by Brian Wong
Being a young entrepreneur in this period of time in business and commerce is an exciting thing. It is your biggest asset. You should rock it.
But how do you rock it? How do you overcome traditional preconceived notions of being "younger", more "inexperienced", and "naive"? Simple. You turn them into your strengths. Everyone always talks about how being curious, how retaining youthful characteristics is a great way to succeed without bounds. Why can't those who truly embody those characteristics be the ones that indeed reap those rewards?
Most younger entrepreneurs are at the edge of a cliff. They are looking for reasons to jump, or not to jump. There are lots of people willing to tell them all the reasons of why they shouldn't. Very few are there to tell them all the reasons why they should, and to help them throughout to show them how to grow wings in the process. I'm there to nudge them.
Being a 19-year-old entrepreneur with a funded start up - experience at a well-known company in the social news landscape, and literally being thrown into a pit of extremely successful entrepreneurs as a non-American (a Canadian), helped prime me to learn all of the lessons that I will be sharing with everyone.
Anyone fascinated by the elusive "young" entrepreneur - and especially the type that genuinely takes tangible action towards successful milestones in their career - and wondering about how to learn from them and to help nurture their growth - should come.
People are willing to trade time for work experience in every occupational field. Volunteers and Interns can be a fantastic source of creative energy and labor. Organizing and managing volunteers and interns can be a full time job. Can you take advantage of additional help? Learn how to recruit and manage workers while also providing a learning experience while getting real work accomplished.
You’re starting a startup, running a blog professionally, investing in other startups, or otherwise doing "the geek thing," and yet ... you know that your identity is rooted even more in the little one at home who’s toddling around in a playpen, learning teamwork on a soccer field, working on a science fair experiment, or otherwise doing "the kid thing."
How do you balance your role as a parent with your role as a co-founder? How do you reconcile these two worlds, each of which would happily consume you completely? How much do you rely on your (life) partner? Your (business) partners? How do you reconcile the tension between these two worlds?
A panel of rockstar parents/startup cofounders will share their secrets of success, their awkward failures, and their startup / parenting war stories.
Men's media has changed tremendously - almost as much as men and dads have. Today's dads are active in every aspect of the household, from parenting to chores, and yet, they are largely overlooked as readers and consumers.
New American Dads are thirsty for knowledge and a community that speaks their common language - that of the real man. The new language of men helps Jacks of all trades learn how to be better at all of them, retain their essential masculinity and perform well in a new paradigm of family, work and self. Traditional media outlets - those that espouse the virtues of supposedly manly interests ($10,000 suits, rare scotch and women, women, women) are missing an opportunity to serve this emerging male marked.
In order to speak 'Dad,' media must speak to the realities of his life, his priorities, responsibilities, aspirations and, above all else, be useful. The growing online media directed at the New American Dad understands that service journalism - that which seeks to inform as well as entertain - is the next evolution in the daddy blogger.
Blogs have their place, but in order to effect change in men's media, online resources must engage the reader in a conversation, one in which the consumer walks away feeling better informed than they had before engaging the site.
Service journalism - how-tos, how it works and best-of lists - have practical applications in readers' lives, thus engendering loyalty and creating conversations with a long overlooked population, while developing an audience for whom older media models based on supposed aspiration and stereotype have little meaningful impact.
Speak to dads in their language, encourage them to speak back, teach them something they can use and entertain them - this is the next evolution of men's media.
There are many ways to make a pittance as a blogger. Google ads will bring home a very small amount of bacon. Maybe a slice. The book deal, though coveted, is often meager at best. And there are all of those adorable animal species who are just waiting for their photos to be manipulated into something even cuter/funnier/more irritating, but what happens when the next tiny cute animal comes along? Moms ought to pour their hearts out every day for more than free fabric softener. How can bloggers get paid appropriately for generating and promoting content and managing a loyal community?
How about a leap from the job where you spend most of your day ignoring the tedium by blog surfing, checking out Twitter and replying to the growing comments on your blog, into a position that will probably pay better and allow you to use all of those skills you learned as a blogger?
This presentation will show both sides of taking skills learned as a blogger and translating them into a career change or enhancement. The presentation will be conducted from two points of view-the blogger, and, the hiring manager.
Companies always try to grow so they can do more things, add more capabilities, and make more money - right? Not anymore: Not in Austin, or in many other places. People are finding that digital and mobile technologies can help them to organize more loosely and rapidly, and that means they can keep small and flexible, scale up when necessary, and link up with other loose organizations to swarm big projects, even if they are freelancers working out of their own houses, coffee shops, or coworking spaces.
How do these loose organizations work? In this core conversation, I'll briefly share stories from my research into some of Austin's loose organizations: freelancers, coworking spaces, and an internet startup. I'll discuss how the organizations in my research hold together, function, and build links with each other.
With these cases in mind, I'll moderate a discussion about attendees' own experiences with loose organizations and brainstorm ways to make them run more effectively. Afterwards, I'll post conversation notes on my blog so we can keep the ball rolling after SXSW.
Industry All-Stars tackle the subject that we're all most curious about but causes us the most discomfort: what, when, and how to charge for our work. Learn their inside tips on how to charge your clients, when trading work for equity makes sense, and how to avoid common client pitfalls. Stop cheating yourself and learn that you deserve to be paid in full for doing work you're passionate about. Our work has the power to make enormous amounts of money for our clients. Let's take a good hard look at the value we provide and how to ask for and receive value in return.
Negotiating your rate for a project is the difference between being a starving artist or successful freelancer or studio. Creatives fall prey to lowball offers, promises of future work, and other forms of wage penalties in fear of losing a potential client. Learn how the pros have created successful freelance businesses and startups by not compromising their rates and standards. Understand how they attract the big name clients and avoid the bad clients.
We'll also explore potential benefits and risks of working for stock.
Lawyers, doctors, accountants and other professionals typically don't experience angst, guilt, or wishy-washy boundaries when stating their rates and neither should we. We see standard billing rates across many industries. We’ll take a look at the role a standard billing rate would have in the creative services industry and how such a standard would be upheld and implemented.
by Brian Reich
There is a giant meteor headed our way... and we need to knock it off course or life as we know it will cease to exist.
If that news turned out to be true, you would do everything you could to save the world, right? Well, an equivalent disaster is unfolding before our eyes. Everything about our society is changing - rapidly and constantly. How we communicate, get and share information, and engage each other - online and offline - is different than it was just a few short years ago. Information moves faster, people are more closely connected, and the level of interest and commitment that people have when it comes to the organizations they engage, the transactions they make, the issues they care about and the causes they support has never been greater. Our society has changed and how organizations operate and communicate, the products we sell and services we offer, what causes we support, how we address serious issues - and find solutions to the biggest challenges we face as a global community -- needs to change as well.
If we don't change - everything - we are doomed. This session will outline the changes... in thinking, organization, education, engagement, government, media, and everything else... that need to be made.
by Robyn Cobb
The real-time web is quickly becoming a reality that allows your developing online social graph to be recorded into a stream of social activity. These increasingly popular lifestreams show the shifts around the social connections, the ways in which they’re made and the content discovered within each interaction, a unique indicator of the changing ways that consumers are also interacting with brands. Inside this stream of activities is a movement that is starting to take hold beyond just a re-tweet. More and more people are leveraging their social and corporate networks to create change whether in their community or across the globe. Social media and our blogs allow us to help rally our networks around a cause. Shining a light on others - without expecting anything in return - is the surest way to grow, strengthen, and promote your very own brand.
This panel will address why it is important for brands and individuals to join the pay it forward movement. We’ll give you real examples and ideas on how you can leverage your social capital to rise above the noise, affect change, and get more enjoyment from your social networks.
Know how to use an iterative, incremental framework to create improvements in software? You can use those mad skillz to make your life more awesome too! Come learn and share how agile techniques can be used to achieve personal goals and lower your stress – and even to get the most out of SXSW. Walk away with immediate, practical, positive actions you can take. Ideas to discuss:
• What day-to-day or minute-to-minute techniques will allow me to satisfy shorter-term goals while building up to bigger progress?
• How can I exploit my little monkey brain to get it to actually do stuff that will make my life better?
• How can I stay aligned to the big picture while working on today's challenges?
Tags: productivity, agile, lifehacks, happiness, self-development
Don't quit your big company job just yet to go work for that sexy startup. At this panel, seasoned professionals give their tips on how to successfully drive innovative ideas inside big companies.
Whether you want to add social media to your company's web presence, adopt hot new technology, or have the next big business idea, we'll tell you how to accomplish it, even in the face of management that still prints out their email.
by John Davis
All the left v right brain talk is going nowhere. Everything you see that is of high quality contains elements of both technical and creative mastery. We do what's easy and avoid what's hard...and even geeks get data wrong. Artistic measurement is as rare as scientific creativity, but we cannot change the world until we stop avoiding what's hard.
Data-centric evaluation - today centering on ad evaluation - requires a collaboration among psychologists, economists, artists, and craftspeople from many disciplines if we want to rise above the everyday crap we hear in ads. This interdisciplinary approach to evidence-based decisions has been used successfully over 25+ years by Mr. Davis to position messages for Camel Joe, L'eggs hosiery, Coca Cola, politicians, cities and others who need to think critically, using research to learn the trutth, and not just support an idea that is already in motion.
This session will give specific examples of scientific creativity that will leave you embarrased to ever use the technical v. creative mindset again. Evidence based decisions, your mind does it, why can't you?
Whether working freelance, on a project team, or just being a corporate puppet, “creatives” need a good management practice more than ever. It is really not enough to be creative or talented in the world of digital media. Good time management, communication management and project management are necessary elements for career success.
This solo presentation will demonstrate a high level view of good management techniques for creative people that want to push their careers forward. Two-thirds of the session will be a prepared presentation in order to establish a fruitful dialogue with the attendees for the back third of the session.
Management topics can include:
A good source of references will be provided at the end of the session for further interest in the topic.
In the past several years, more organizations supporting women in technology have popped up than we can count and keep track of, each addressing the under-representation of women in the fields of science and technology in their own way, and working to improve that situation.
If you’re a woman in a developed country, groups and organizations for women in tech are everywhere. We’ve highlighted them at SXSW for years. We’ve experienced the improvements, and we see progress towards more.
However, in many parts of the world, these types of initiatives are either just starting – with varying levels of organization and support - or they’re non-existent…but they’re just as important as they are here.
Luckily, another increase that’s occurred in the past several years is the number of global connections around the world. Duh, so what?
It means the influence of these types of organizations can have global involvement, global support and thus global effects.
By connecting women in tech at a global level, the same progress we’re seeing in the US can be leveraged for the purpose of empowerment, building relationships, shared resources and crowdsourcing, and ultimately the elevation of all women in science and technology.
The Interactive Media world is a multi-billion dollar industry. And it is filled with what Michael Gerber refers to in "The E-Myth Revisited" as technicians who have had an Entrepreneurial Seizure and have made the mistake of thinking that if you understand the technical work of your business, you can be successful as a business owner. How many great ideas where scuttled because the business failed? Don't let your lack of business savvy undercut the brilliance of your ideas! Business Management for the Creative Mind will help you to understand that you don't need an MBA to be good at business. In this Core Conversation, We'll discuss the myths of incompatibility between business and creativity; what it takes to create a successful business; how to further your career and how to get the next level in your industry. You cannot create long-term success without first understanding the basics of being a small business owner and how to apply those fundamentals to your business. Together, we'll discover: * The 5 Hats of the Business Owner * How to overcome the 5 Biggest Challenges most business owners face * 3 Keys to Your Success. Even if you are an employee, acting as if you are a small business owner is the key to a long and successful career. This conversation will enable you to see yourself at home in the world of business and use your innate creative skills to conquer the challenges that may now seem overwhelming to you.
This industry has a ratio problem. Still. It's getting better, but panels, conferences, magazine articles, VC funding - it's all dominated by men. In a big way. Is this because women are lame and uncreative? No. Is it because men are evil and sexist? No. (Sheesh, no.) But - where there is such an obvious and unrelenting gender disparity, there is a problem waiting to be solved. How can women do more to make their ideas happen? (And get money for them?) What do men do differently than women? Is industry coverage lopsided - and if so, how can we change that? What can we blame on the people running all-dude conferences - and what can we take responsibility for ourselves? How can we work together as an industry to encourage the kind of diversity that will free up the very best of our collective talent to rise to the top?
Women are great. Men are great. But the ratio in this industry - not great. This panel will address that, and how to change it.
There are thousands of women out there innovating and starting businesses across sectors; so why all the negativity in the media? Every week brings a slightly different take on the where-are-women-in-business article. Some look at venture funding, others look at women's representation in specific sectors, but they all have the same theme - women can't seem to get it together when it comes to business.
This panel approaches the issue of women in startups from two key angles. First, the assertion that woman are non-existent simply isn't true anymore. The real stories need to come to the forefront. And second, you can only complain about a problem for so long before it's time to deliver a solution.
Women in startups are simply tired of the bad rap media has stamped on them so, they're coming forward to talk about the real issues. Like, why are women inherently less inclined to sell themselves? There are multiple reasons behind this but the basic truth is that many of us need more urging to boast of our talents.
Overall, there are all sorts of factors that play into women's roles in startups such as the fact that many women entrepreneurs are also primary caregivers of children, household managers, family financial planners, etc. Not to mention, the age-old-truth that we are trained as a society to think women have a harder time with their careers. Let's face it girls - it's time for a change.
The agency model of billable hours, budget overruns and hierarchical team structures was built in the early 20th century. Although things have changed significantly thanks to technology, labor equity and innovation in other industries, this outdated model continues its vampire-like sucking of vendors dry.
Examining the traditional model, we’ll identify reasons why agency-contracted work is potentially perilous for your business. Instead of being results-oriented, agencies charge hourly rates regardless of (un)successful outcomes. Agency staff, constrained by the pressure to bill hourly are stifled creatively and prevented from serving clients as best they can. Should these time sheet zombies continue representing brands to the public?
Thankfully, many workable solutions exist: bring creative personnel in house, pay for quantifiable results, empower yourself to learn new necessary skills, insist on agency and vendor accountability, and more.
As the sun sets on the agency world, and the ball is in the court of business owners. Are you ready to adapt to the 21st century and make a jump to a new way of doing business?
Ever felt like your organization is in a rut? It’s the same thing year in year out with a new buzzword to lead the “new” effort. Learn how to use business models, new organization strategy and proven methods to make continuous innovation a reality. It is one thing to have an annual innovation contest but quite another to create an atmosphere where there is an attitude of creativity and out of the box thinking while simultaneously meeting the goals of a bottom-line focused company. This presentation will discuss how to leverage people from other functional areas to create a group that doesn’t rock the preverbal boat, but instead creates an autonomous fish. The strategies discussed here apply to all businesses from start-ups to well established corporations. The examples come from both types of organizations, but the truly radical changes can best be seen in introducing these concepts to an established company.
Why wait until retirement to explore the world? Technology is making it ever easier to work remotely, so why limit yourself to roving between local coffee shops when you can embrace a life of full time travel and a location independent career? Many are now exploring a technomadic lifestyle, and many more are looking for inspiration and advice to help them take the leap, cut the cord, and leave the conventional definitions of fixed-place home and work behind. Core conversation hosts Chris Dunphy & Cherie Ve Ard of Technomadia.com have been living and working technomadically without a permanent home base for nearly five years now, and they will share their stories, practical advice, and insights about this lifestyle. Topics covered may include selecting the right arsenal of technology to work successfully on the road, creating a mobile friendly career, selecting your ideal travel modality (wheels, sails, backpacks, or...), and logistical issues such as domicile, voting, vehicle registration, and more. Come learn how to make the leap to a life embracing wanderlust, or if you are already nomadic come and share your story and connect with other nomads. This session will be followed later in the day by an informal Nomadic Meetup.
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.
On Jan 3rd 2010 I left the country and spent time exploring Africa and Europe returning exactly 7 months later on Aug 3rd 2010.
During that time I was able to visit 25 countries and make on average 3k a month working about 1 - 2 hrs a day remotely.
I am 26 years old, live in the Austin area, and have spent the last 6 years in the internet marketing industry, mostly dabbling in affiliate marketing.
The purpose of the trip was to backpack around Europe and Africa on the lowest budget possible, mostly staying in hostels and traveling around via bus, train, and hitch hiking. I was supposed be gone only 3 months but ended up staying 7.
My presentation will have 2 sections. One catered to business the other catered to traveling.
Section 1: How to Make Money While Traveling (Tips to automate your business)
Section 2: How to Save Money On Traveling (Tips on finding the best travel deals)
If accepted to speak at SXSW my presentation will be catered to 20, 30, and 40 somethings who enjoy traveling on a budget and making a bit of money to extend their stays.
I will give this exact speech at the local SEO meetup (http://www.meetup.com/seo-austin/) on Oct 27th. I expect a turn out of about 100+ attendees. I believe this will be a good tuneup if accepted to present at SXSW. You can find my blog at www.goldenbooktraveler.com
by Azeez Lekan Bashua and Liz Elam
What micro and macro trends are starting to emerge pointing to a fundamentally different way people are working. We will talk about where people are choosing to work (Coworking, Socially conscience work environments, home, traditional office), tools enabling this (Apps, Google docs, social networking etc.) how this is changing management styles ( Bestbuy R.O.W.E. (Results Oriented Work Environments, Google 20% Time, Atlassian “Fedex Days” ) and what the long term implications (glut of office space, disconnected workforce) of all this could be.
If you design for the client, they will be happy on launch, till they realize the audience isn't engaged. Then they will go looking for their next mistress agency. Know your client, and the value that they offer to users. Sometimes the client has a keen sense of this, but more often than not, a discovery / exploratory process is helpful to give focused clarity to this key issue. If in the beginning of the creative process we do not find the uniqueness of the brand, users never will either. Maybe? sort of? dig deeper. what drove the founders to start this business? what do they stand for? how are their products unique? who is their target audience? who are they ACTUALLY reaching? Let's move on to the all important user. Who will be going to this site? Why? To accomplish what? Success is based off of this measure, and this measure alone. Was the site USEFUL. Likes, retweets, mentions, awards, fwa's, blah, blah, blah mean nothing if the site is not useful. We are a service industry, not a beauty pageant. we're hear to help the client communicate their message, not fluff our creative egos. Know your audience. Their interests. Their background. Their desires. Let’s look at two large .com redesign case studys that I have had the honor to work as the design lead on: BurgerKing.com with Crispin Porter + Bogusky, and livestrong.org with Springbox. Let's be useful.
I won't lie and say that until twitter & facebook came onto the scene our lives were perfect - but after 11 years - all through high school, college & most of our 20's - we were still together.
Then Social Media entered the picture and the world turned upside down.
Hear and learn the unseen impact these new relationships can have and the new extremes that controlling boyfriends/girlfriends/etc are using to keep tabs.
Learn how NOT to have your relationship ruined by the online world we are all so heavily a part of and how I turned the bad into a successful blog & twitter persona - leveraging the same online community to help walk me through the divorce process and learning how to date for the first time since I was 14!!!
At some point in your career, you wake up one morning, drink your coffee, put on deodorant, kiss your kids good-bye, drive to the office, and suddenly realize -- you don't have one ounce of experience at your job.
You did yesterday. What happened?
You were promoted. You became a manager. And you suck at it.
Yesterday, you were an absolute rock star at your job as an engineer. Or designer. Or salesperson. So fantastic they put you in charge.
And now, you've got six eager faces standing around your desk, looking to you for guidance.
So, you do what you've always done. You wing it. Act like a leader. Demand results. Drive the ship. Everything you've seen your former bosses do for years on end.
And a year down the road, during your Monday morning staff meeting, you announce a new initiative and see someone at the table sneer in disgust. You look around at all faces and realize: These people hate my guts. They can't stand me.
What did you do wrong?
Well the truth is, I only know why my employees hate me. But I've got some good guesses why they hate you. Seven of 'em.
In this presentation I will share with you how I have screwed up time and again on my path to creating a creative agency that has been named #1,399 on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing companies in the US and rated the #1 interactive agency in the country by BtoB Magazine.
And with a little luck, you can learn from my mistakes so you don't have to make them yourself.
by Amita Paul and Marylene Delbourg-Delphis
You don't want to simply break glass ceilings and start in a negative fashion that has yielded mixed results in the business world as there are only 13 women CEO's in the USA's 500 most publicly traded companies.
Despite gains, women business owners still have many barriers to overcome before obtaining truly equal opportunity in the marketplace. So, What are these barriers?
These questions and many more like this, mark every step of the path these fearless women in business take, every day. This panel will share the stories of joy and pain and habits of these wonder women.
So shoot for the sky and be innovative. This panel addresses inspired women who want to inspire other women.
by Benjamin Herson
Defining The Diaspora: How New Models of Collaboration are Changing the World
In the past, record labels and film studios were the principal gatekeepers in controlling media production and distribution. Not anymore. The internet and increased access to inexpensive and high quality recording technology have changed the rules of the game. This sea change marked the turn of the century for artists and content producers who are now granted access to once cost-prohibitive tools needed for producing and disseminating media.
But how exactly has this played over the past decade and what role is left for labels and media distribution companies? Moreover, how are global collaborations amongst international artists helping to create new models of communication and cultural understanding?
This lively discussion and media presentation will be led by critically acclaimed Social Entrepreneur, Media Producer and Public Speaker, Ben Herson (Nomadic Wax) and will explore how these technologies have allowed for new models of collaboration, cultural understanding and social change on a global scale.
This presentation focuses on breaking down the communication barriers that can make working with a developer more difficult than it needs to be. The presentation will cover Interviewing Your Potential Developer, Planning & Project Managment, Using A Version Control System, and Bug Reporting. The session will give the audience a reality check on how to go about working with a developer to get a custom Wordpress site (or any digital project) built on time and on budget.
Have you ever had an idea for a great product, but thought any of the following:
"I don't have enough time to work on this and keep my full-time job."
"I don't have the dev/design/business skills to make this on my own."
Come hear from three people who have each figured out their own unique ways around these (and other) challenges. From the designer with zero development skill, to the developer who freelances to fund their own project, to the developer who focuses full-time on scratching his own itch, this panel runs the gamut for dreamers of all shapes and sizes. Hear what's worked for us and what could work for you!
11th–15th March 2011