11 surprising highlights from SXSW 2014
The iMedia team went inside this year's SXSW to bring marketers the inside scoop. Here's what you need to know.
1. SXSW hot topic: 4 trends disrupting marketing strategies
2. 10 weird wearables you need to know
3. Shocking study on UGC announced at SXSW
4. SXSW hot topic: Can digital agencies become AORs?
5. Kiiping up with Brian Wong @ SXSW
6. The most powerful driver of innovation
7. Why wearables were the star of SXSW 2014
8. Social media accountability a hot SXSW topic
9. SXSW startup energy shifts from social to content and wearables
10. SXSW insider: Kenyata Martin at Shell Oil Company
11. Reflections on SXSW 2014
11 surprising highlights from SXSW 2014
What comes to mind when you hear the word "wearable?" Fitbit? Google Glass? Pebble? What about ingestible "password pills"? Temporary tattoos that read your body chemistry? Smart contact lenses that monitor glaucoma-related eye pressure?
There are two kinds of wearables: devices with sensors that measure and track stats about your habits, location, and physical health, and those with displays that augment how you see and interact with the world around you.
Consumers might not be ready for mass adoption of display-based augmented reality tech like Google Glass… yet. (See my blog "6 (fixable) reasons Google Glass will flop with consumers.") But devices with sensors, especially those related to fitness or healthcare, or technologies that are low-profile (e.g. Kiwi Move), are poised for rapid growth.
Here are ten technologies announced at SXSW and other recent tech conferences that are weird... and that you need to know about.
1. Password pills
This swallowable password/computer pill created by Proteus Digital Health turns a human being into an authentication token. Once you swallow the pill, it reacts with acids in the stomach to make an 18-bit code which the company tags as vitamin authentication. Once the code is generated, the signal is transmitted to the authentication device. The pills... Read more
Bottom line: I enjoy Glass. However, should the current version of Glass be passed off to everyday consumers, this talked-about tech that shows so much promise is in trouble. (Think Samsung Galaxy Gear trouble--the bulky and tethered "wrist phone” being returned by early-adopters at a staggering rate.) Google has a track record of being willing to rush ideas to market (think Google TV), and shrug off defeat as it looks to the future. But will consumers overlook the quirks of this pioneer of wearable computing and make Glass a hit? Not a chance. At least not until the following issues are addressed.
Through Glass, darkly
As a proud user of Google Glass, I've had the opportunity at this week's iMedia Brand Summit (and at other events) to help numerous senior marketers experience Glass for the first time.
Opinions are, well, mixed. As are recent headlines: "Google Glass App for Firefighters Could Help Save Lives" vs. "One of Google's Biggest Fans Calls Glass 'An Expensive Nightmare.'" Marketers are (very) excited to be hands-on with Glass, but they're also underwhelmed by its lack of addictiveness.
Whether or not you've had the chance to try Glass yet (if not, connect with me!) … you need to know... Read more
Marketers are candid behind closed doors. At this week's iMedia Brand Summit, I was surprised to hear how open sr. marketers are about the difficulty of finding and keeping talent, even if they're at Fortune-500 companies and directing exciting projects. (Hard as it might be to believe if you're a qualified candidate who can't get the right interviews.)
But marketers are also resourceful. Here are some surprising pieces of advice they had for each other for hiring and retaining great team members, and for avoiding problems with entitled workers:
1. Become a professor. Get on the teaching faculty of a local higher education institution (community college, college, university, etc.) so you can recruit entry-level hires from your students (and test them with real-life problems as homework), and network with other professors to tap into former graduates as 5-7 year experience mid-level hires.
This can sometimes lead to a board position with the institution, so you have more influence on classes and/or curriculum.
2. Beware the helicopters. Have new hires sign contracts that their parents won't call HR to negotiate salary adjustments. This is a thing now. You've been warned.
3. Go over market rate. Intentionally put them in golden handcuffs. Pay team members with four... Read more
AirBnB is the poster child for the "sharing economy," a cultural phenomenon where access to an item is more important than actual ownership. (Other examples include Lyft and bicycle-sharing programs in metro areas.) The cult-favorite service has over 500,000 listings in 33,000 cities and 192 countries.
But where did the weird name come from? No, it's not just a hip nonsense term, it actually has roots.
It all began in San Francisco. Brian Chesky (now AirBnB CEO) was a recent college grad with an empty bank account and an entrepreneuristic spirit. He also had something important: an apartment. Brian and roommate Joe (now the AirBnB Chief Product Officer) heard that due to a big event taking place in the city, all hotel rooms were booked. They had an idea! Why not see if people would pay to stay in their small SF apartment? There was only one problem. Watch the clip below to find out what it was, and how it lead to the naming of the company.
Is AirBnB legal?
According to CEO Brian Chesky, when cars first came out there was a law that they couldn't go faster than 5 miles per hour lest they scare horses. He parallels this example when discussing... Read more