3 Days – 3 Learnings

As day 4 of SXSWi began, I decided to ditch my planned panel session to camp out for an hour to get a front-and-center seat to see Guy Kawasaki in the main hall of the Austin Convention Center and write this post – my top three learnings in three days:

  1. The technology that is already developed TODAY will slowly dismantle existing industries. Case in point: 3D or digital printing. This is the new era where manufacturing is democratized. For a $2,000 entry level cost for MakerBot Digitizer, we can now make the toys that our children play with, replace broken device parts, and, from a deeply personal and emotional perspective, create affordable prosthetics for kids, who have always been shut-out of the expensive prosthetic market because of they are constantly out-growing them. What could be more important than that?makerbot
  2. Experience is the new engagement. I didn’t truly understand or appreciate this concept until 2013 SXSWi. Revel has developed a wearable tactile technology that actually transfers a given texture to any physical object, including touch screens. Just think what this could mean for e-commerce retailers to give online shoppers a better understanding of the product they’re interested by giving them a sense of touch of the material.
  3. On a less technical note, I’m hearing a lot about talent and importance of finding the right people – I’ve heard this theme before many times in the last year, but it’s a theme that is coming through in unexpected places. Elon Musk, billionaire entrepreneur and founder of PayPal, Tesla Motors and SpaceX (the company that will get us to the Mars) answered the question that makes everyone squirm…”what is your biggest mistake?”. After a minute of awkward silence as his brilliant mind churned through his prolific career and accomplishments, he said that his biggest mistake was “emphasizing talent over personality.” You can train someone to do anything, but if you don’t have the right fit from a personality, culture and smarts perspective, you haven’t found the right person. Great advice!

On to Day 4.

By Janice Suter
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