrepreneurs in every field. They have presented to corporations such as Coca-Cola, Microsoft, and Sony in venues as varied as the Kaiser Executive Leadership Program, Young Presidents Organization, and the World Future Society. They are founders of the Praxis group, and for almost twenty years they have focused on action-based learning strategies. They can be found at