SXSW Interactive 2012: a collection of learnings, summaries and takeaways

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This year I went to SXSW Interactive in Austin for the first time. I talked to people and I heard people speak. This is what I learned.

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  • 1.SXSWinteractive2012a collection of learnings, summaries and takeawaysNathan Archambault | Copywriter | AKQA

2. So WTF is SXSW Interactive?Its a Technology and Innovation Trade Showattended by Agencies, Clients and Nerdswith 2,700 Presenterswho speak at Keynotes and Panelswhere like-minded people Learn, Network and Schmoozein between Events and Partieswhile collecting Swag, Hangovers and Stuff to Tweet About. 3. So WTF is SXSW Interactive?Its a Technology and Innovation Trade Showattended by Agencies, Clients and Nerdswith 2,700 Presenterswho speak at Keynotes and Panelswhere like-minded people Learn, Network and Schmoozein between Events and Partieswhile collecting Swag, Hangovers and Stuff to Tweet About.Thats a lot... how do youmake it useful? 4. So WTF is SXSW Interactive?Its a Technology and Innovation Trade Showattended by Agencies, Clients and Nerdswith 2,700 Presenterswho speak at Keynotes and Panelswhere like-minded people Learn, Network and Schmoozein between Events and Partieswhile collecting Swag, Hangovers and Stuff to Tweet About.Thats a lot... how do youmake it useful?Lets break it down. 5. When Cyborg Anthropologist Amber Case discussed Ambient Location and the Future of the Interface I learned: Were already cyborgs. But the technology isnt inside us. Its in our pockets.SUMMARYTAKEAWAYThroughout history, tools have extended our physical People and technology have become intertwined tocapabilities. But now technologies like smartphonesthe point of no return. Our phones are a remote controlextend our mental capabilities and reduce the amount offor our lives, providing us with an annotated reality.time and space it takes for people to connect with Were all Superhuman.information.Key stat: By 2020, theres going to be 50 billion connected devices in the world.Overview and Podcast: http://schedule.sxsw.com/2012/events/event_IAP992057 6. When Cyborg Anthropologist Amber Case discussed Ambient Location and the Future of the Interface she said: The best technology is invisible.SUMMARY TAKEAWAYThe point of technology is to reduce the amount of time Today, we click a mouse to make an action happen. Butand space it takes for people to connect with information.gestures and voice commands are taking over. SoonThats why you dont see the best technology, it just well all be wearing Google Glass and well just have toworks when you need it. think or blink or desire to make something happen. Theworld is becoming the interface and its happeningso fast and seamlessly that hardly anyone hasnoticed.Overview and Podcast: http://schedule.sxsw.com/2012/events/event_IAP992057 7. When Mullen CIO Edward Boches, Vayner Media Co Founder AJ Vaynerchuck, The Difference Engine Founder Farrah Bostic, Springpad Co-Founder Jeff Janer and VentureBeat reporter Jolie ODell discussed How to Harvest Consumer Intent from the Social Web I learned: Brands who insert themselves into the social graph are doing it wrong. They fit more seamlessly and naturally into the interest graph.SUMMARY TAKEAWAYThe social web lets us send out a constant stream ofTheres a tremendous opportunity for brands tolikes, tweets, check-ins, and reviews that we want to bridge the gap between discovery and action withshare. But theres a new interest graph on the web that useful, timely and relevant information and offers.allows people to express their passions and plans in aPinterest, Fab, GetGlue and other emerging interestway thats much more valuable to brands.graph platforms let people categorize what theyre intoand when a persons intent becomes obvious, brandscan take advantage.Overview and Podcast: http://schedule.sxsw.com/2012/events/event_IAP13648 8. When Mullen CIO Edward Boches, Vayner Media Co Founder AJ Vaynerchuck, The Difference Engine Founder Farrah Bostic, Springpad Co-Founder Jeff Janer and VentureBeat reporter Jolie ODell discussed How to Harvest Consumer Intent from the Social Web I learned: Whatever a brand does, social or otherwise, should be all about data.SUMMARYTAKEAWAYConversations should be used to gather information, notUse social to learn more about people and how peoplejust for the sake of conversation. behave. Not just age and location but interests and preferences. Forget about likes and follows and RTs. Theyre useless when it comes to understanding us. The right data can inform brands what people are into and thats whats useful. Use relationships to learn what your customers want and then give it to them.Overview and Podcast: http://schedule.sxsw.com/2012/events/event_IAP13648 9. When Difference Engine Founder Farrah Bostic talked aboutHow to Harvest Consumer Intent from the Social Web she said:If all you do is show,all people are going todo is look.SUMMARYTAKEAWAYWe need to shift perspective from say and thinkJust putting stuff out there doesnt serve a purpose.to do and share. Brands need to foster discovery, adapt to the interest graph and learn how to engage in it, and start marketing to the data. If brands tapped into our interests, theyd know to send us useful information. The data is there but brands arent taking advantage and thats got to change.Overview and Podcast: http://schedule.sxsw.com/2012/events/event_IAP13648 10. When MIT Principal Research Scientist Andrew Mcafee and OReilly Media Founder/CEO Tim OReilly discussed Create More Value Than You Capture I learned: Jobs are being outsourced not just to low-wage countries, but to machines. Machines! We need to rethink how the economy works.SUMMARYTAKEAWAYEfciency is making too much of our labor pool obsolete. Companies need to build great ecosystems, one in whichThe race by companies to eliminate labor costs has beenvalue is created not just for themselves but for partners,a short term prot win but a long term loss. The cycle ofpeople and other companies. Companies should havecapitalism depends on consumers as well as producers.hairy, audacious goals that go beyond the balance sheet.If consumers are less able to nd employment, we havePlatforms like Kickstarter and Etsy are new ways ofto start thinking about how to put people to work, ratherconducting business that put the emphasis back onthan how to put them out of work. Weve got to adjust ourthe people and reward individuals for hard, uniqueeconomy for a world in which more of our lives are work. The world needs more platforms that give peopleautomated. the chance to become producers.Key stat: Technologies like Siri will be 16 times better within 6 years.Overview and Podcast: http://schedule.sxsw.com/2012/events/event_IAP100142 11. When Rock God Billy Corgan and Altimeter Group Principal Brian Solis discussed The End of Business as Usual I learned: People changed the business model. Its up to people to figure out how to make it profitable.SUMMARYTAKEAWAYStarting with Napster, the world of business changed.Artists and producers need to gure out how to buildThe standardized industry systems of yesterday dont new systems that work hand-in-hand with how theywork anymore.create and deliver things. A way to produce art and inspiration that makes money and works within the worlds new digital ecosystem.Overview and Podcast: http://schedule.sxsw.com/2012/events/event_IAP14046 12. When Rock God Billy Corgan talked about The End of Business as Usual he said: If youre going to have an opinion, you better support, and if youre not going to support, shut the f*ck up.SUMMARY TAKEAWAYStarting with Napster, power began to shift fromConsumers have to get out of victim mentality, likeproducers to consumers. Consumers realized they could they shouldnt have to pay for things they want. Ifnd music, content and knowledge online. Producers, you believe in something, become a brand advocate andwho couldnt charge whatever they wanted anymore, donate. If people dont start supporting the products andwere slow to adapt and create a new model.services they love, those products and services aregoing to go away.Overview and Podcast: http://schedule.sxsw.com/2012/events/event_IAP14046 13. When AKQA Mobile Director Tina Unterlaender & Audi Manager of Connected Vehicles Anupam Malhotra discussed Why Your Car Will Be the 5th Screen in Your Life I learned: The time we spend in our cars shouldnt be wasted time connectivity-wise, but it cant disrupt the driving experience.SUMMARY TAKEAWAYAfter movie theaters, TVs, PCs, and mobile phones, your Screens in cars need to create an experience thatscar will become the next screen you embrace. Cars are relevant to people on the road and do it the right way.already tted with powerful computers but were not This means a unique interface that accommodates theusing the technology to its full capacity. In time, inventors driving experience. Right now, every automaker has theirand marketers will partner with consumers to see how farown technology. There are no set platforms or UXwe can push the fth screen. It will become the moststandards, which stunts growth and holds downinnovative screen yet.what our cars are capable of doing.Key stat: Cars are tted with computers capable of completing 2,000 decisions per second.Overview and Podcast: http://schedule.sxsw.com/2012/events/event_IAP13387 14. When Mekanism CEO Jason Harris, 140 Proof Founder John Manoogian III, Barbarian Group Director of Earned Media Kristin Maverick and Story Labs Founder Sarahjane Sacchetti discussed Epic Battle: Creativity vs. Discipline in Social I learned: Invite analytics to the brainstorm.SUMMARYTAKEAWAYAs social media marketing moves from experimental to Hitting the numbers isnt going to get any less important.institutional, brands no longer question the importance of Its up to agencies to consider analytics from the startsocial media marketing. But todays strategies and and help brands understand the analytics that matter.deployment of social campaigns produce big questions Word of mouth is joining clicks, likes and drivingabout ROI versus spending. Agencies want to producepurchase as a key metric. But we still need more n