Just arrived from South by SouthWest 2014 edition. The always “weird” city of Austin received this year around 130.000 professionals, geeks, hipsters, frikies and other mammals, from music, film and interactive planets. It was really a fucking awesome festival full of inspiring panelists, workshops and networking-parties. Although there were also some poor conferences though like those related to Social Media cases and a bunch of rock-stars over promoting their books and storytellings.
Among all the enormous variety of conferences offered this year, I would remark in my modest opinion, these 5 inspirationals:
THE FUTURE OF MAKING
The idea of making isn’t just reserved for handmade bikes, artisan pickles, and Arduino helicopters. The future of making is a product of our human needs and the possibilities we create through technology. This is about a larger shift towards making and the unexpected movements that might occur. It’s about how everyone from you to our kids might design, make and consume products or experiences in the next 10 to 15 years.
Tim Brown’s comments were pretty interesting, however Mr Joi Ito was simply huge on his smart comments and arguments, for example about the value of human intuition, and its risk to disappear because of the democratization of manufacturing. The knowledge based on Intuition comes naturally from the learning by making, he argued, and that is something we should keep in our human DNA. Other key concept remarked by Ito is “Bio-engineering”. We have to learn from bio-engineering as well as we learnt from Internet, he was saying. Instead of wood, plastics or metals, there will be a biological process of making and growing, using cells, bacterias, insects, chromosomes, etc… My God, that was a shocking moment! Seeing how thousands of silkworms were used to spin the roof of a 3D printed structure. (Watch SILK PAVILION)
TOMS SHOES. THE POWER OF GIVING
Blake Mycoskie, founder.
Founder of TOMS, Blake Mycoskie, believes that “doing it different” is as important to success as “doing good.” This belief has caught on across the business sector and continues to make a huge impact on the world. At SXSW Blake shared how placing a relentless focus on being disruptive by disregarding traditional business wisdom is the only way to take your idea to the next level. Honoring this belief through his own work, Blake’s ventures are always based on his idea of “One for One” movement and explain why pushing limits and taking more risks is more important than ever before.
Blake’s project is not new at all, but meeting him was really inspiring. I guess he is right in the vision that today is possible earning money and also helping others. That’s for me the most honest way to build brand content in the long term having your own consumers acting as a real social network, talking about you everyday. This is for me “valued communication” behaving naturally in Social media. It´s clear that today if you count with a good product or service, your consumers will “create” the advertising for you, . Here some videos
MICHAEL DELL, ABOUT ENTREPENEURSHIP.
Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell, hosted a panel of successful entrepreneurs for an insight discussion about starting and scaling a business, innovating beyond the startup phase, corporate reinvention and leading through change. The panelists were leaders of businesses featured in Dell’s latest ad campaign, called “New Beginnings,” which tells the story of the humble places where their success stories began. Panelists were Carley Roney, co-founder and Chief Content Officer of XO Group (parent company of TheKnot); Stephen Kaufer, co-founder and CEO of TripAdvisor; and Jeff Housenbold, CEO of Shutterfly.
THE NEW DIGITAL AGE
Eric Schmidt, Google
Much of today’s news coverage dwells on images of violence, stories of government instability, and a world in chaos, but there is another story to tell here. Technology is reshaping human society in ways we never imagined, and the story for the future is one of promise and innovation. Billions of people are coming online in the next decade. Their physical lives, human rights, and civic relationships will be forever altered. Google’s Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen conversation was around some of the most interesting questions about our future: how will technology change privacy and security, war and intervention, diplomacy, revolution and terrorism? How will technology improve our lives? What new disruptions can we expect?
HUMANIZING TECHNOLOGY, another example of “valued communication”
How do you make technology emotional and innovative-cool at the same time? A good start is developing the technology to its full potential before any big idea comes along. This panel showed how Finch and Reactive invented an interactive robot arm that was fueled by Facebook for the non-profit organization Save Our Sons. Needing desperately to bring more attention to Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, they together wanted the Australian government to make research on DMD a priority. And needed to do so in a short amount of time. With over 32,000 Australians ultimately signing their petition, The Most Powerful Arm has become the most successful health-related petition in Australian history. The discussion was about how they used innovative tech and emotional social media to implore people to sign and share something online – without the help of paid media spend.
Beside this conferences I’m sure there was more interesting stuff I missed.
If you enjoyed SXSW, please share with us your comments.