What Struck Me

We asked Lynn Sheridan what struck her about the events and sessions she attended at SXSW. This account is a wonderful peek into the diversity of insights and ideas that are available to attendees.

We asked Lynn Sheridan what struck her about the events and sessions she attended at SXSW. This account is a wonderful peek into the diversity of insights and ideas that are available to attendees.

Lynn’s SXSW Highlights –

Along with highlighting the leading edge of the music, film, and the TV industry, SXSW covers a broad range of areas giving us a look into the future of the tech industry, startups, virtual and augmented reality, health, and design. I thoroughly enjoyed exploring a variety of topics, and here are some of my takeaways.

In “How Start-up Innovation Transforms Big Business,” Evangelos Simoudis, advisor of global corporations on start-up driven innovation, and Shiv Singh founder of The Visa Initiative (VEI), discussed how they believe the future of innovation is all about partnering in ecosystems. They advised big business to embrace start-ups in order to survive in the digital community.

Brian Wong, co-founder and CEO of Kiip, a leading mobile advertising network that uses innovative reward systems, and author of The Cheat Code, shared his insights on the changing definition of consumers. He explained that in today’s markets, consumers are seeking content built around the task they are doing or the item they are researching. Content that is not aligned with interests is likely to be useless. Moments, such as a birthday, are important to the consumer; therefore companies need to know the event and how it relates to the consumer to be there at the right time and place. Wong also suggests that focusing on what won’t change will shed light on what consumers need. As an example, consumers will never want packages to arrive slower or pay for shipping. This is why Amazon continues to focus on getting merchandise to their customers faster and offers Prime shipping instead of a per purchase fee.

World famous National Geographic photographer and SXSW keynote speaker, Cory Richards, shared his life’s journey, from homeless teen dropout to alpine climber and adventure photojournalist. He relayed a story about how after his first attempt to climb Mount Everest failed, on his second attempt he reached the summit. Standing alone at the top of the world’s highest mountain, he thought that he would finally find the answers that he had been searching. However, it was during his descent that he realized his answers we not at the top of the mountain, but at the bottom. Through his photographs, Cory Richards shows us the small ecosystems around the world and the need to protect them.  

The panel on “Trust Your Gut: Can Biomes Change Science Forever?” spoke about the importance of our microbiome, the trillions of microbes that live in and on us all. Dr. Jack Gilbert, Group Leader for Microbial Ecology, Biosciences Division of Argonne National Laboratory; Dr. Karen Nelson, President of J. Craig Venter Institute and Leader of the Microbiome, Human Longevity, Inc.; Martha Carlin, Founder and CEO of The BioCollective; and Sandra Blakeslee, author, and New York Times science correspondent, discussed some of the many questions that scientists in this area are asking like:

1) What happens when something goes wrong to disrupt the microbiome?

2) How can it be stabilized or corrected?

Scientists are learning more about how the microbes interact as they begin to map our biomes. The future of healing may include therapeutic probiotics designed for specific conditions.

-Thank you, Lynn

We are all seeking wisdom in our lives to advance our thinking, to save the world, to transform its industries, and to just have a good day. At Vestigo, we love seeing what struck Lynn on her trip. Guided by these amazing speakers, she examined consumer behavior, climbed the highest peak and explored the smallest microbe on her journey of transformation.