I have an underlying feeling that, as an industry, we are struggling to really innovate. I think this is due to a number of factors. Digital communication has never been easier to do, so brands are flocking to it. It’s cheap and easy, and the barriers to entry are low.
It’s a Peruvian Potato Poutine. Only unlike a typical Canadian poutine, this one had tomatoes, cauliflower, onions and cumin. How did that happen? Watson. As in IBM’s Watson. Using his vast database of food qualities, chemical knowhow and, dare we say, creativity, the big-brained computer thought it up.
As part of my conversations about the new collaborative economy at SXSW last week, I spoke to the co-founders of digital agency startup "Digital Flash" about how their business came about (as a result of new more flexible models of collaboration) and how they have been able to accomplish larger results.
Edward Snowden was piped in from Russia with the ACLU moderating in the room to address the tech community as being, necessarily, tasked with the responsibility of protecting both users and themselves from (1) unwarranted and unknown monitoring, and (2) cyber attack.
There were some central, unifying themes this year at SXSW. Big data was evident in everything from startups pitching new data-driven platforms, to the profit motives (somewhat disguised as altruism) of companies mapping our genes, to IBM’s Watson-informed lunch truck. Global impact and policy had an entire track.
Two things on my mind here at SXSW: my recent participation in an NBCUniversal event in New York where Jessica Alba talked about her business, and listening to Nate Silver, whose new online magazine, FiveThirtyEight, launches next Monday. It’s got me thinking about how social allows a new take on celebrity endorsement.