The Caboh team was so excited to get out of the office for SXSW this year to mingle with awesome people, learn a lot, share ideas, and heckle all the out-of-towners. And now, we can proudly say we accomplished all of those things, and survived the whirlwind of an experience that is SX.
So, since the crowds have died down and the hype is over, it is time to revitalize our hazy memories and reflect upon the moments that resonated with us the most.
On the first day of Interactive we encountered a minor setback/crisis involving a delayed side effect of food poisoning. Apparently bad oysters can not only ruin your stomach; they can cause you to break out in hives several days later. Go figure. We tried not to let this moment resonate in our SX memories, but (since we were previously unaware of this phenomenon) it will now be considered a learning experience worth sharing. So, you’re welcome.
After the skin scare, we made our way to the convention center to listen in on a featured session. The topic piqued our interest with it’s enticing name “Jedi Mind Tricks for Entrepreneurs”, and we were pleasantly surprised by the speaker, Nicole Glaros from TechStars, who was very engaging and energetic.
This session provided some helpful advice, which aimed to encourage leaders or really anyone wanting to better themselves and their team.
Here are some top points:
- Mentally picture yourself achieving your goal over and over again
- You can be direct and honest while being nice about it!
- Scrum boards create team transparency and help slackers self-correct
- Be comfortable admitting failure, and pick up your team when they fall
- Company expense reports should be public – “Guess who’s not flying first class anymore!”, she says.
The next day, we attended another featured session, which proved to be well worth our time. The title was “Creating a Digital Engagement Strategy for Leaders” and Charlene Li, an author and highly sought after speaker, lead the presentation, which nicely summarized her new book “The Engaged Leader”.
Here are some of the highlights:
- Leaders can and should scale their online listening habits to engage in meaningful interactions
- There is value in interactions, especially digital interactions, even if you can’t measure them
- Sharing shapes relationships, you have to inspire people to follow you!
- Apply the right tools for your digital engagement goals and strategy
Finally, on the last day of SX Interactive, we attended a presentation based upon the book “The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators” and featuring speaker, Hal Gregersen, a co-author and leadership member of MIT.
This session was, in my opinion, the most inspiring of them all. Maybe it was the speaker’s obvious passion and excitement for the topic, but when it was over, I felt like I could accomplish anything. Hal not only shared personal experiences along with helpful real world examples, he engaged with his audience through active participation that never felt awkward or forced.
Here are the five skills he shared from his book, which help drive innovation:
In conclusion, the Caboh team claims this year’s SXSW Interactive to be a success, for it helped us discover a lot of unknowns. Some were useful, some interesting, and some just downright bazaar (just Google “Bina48″ and you’ll understand). But, in the end, we are so thankful to get to share some of the learning experiences we picked up during our journey.
Until next year SX! (without the oysters)