My colleague Simon just wrote his top 10 quotes from SXSW. We mostly attended completely different sessions, so to wrap up an adrenaline-filled week, here are mine:
‘Why do we use technology made in London or New York in Nairobi and New Delhi?’ – the founders of BRCK on the importance of understanding and creating for local market conditions.
‘We are moving beyond sensing vital signs to sensing emotions and the subconscious’ – Joi Ito from MIT Media Lab on the direction that technology is headed in.
‘The world is a hackable platform’ – from the Boing Boing session on their Ingenuity hackathon, indicating that in theory anything can be modified to suit our purposes better.
‘Anyone who fronts like they know what they’re doing is either lying or delusional. Everyone makes it up as they go along’ – Alexis Ohanian, the founder of Reddit, on encouraging people to go out there and try that thing they’ve always wanted to because there’s nothing to lose.
‘When people fail in your organisation it is as much your responsibility as it is theirs. Great leaders recruit great people below them’ – from the panel on entrepreneuring women by Danielle Weinblatt, Terry Chase Hazell and Jennifer Fleiss, as they discussed ways for an entrepreneur to build a business.
‘The thing about force multipliers is that they don’t go back in the box once they are out’ – Author Patrick Tucker on the ever-increasing impact of technology and our need to understand how best to use it because we can’t really turn our backs on it.
‘You can’t be what you can’t see’ – Sarah Szalavitz from 7 Robot and MIT Media Lab on the need to provide children with role models of all kinds, especially girls, and the role media has to play in giving inspiring role models a platform rather than just ‘pink’ ones.
‘Think about how you can cannibalize your business yourself before your competition does’ – Greg Gunn, VP Business Development at Hootsuite, on the need for companies to continuously innovate if they want to stay ahead of the game, and specifically giving their employees the flexibility to do this instead of looking outside the business.
‘Social dysfunction hasn’t been cured; it’s merely evolved’ – Judi Cutrone from the VIA Agency on the Modern Seinfeld Twitter account and how it manages to stay relevant today; it’s because they are talking about very basic human issues that people can relate to even if we do live in a different time from the ‘90’s.
‘I am always shocked when a petition works online’ – Aminatou Sow, Digital Director for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America on the fact that it is not easy to get people to rally behind a cause, so sitting back thinking this will just happen is setting yourself up to fail.
Goodbye Austin. You’ve been great!
To see live photos of SXSW view PHD’s Pinterest page.
Anjali Ramachandran is the Head of Innovation at PHD UK. Follow @anjali28