by Jessica Jackley, Ryan Gilbert, Paul Leonard and Douglas Merrill
Technology and mathematics are transforming consumer lending. Historically, it has been nearly impossible for people with bad credit to get loans. Yet, these are often the people who need it most - to buy groceries or pay bills.
Until now, lenders determined who should get loans through a simple underwriting function based on a small amount of credit data. When this data is missing or wrong, banks deny the loan, leaving people to payday loans or pawn shops - very expensive options that put people further in debt.
Millions of people are being denied credit because underwriting hasn’t evolved. Why use only a handful of variables when we have vast amounts of data provided by the customer, the Internet, and social media? All data is credit data and we should use it all to make better underwriting decisions.
Analyzing vast amounts of data, however, requires complex machine learning more akin to search engines than your corner bank. The future of financial services is to become more like a recommendation engine, and less like a place where you stand in line to deposit checks.
The panelists will discuss how to use large-scale data analysis to re-invent underwriting and replace today’s antiquated methods. Better underwriting will open up good credit to people who don't have a lot of good options and materially improve the financial lives of the people who need it most.
by Evan Jones
Once upon a time slow connections begat the Progress Bar - bloated sites would taunt us with '15% loaded' screens. High-speed promised to kill the beast and free us from their tyranny but yet it lives! Progress bars are being used MORE lately to direct user actions. Look to Farmville and LinkedIn which push their users to collect 100% of their personal information. Incomplete progress bars are an itch that needs to be scratched. They carry the implicit language that declares 'You are here' but more importantly 'The end is in sight'. Game design motivates us through incremental, measurable progress towards a tangible goal but is this the way real life works? Is the progress bar's ubiquity in technology starting to affect the way we measure progress in meatspace? This panel will reach far across time and space to look at the story of progress bars, why they hypnotize us and what we need to do - slay the beast once and for all, or throw ourselves into its partially-complete embrace...
by Josh Clark
The iPad and its entourage of Android tablets have introduced a new style of computing, confronting designers with unfamiliar aches and pains. Learn the symptoms (and fixes) for a range of new-to-the-world iPad interface ailments, including Greedy Pixel Syndrome, the dreaded Frankeninterface, and the "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" bait and switch. Explore practical techniques and eye-opening gotchas of tablet interface design, all grounded in the ergonomics, context, psychology, and nascent culture of these new devices (both iOS and Android). The presentation inoculates you against common problems with close-up looks at successful iPad apps from early sketches to final design. Genial bedside manner is administered by Josh Clark, author of the O'Reilly books "Tapworthy: Designing Great iPhone Apps" and "Best iPhone Apps: A Guide for Discriminating Downloaders."
A common assumption among startup entrepreneurs is that listening to potential customers is the best way to find out whether your product or idea will succeed in the market. Honestly - don't bother. In our ten years of user experience research for startups and big companies alike, one thing we've seen time and again is that it's behavior, not opinions, that tells you whether people want to use your product.
The main problem with opinions is self-reporting bias: Opinions are often inconsistent with behaviors or other attitudes, especially when discussing hypotheticals. Remember Clippy, the little character that appeared in Microsoft Word years ago? That little bastard arose, in part, from Microsoft asking users if they wanted help working on their documents - everyone said, "Sure, sounds great." But once people started actually using it in the real world, they hated it - it might be one of the most hated features in the history of computing. But Microsoft employs hundreds of researchers. So where did they go wrong, and how can you avoid making the same mistake?
It's simple. Never ask people what they think of your product or idea. Instead, I'll walk you through the world of researching people, including what you need to ignore customers effectively, just like Apple and 37 Signals. I'll go over examples from our research with Volkswagen, Electronic Arts, and Wikipedia, and show how to use remote research to construct behavioral scenarios and eliminate poor research.
by Charlene Zvolanek, Gregory Wiet, John Qualter and Frank Sculli
Surgery simulators let medical students experience the adrenaline rush of a real operating room in a way that practicing on a cadaver cannot. Blood and guts aren't new to gaming, and simulators aren't new to training. But when the game is played on the human body, it offers exciting new opportunities for medical students to perfect their hand skills before they ever see their first patient.
At the Center for Immersive and Simulation-based Learning at Stanford, the lowest-performing students in a surgery simulator outperformed the highest-ranked students trained by traditional means. In this panel, we will briefly look at the history of simulation training, explore some simulator interfaces, experience a demonstration of a surgery simulator, and allow (at least) one lucky audience member to put his or her hand on the virtual knife. Panelists will discuss how what we traditionally think of as a game environment can be used to dramatically improve the training surgeons receive, change how surgeons receive accreditation—and ultimately improve their performance in practice.
by Jason Ford
Ever since grade school I've been told organization is my number one problem. Like most people involved in the web, I'm creative, technically proficient, and often lacking in focus. I've had to balance managing my personal disfunction with managing huge web projects and now running a startup business (FeedMagnet). More than once I've been introduced with the disclaimer, “Jason is really smart and talented...but he's kind of all over the place.”
Nevertheless, I've determined to master my disfunction—and I've tried everything. Inbox Zero. GTD. Scrum and Agile. Countless systems involving whiteboards. Moleskines and the Hipster PDA. CRMs, RTM, and other TLAs. I won't claim I've found the holy grail of organization but I've made a lot of progress—and life and business are much more manageable now.
This session is not for beginners. I'm going to assume you've already tried, or at least heard of, most of the popular project management and personal organization techniques out there. This session is for folks who have been fighting the same fight as me and are looking to learn from my mistakes and successes.
Specific topics to cover: Why systems work (or don't) for individuals. How to map your individual profile of disfunction. Putting custom-tailored systems in place to meet your specific needs.
If you have enough focus to have read this far, this session may not be for you—or maybe you are just desperate to figure this out and the session will be perfect.
The economy for small business has changed. You can't count on: a job, an income, a loan, the government. Resources are limited. Things no longer always go up. Society has changed. It is cycling away from big: big companies and big retail. Geographic advantage is shrinking, and competition is everywhere.
In order to thrive under these conditions, it is essential that every business build a community. Businesses are increasingly using social media to build their reputation and market their business. Companies spend their marketing dollars to find and participate in online communities based on a specific interest. In fact, social media like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are frequently compared to the old time country store, where everyone knew everyone, and friendly conversations lead to doing business together.
Small town entrepreneurs have been building communities to grow their businesses for hundreds of years. We will unlock the secrets of rural entrepreneurs that can now be used to help anyone build a business regardless of where you are located.
Why small town entrepreneurs?
If every customer can talk to every other customer now, is there anyone who knows how to do business this way? Small town businesses.
If building community is the new way of marketing, who is still living by community and can teach us? Small towns. If the old country store is the model for social media, where do we find them? Small towns.
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.
Are big banks too big to...innovate? It's clear that big banks have lost their innovative edge. Strict new government regulations and frustrated customers walking away haven't even sparked creativity from them. Luckily for consumers, there is a new wave of financial service innovators pushing the limits. Incorporating cutting edge technology, social media and -- believe it or not -- genuine customer service, this new group of financial players are giving traditional banks a run for their money. The Banks: Innovate or Die! panel will discuss why big banks are failing with today's Web 2.0 consumers, and will examine the new players in the space who are stealing customers away due to their innovation.
As the SXSW Interactive Festival continues to grow, it often becomes harder to discover /network with the specific type of people you want to network with. Hence a full slate of daytime Meet Ups are scheduled for the 2011 event. These Meet Ups are definitely not a panel session -- nor do they offer any kind of formal presentation or AV setup. On the contrary, these sessions are a room where many different conversations and (and will) go on at once. This timeslot is for registrants to network with other SXSW Interactive, Gold and Platinum registrants who are interested in Hadoop. Cash bar onsite.
I work with three other guys, and I've never met any of them. In fact, none of them live within 1000 miles of me. However, we manage to work together on 5-10 simultaneous projects and my business is up 300% from last year.
Building a team to help you with sub-contracting is easier than you might think. I'll tell you how I took Ennui Design from a one-man (severely overworked) effort to a four-man collective in less than three months while continuing to increase my company's gross income and my own take-home pay, all while opening up hours of my own time to enjoy life.
Programs like Y Combinator have garnered much attention in the media. Many of the startups are highlighted and critiqued upon launch, but how do these programs fare over time? What lessons have graduates of Y Combinator learned in a post-Y Combinator world? How do they turn ideas into real businesses?
by Rob Garner
While brands have become increasingly networked, they fail to maintain the fluidity and agility of the average user, many major brands are at risk at failing in their marketing efforts, or succumbing to more agile competitor. This session lays out the new marketing landscape, and demonstrates how brands will need to reinvent themselves.
Markets are conversations. As the web continues its neverending voyage toward Social, indie merchants must learn to engage and interact with their existing and future customers in new ways. The era of Social Shopping has begun, so get the info you need to stay ahead of the curve. Learn how to take advantage of the social web to help your indie business make more sales, connect with your community, and build devoted followers around the world. Perfect for small business owners, artists, crafters, musicians, authors and anyone else with something to sell.
Whether you are a first-timer to SXSW Interactive (who needs a little more guidance on how to navigate the event) or you are a South By veteran who wants to introduce yourself to new members of this global community, attending this session is a great way to network with a wide assortment of digital creatives. Only requirement for the SXSW Newcomer / Veteran Meet Up is that you not be shy about talking to other people who you don't know yet (but will likely soon become friends). Cash bar onsite.
Not too long ago, we got Zipcar, eBay, and Netflix. We got Prosper and Kiva and Kickstarter. What do they have in common? They ask people to share in one way or another. These days, sharing is an industry thanks largely to new technology. And it's critical to the environment, the economy, and the way we live together as a society.
It's also an industry that we don't know much about yet. In 2010, Latitude Research and Shareable Magazine conducted the first-ever comprehensive sharing industry to establish benchmarks for awareness and adoption of existing sharing services, as well as sharing attitudes and behaviors relating to everything from information to food to transportation to workspace to travel accommodations.
The study also sought to understand the new "psychology of sharing". What are the perceived benefits of sharing? What motivates someone to try sharing initially? What are the barriers to sharing, and how do we overcome them? Looking to the future, the study was able to answer what user demands exist, but aren't yet being met, in this new economy of sharing?
Mobile application design is a conversation that allows the developer to speak to the user. While manuals are able to guide this conversation, nothing is more immediate and enduring than the user interface of the application itself. The small size of mobile device screens requires developers to create user interfaces that communicate to users in ways that are concise yet easy to understand.
The comic book medium offers many design standards that mobile application developers can use to improve the effectiveness of their graphical user interface designs. Comic books have evolved through the years to maximize their ability to tell a story while confined to two dimensional static images. Comic book legend Will Eisner published “Comics and Sequential Art” in 1985 in order to document his mastery of using graphics to tell a story. This presentation will explore the design principles Eisner shared in his landmark book and specifically apply them to mobile application design. Scott McCloud’s book “Understanding Comics”, which built on top of the foundation laid by Eisner, will also be covered as well as McCloud’s later work “Reinventing Comics”.
Film makers have used comic books as the blueprint for blockbuster movies like “Spider Man” and “Batman Returns”. The comic book medium can provide a blueprint for blockbuster mobile applications as well. When attendees leave this session, they will know how to throw some Eisner onto their mobile application designs!
As the SXSW Interactive Festival continues to grow, it often becomes harder to discover /network with the specific type of people you want to network with. Hence a full slate of daytime Meet Ups are scheduled for the 2011 event. These Meet Ups are definitely not a panel session -- nor do they offer any kind of formal presentation or AV setup. On the contrary, these sessions are a room where many different conversations and (and will) go on at once. This timeslot is for registrants to network with other SXSW Interactive, Gold and Platinum registrants who are android developers. Cash bar onsite.
I was employee number 8. I've watched this company grow to a record of 30 people in a little over two years. Through this process, we evolved in our hiring, striving to keep the company culture and our internal identity intact. This presentation is focused on keeping the original values and ideals of the founders, and growing into the type of company and culture that they dreamed of having in their early years.
As the SXSW Interactive Festival continues to grow, it often becomes harder to discover /network with the specific type of people you want to network with. Hence a full slate of daytime Meet Ups are scheduled for the 2011 event. These Meet Ups are definitely not a panel session -- nor do they offer any kind of formal presentation or AV setup. On the contrary, these sessions are a room where many different conversations and (and will) go on at once. This timeslot is for registrants to network with other SXSW Interactive, Gold and Platinum registrants who are interested in branded entertainment. Cash bar onsite.
When people have questions they turn to search engines for the answers. Search activity can tell some interesting trends – hottest new gadget, most popular travel destination, or whether it’s going to be a bad flu season.
By digging deeper, this activity can be used in more compelling ways. For instance, it can be interpreted to foresee trends and develop news stories as billions of searches lend themselves to many narratives. Figuring out the “what-does-it-all-mean” goes beyond declaring the winner in an ever-changing popularity contest, or what’s on top of everyone’s mind day to day. What does the rise in apocalypse-related searches following natural disasters say about our modern society? Are the lookups following Tiger Woods’ story prurient, or are we repeating our ancient fascination with the morality tale? And can search activity project what the masses will decide, even before the masses know themselves?
By analyzing what people are searching for, societal trends can be determined and some would go as far as to say that search trends can actually predict the future. Analyzing search trends helps us understand the impulses and processes of why people make their choices at that particular moment in time.
This session will discuss the predictive nature of search and whether search has the power to drive news.
Side projects are crucial to remaining relevant in our industry. The web is constantly changing—new conventions, techniques and technologies—and one of the best ways to keep up is to do something for the love of it. Side projects facilitate a unique blend of experimentation, creativity and play that aren?t always possible during billable hours or client projects.
We?ll be grilling our panel to bring practical advice and a candid take on their past experiences. After all, getting the most out of a side project is easier said than done. Proper planning pays off when an exciting new idea and collaborative relationship collides with careers and family lives.
Business and life-long friendships have been built upon rallying around tasks and ideas that don?t always fit into the 9 to 5. We hope attendees leave with solid ideas and a heap of inspiration for starting their own side projects.
A few things we?ll cover:
• Planning and successfully launching a side project
• Benefits of a side project?
• How to manage collaborative relationships in terms of equity, roles and responsibilities
• How can side projects make your employees more valuable
• How to balance a side project with your career and family life
The social web is now a teenager –awkward, arrogant, snarky, fearless, experimental and open. She is shaking things up and having a major impact on our culture, social dynamics and etiquette. What are the new social dynamics and cultural impacts of all these tools and technologies?
This session will explore the emerging etiquette issues of our participatory hyper-connected world. What are the new rules? How are our relationships, culture and business assumptions changing? Do we understand the impact of this new relationship persistance?
- Do I have to ask before I post a photo of a friend online? Who has editorial approval?
- Am I required to respond to every inbound communication I receive or is “ignoring” an accepted response?
- Where is the line between encouraging participation and being just plain annoying?
- What are you doing mucking up my activity stream?
- What the heck is a “friend” anyway?
How do we design, build and manage these new spaces? What are the new rules of the online commons and the associated appropriate etiquette? This participatory session will ask attendees to contribute their own real world examples and will lay out a new framework for a new social contract. It’s our job to decide what we want our web teenager to be when she is all grown-up.
Some love it, some hate it. Few technologies have had a more visceral response from developers and users alike than the Flash platform. From the Silverlight saga to the public slugfest between Apple and Adobe, each point of contention has left detractors saying that "this" will be the time that Flash dies. Will it ever stop crashing our browsers? Will it ever stop being a CPU hog? Can HTML5 finally kill Flash once and for all? Join us as we clear the FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) around these and other points of contention that have driven so many heated forum rants and paginated comment threads.
A funny thing happened last spring: Netflix let me build the front end for their iPhone product. Yeah. Me. The punk-rock-API guy.
The initial conversation went something like this:
Netflix: "It's five weeks to WWDC. We've got Mobile Safari, our open APIs, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses."
Me: "Hit it."
Rapid growth is a survival challenge that's killed off many seemingly successful companies (Pointcast? Kozmo?) How can u ride the rocket without falling off? This panel will bring together people who have lived through the ups and super ups and survied to tell you how to build a company that will thrive through the challenges of rapid growth.
After the SXSW love-fest, startups and advertisers will want to collaborate. Warning: it’s not easy. This panel will break down the cultural and organizational barriers between startups and brands, and we'll discuss a model for mutually beneficial relationships. We’ll address questions like: How should startups pitch a brand? Can startups really stay true to their product roadmap while accommodating the needs of advertisers? How can brands work with startups to generate buzz and stay relevant with consumers?
On the panel:
Gloria Lin, Head of Biz Ops for Flipboard
Charlie Taylor, GM of Digital for Volkswagon America
Kaitlyn Trigger, Sr. Strategist at AKQA
Jay Adelson, CEO of SimpleGeo, Cofounder Revision3, former CEO of Digg
by Emily Reid and Derek Fridman
Why doesn't Toucan Sam Twitter? Where's the Pillsburry Doughboy to poke on my mobile phone? And which one of the Snuggle Bear Facebook pages is real? Join us for a pow-wow on how you take your brand characters out of the 1980's TV commercials and place them in the social and interactive world.
There's no napping when your characters are in the digital age. We'll talk about preparing your characters personality, environment and lingo for the demands of the "always-on" consumer. And what about the character's of tomorrow? We'll look at concept to completion, how a brand creates and introduces a new cast of characters ready for today's digital stage and beyond.
Similar to my grandmother who doesn't understand these "crazy kids and their internets", mascots need to take up residence in the digital world, make some friends, and tweet about their day.
by Paul Gelb
A jaw dropping 80% of iPhone and Android apps have hardly any active users. Tens of thousands of developers and hundreds of thousands of mobile applications have gotten it wrong. But mobile apps done right can provide unprecedented value to users and rapid transformations of businesses. Gilt Groupe, USAA Bank and Pandora can attribute much of their recent success to their mobile applications.
The biggest barrier to success? More is absolutely less. As Mark Twain famously said, “It would have been shorter if I had more time.” With seemingly infinite options of features, ‘what’ and ‘how much’ is the hardest part of development.
This presentation will provide a detailed unbridled view into the strategy and creative process of creating a compelling, successful mobile app by finding the right balance between business objectives content, design, functionality, and concept.
The old way of thinking tells small businesses to worry about competitors. Worrying takes the focus off the business. By collaborating with competitors the focus remains on the client and business goals. Take for instance the WordPress theme design company StudioPress. StudioPress recommended other theme design companies to add to the Page.ly power ups page. Because of these actions and more, they've increased their recognition, branded themselves as a benevolent leader, and gained respect within the community. GangPlank, a collaborative workspace, started as a few web firms who decided to share their business secrets. They decided to combine their efforts and work together under the same roof. There was enough room for more so the space was opened up to the public. Now the space has increased from 5k sq ft to 16k sq ft and is funded by the city of Chandler. Learn these tactics and more from a highly qualified panel of experts who live this philosophy daily.
11th–15th March 2011