1. Is it time for social to disrupt politics?
Few politicians use social media as openly, or prolifically, as Cory Booker. As the mayor of Newark, New Jersey, he has used Twitter to interact with his constituents on a daily basis, responding to questions and complaints at all hours of the day. The mayor has also used his social presence to spotlight his 2012 food stamp challenge, and assist residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. At SXSW, popular speaker Booker called on the Government to change, demanding it to move to a more collaborative model – a 2.0 structure, where the rest of society already is.
2. Google reimagines advertising with artcopycode
One of the most popular sessions was Google’s ArtCopyCode, a series of experiments to re-imagine advertising with speakers from Google, VW and Deutsch. This team talked through the new mantra for creativity – it is not enough today to simply tell stories, brands must add value for users – a great idea remains more important than all the technology in the world. This was showcased by their very cool hacked shoes idea.
3. People – get creative!
Perhaps best known by her nickname “Swiss Miss,” graphic designer and entrepreneur Tina Roth Eisenberg was a featured keynote of the festival. Aside from running the popular design blog and studio Swiss Miss, Roth Eisenberg is the driving force behind nationwide events series Creative Mornings, collaborative workspace Studiomates, to-do app TeuxDeux, and temporary tattoo company Tattly. In other words, side projects are pretty much her thing. She used her time to inspire creatives to use their enthusiasm to find success. Inspired by her Swiss aunt, a fashion designer and artist, she emphasized the importance of creatives surrounding themselves with other creative people saying, “Nothing is more refreshing than being around people who are passionate about what they do.”
4. Fashion and technology collide
A prevalent theme has been the intersection of fashion and technology. One such panel yesterday explored the democratization of high fashion and how it’s revolutionized the fashion food chain, from the designers and retailers to customers and their spending behavior. Speakers included Nina Garcia, Marie Claire Creative Director and star of Project Runway, and Randi Zuckerberg, founder of Zuckerberg Media and producer of Bravo’s Start-Up. The panel talked about fashion bloggers vs fashion editors, huge growth of Pinterest (the consumer on Pinterest spends 15% more than a consumer not on Pinterest!), sustainable fashion and more.
5. For start ups, it is less about the “ooh big new app” more about how to run your business.
The theme for start ups has been very focused around actually doing business rather than inventing “the next big thing at South By.” Start ups from all around the world have descended onto Austin to share and learn. Anthony Wood is one such example. Best known as the founder and CEO of Roku, he shared his experiences launching and helming a company that has revolutionized the content viewing experience for millions of people across the country. This spanned Roku’s evolution, from idea to funding, engaging users, working with major brands such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, and talking about remaining relevant in this rapidly developing market.