The slow trickle of sxswi blog posts are still coming - even though it's all starting to feel like ages ago.
But like I said, certain things have stuck with me and our agency visit from Rick Webb is one of them. Rick's a founding partner at The Barbarian Group, one of the most talked about shops over the last few years - really, ever since the launch of the chicken (now over 5 years ago, time flies). A few of my recent favorites: the CNN headlines t-shirts & the Unicef Tap Project collaboration.
Anyhow, one of our producers knows Rick and asked him to come in and talk to us about... interactive stuff. And he said yes. So we had a room full of creatives & designers that asked questions, aired frustrations and just talked. Rick listened, offered suggestions, even complimented the agency & offered Scottish rock recommendations.
Here are some highlights for me:
1) Try everything
Someone made the comment that it's impossible to keep up with all of the latest social media/ technology, not to mention predict what's going to be the next big thing. True. So Rick just signs up for everything - meebo, friendfeed, etc. It only takes 15 minutes and then he knows what's out there and has already played around with it in case it does take off. Oh, and he takes every call from vendors too (in case any of you are reading).
2) Accept unpredictability
Just like you can't predict what technology will take off, you don't know if a piece of creative is going to take hold virally. Even if it's really amazing and definitely should. Everyone talks about TBG successes, but there a handful of things that didn't take off before. And after. Yes, still.
3) Fail faster
Okay that's from W+K, but we talked about failure and what to make of it. Things that don't take off aren't failures, they help you get to the things that do take off faster. Fear of failure can be stifling in offline work, but absolutely debilitating online. Things just move too quickly for that, better to have a culture of experimentation/innovation. Especially given said unpredictability.