Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2011 about Failure

View as grid

Your current filters are…

Friday 11th March 2011

  • When Good Companies Go Horribly Wrong

    by Rolf Skyberg

    This is not my beautiful job, how did I get here? We never want to believe it, but often we watch in horror as the company that we once loved, either as a founder or as an employee, suddenly descends into a rotten, back-biting, stinking mess. Maybe it was a slow death of a thousand cuts, maybe it exploded overnight. Regardless of how it happened, we hope this could have been avoided. Whether you are an old salt or a young pup, you've probably seen your fair share of meltdowns, and probably have some idea of why they happened after the fact…

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Friday 11th March

    In Room 6AB, Austin Convention Center

Saturday 12th March 2011

  • A Bootstrapped Geek Sifts Through the Bullshit

    by Jason Cohen

    After starting three companies, I've found that some widely accepted advice lead me to failure while trusting my (inexperienced) gut lead to success. So many business philosophies profess they're the One True Way, yet different business face different hurdles. With stories, six actionable lessons, and a workshopping of 37signals' philosophy, you'll learn when to follow the rules and when to go your own way.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Salon AB, Hilton Austin Downtown

  • Interactive Marketing Horror Stories

    by Steve Lundin and Richard Laermer

    Join a panel of marketing writers and humorists for a rollicking tour through some of the most notable examples of interactive marketing programs gone awry. These incredible, disturbing, and (unintentionally) hilarious case studies will leave you scratching your head and wondering out loud: “someone actually approved AND paid for that?”

    From Edelman’s “WalMarting Across America” campaign that served to coin the phrase “Fake Weblog,” to Pepsi’s “Amp up before you score” social networking debacle, the world of interactive marketing has already yielded a rich crop of disasters to study.

    If anything can be learned from the numerous gaffes made by marketers, it’s that mistakes are repeated. They’re reported in the press and then disappear, rarely cited in marketing books or publications. Why? Because according to one panelist, “we don’t like talking about the negative stuff.” In short, as far as the world of marketing is concerned, “all is always well.” The lessons that these stories impart are invaluable and should not only be repeated, but analyzed (and hopefully never repeated again).

    Interactive Marketing Horror Stories provides an in depth look expensive mistakes, coupled with an explanation of why they happened and what we as marketers can do to avoid them. This fast moving, detailed and conversation provoking presentation will provide you with some of the most important information you can use: a way to avoid nightmares.

    LEVEL: Advanced

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Salon E, Hilton Austin Downtown

Sunday 13th March 2011

  • Too Small, Too Open: Correcting Wikipedia's Local Failure

    by Phoebe Ayers, Michael Trice, Philip Neustrom and Deepina Kapila

    What happens when Wikipedia isn't big enough? This is a key question for those developing closed community spaces. Wikipedia came onto the scene promising to offer a repository for all knowledge, but it turned into the world’s best encyclopaedia—absolutely nothing more, nothing less. A remarkable achievement it is, but one that never managed to store local knowledge with the same reverence as general, global knowledge. This panel will explore how developers are trying to address these limitations by building a different kind of collaborative environment. From local wikis that only allow those who live in the community to contribute to government-sponsored social networks meant to enhance a specific organization, the panel examines the viability of closed and semi-open networks. The panel will specifically look at how you get local communities involved in mass collaboration: 1) What topics generate traffic for local communities? 2) Which current collaborative tools work best for community engagement? 3) What kind of collaborative tools are needed for the future? 4) How do local collaborative environments reach out to community members who lack digital literacy? To answer these questions on local collaboration the panel will involve experts involved with DavisWiki.org and the Department of State, as well as those involved in digital inclusion efforts in underprivileged communities.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Sunday 13th March

    In Room 10AB, Austin Convention Center

  • #FAIL: Infamous Social Media PR Disasters

    by Marla Erwin

    #Amazonfail, United Breaks Guitars, Motrin Moms: These are just a few of the social media PR disasters caused by inattention, poor service, or a failure to understand the target market. In the age of blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, one customer service mistake can be all over the web before you can say “non-apology form letter.” Enjoy a history of edifying and often hilarious social media misfires, and learn how to avoid being on the receiving end of user-generated campaigns that can cost thousands or even millions in bad publicity.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Sunday 13th March

    In Room 203, AT&T Conference Center

    Coverage write-up

  • The Five Startups You Meet in the Deadpool

    by Ben Lerer, Emily Hickey, Charlie O'Donnell and Christine Herron

    Former entrepreneur, current investor and innovation community leader Charlie O'Donnell will discuss five different patterns of failure often seen in startups that don't make it. It will cover how entrepreneurs can derisk their ideas, maintain momentum, and take advantage of opportunities early on in a company's life cycle. Patterns of failure include: 1) Failure to zero in on a sector's most pressing pain point. 2) Not leaving enough time or financing to iterate on an idea. 3) Failure to create short term milestones that create value. 4) Failure to capture industry attention and mindshare. - 5) Failure to build a realistic customer acquisition engine.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Sunday 13th March

    In Salon AB, Hilton Austin Downtown

  • Fail Big, Fail Often: How Fear Limits Creativity.

    by Jeramy Morrill

    Failure is not an option--it’s a requirement. Like the mythical phoenix, creativity constantly springs from its own ashes to be reborn new and different.

    The world is filled with excellent implementations of the same things, created by wonderful technicians who have the talent to recreate any style. This talent shouldn’t be discounted: it’s a necessary part of interactive design. We can’t diminish the importance of convention or usability when being creative, but the fear of opposing them can kill the creative spirit and hide our most promising work. It’s this fear of breaking conventions, of not being understood, of failing that dooms us to repeat what others have done.

    This panel will focus on the idea of becoming fearless, and therefore, truly creative. We will discuss the concept of failure as a necessary part of creation. We will introduce the idea that even the most artistic expressions benefit from prototyping, restarting and reworking. We will discuss the concept that absolutely nothing is sacred, especially your own work. And finally--and most importantly--we will discuss how to get satisfaction and enjoyment from the process of failing forward.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Sunday 13th March

    In Rio Grande A, Marriott Courtyard Austin Downtown/Convention Center

  • Social Failure & Lessons Learned

    by Mike Lewis

    Enterprise organizations love to talk about all the successes they've had implementing and executing their social media campaigns, but you rarely hear about the (gasp!) failures. This is really too bad because it is from both these successes and failures that enterprise marketers learn from to be better armed to deal with their own challenges within their organization. Well, lucky for us, we have had the opportunity to talk to dozens of the largest enterprise brands out there and can tell you that there are many stories of social media challenges and failures that you haven't heard.

    Mike Lewis, VP of Awareness, Inc. recently traveled across the country meeting these large enterprise brands. During this eye-opening road trip, Mike learned about many of the challenges each of these organizations were faced with as they were trying to either get their social media strategy rolling or just manage it all. During this session, Mike will share some common social media challenges and failures the big brands didn’t want you to know about along with some social media success stories you haven’t heard. After this session you will walk away with some actionable strategies that you can apply to your social media programs immediately.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 1:15pm to 1:30pm, Sunday 13th March

    In Ballroom E, Austin Convention Center

Monday 14th March 2011

  • OMG, My Customer’s Pissed and Uses Twitter

    by Rob LaGesse

    Too many customers are sitting listening to hold music waiting for their problem to get resolved. Instead of stewing privately they are now airing their grievances publicly. To anyone and everyone that will listen. The BP oil spill and Toyota recalls have showed us how people are using social media tools to give pissed off customers a new voice – and it’s a megaphone. Knowing your customer and understanding how to address everything from a crisis to the everyday question quickly and effectively is critical.

    Learn about some of the biggest flubs from 2010, how the ball was dropped and what could have been done differently. Don’t make the same mistakes they did. Learn how not to mess up.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Monday 14th March

    In Room 203, AT&T Conference Center

    Coverage video