12th Feb 2018

Liquid Goes to Pause Fest

by: Mark Lowe

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1. Top 10 Mistakes of Entrepreneurs by Guy Kawasaki, Chief Evangelist at Canva

Mistake: Don’t focus on pitch
Solution: Focus on a prototype

Mistake: Multiply a really big number by 1%
Solution: Calculate from bottom up

Mistake: Scale too fast
Solution: Eat what you kill!

Mistake: Make Partnerships
Solution: Focus on sales

Mistake: Focus on domination.
Solution: Focus on niches. Incremental improvement.

Mistake: Use too many presentation slides
Solution: Obey the 10-20-30 rule – 10 slides, 20 minutes, 30 points

Mistake: Work serially.
Solution: Work parallely.

Mistake: Retain Control.
Solution: Make a bigger pie!

Mistake: File Patents
Solution: Succeed – Success breathes defensibility.

Mistake: Hire in your image
Solution: Hire to complement.

Mistake: Befriend your investors
Solution: Exceed expectations.

It doesn’t matter how many times you fail, as long as you succeed once.

2. How Steve Jobs Took Pixar on The Magical Journey to Stars by Brian Green, Technical Director at Pixar Animation Studios

Brain Green reveals personal stories and insights from working alongside the Apple legend, Steve Jobs. Highlights include:

  • Environment - Jobs and his team created Pixar HQ to be beautiful, creative and healthy. They encouraged their team to own their environment and inspire others. Designing office art and desk spaces together.  
  • Detail - Attention to detail was paramount for Jobs. Not only in the work that the team produced but also in the HQ environment. Once a collection of bricks got delivered and Jobs did not like a shade within the collection. He sent all the brick back to be sorted and the particular shade removed.
  • Team - “We don't hire smart people to tell them what to do. We hire smart people to tell us what to do.” - Steve Jobs
  • Gratitude - Thank people - publicly, teams and personally
  • Celebrate - Building creativity through the sense of celebration.

3. Creativity: The next Horizon for AI by Dr. John R. Smith - IBM Fellow, AI Tech at IBM Research

Dr John R. Smith’s inspiring and contemplative talk urged us consider – what is creativity? Is it the process or the product? Where do we see assisted creativity’s role in our own process in the near future?

Referencing a case study on IBM Watson’s role in assisting with a trailer made for horror movie ‘Morgan’, he detailed the steps and processes it took in bringing preparation, experience, and knowledge to the table by training Watson. The results are amazingly creepy, check it out here!

4. Creative Chaos by Cecilia Ambros, Head of Design Research at Amazon

Cecilia’s vibrant talk took us on a journey of her ideas on creativity - advocating for design, what you can offer as a creative, and balancing the many facets of creativity. Ultimately, our key takeaways on creativity is:

  • Something honed by practice and discipline
  • Built through collaboration, improvisation, and iteration
  • Constantly evolving!

5. Fireside Chat with Susan Wu
- Mike Butcher MBE, Editor-at-large, Tech Crunch & Susan Wu, Entrepreneur, hacker, investor

An extremely insightful chat between Susan Wu (Luminaria) and Mike Butcher (TechCrunch) about the purpose of education, the mistakes of Silicon Valley, and the importance of diversity.

Susan talked about Project Include which intends to give everyone a chance to succeed in the tech industry. She talked about the importance of workplace and industry culture, and enacting widespread change from the top down.

There’s a lot Melbourne can learn from Silicon Valley with regards to the tech space, but it is important to also learn from those mistakes. She mentioned that only 2% of VC funding in 2017 was given to female founders. This is an incredible imbalance.

Susan highlighted the flawed way of thinking in the Valley: “What are my friends from MIT or Stanford doing, and how can I make something better?” They focus on being the best at a known problem rather than identifying new problems in the world and looking for solutions.

Susan has recently launched Luminaria. Their mission is to create research tools and frameworks to accelerate development and evolution of education for everyone. She raised an interesting point - teaching coding and STEM is obsolete in 2018. The purpose of education is not to create coders and scientists, but to create children who turn into adults who have purpose and meaning and the desire to learn more; to shape human beings who then go on to shape society.

6. Inclusive Design's Hidden Legacy – And how to rise with it by Michael Sui, Inclusive Design Lead at Airbnb

An inspiring presentation from Michael Sui on inclusive design. Consciously designing experiences that don’t create barriers to being included.

If you don’t consciously include, you unconsciously exclude.

Key tips and takeaways: 

  • Design beautiful and inclusive to new scenarios - It's more meaningful
  • Design choices that reflect our values
  • Be willing to be wrong!
  • Ask people who have disabilities. They are experts in their own experiences
  • 15% of the global population lives with a disability
  • "Normal" is a narrow illusion.
  • If environments disable people, who’s designing the environment? Programmers should be held accountable to the design that doesn’t keep disabilities in mind.


Start by asking: Who is excluded?

7. Redesigning Democracy with Blockchain by Jamie Skella, Executive Director, Head of Technology at Horizon State

“If the founders of nations designed democracy with the technology that we have today, what would it have looked like?” - Jamie Skella, Executive Director and Head of Technology at Horizon State.

Horizon State is looking to do away with the traditional methods of voting and collaborative decision making by using the Blockchain as opposed to traditional methods such as pen-and-paper voting.

Horizon State is the engine behind MiVote, an Australian based information platform that presents its users with a variety of perspectives on all major issues up for debate in Parliament, and allows its users to vote directly from their mobile device. These votes are secure, anonymous, and use much cheaper means than traditional voting.

The recent same sex marriage plebiscite cost Australia $122 million. Using the Blockchain, a secure decentralised and distributed ledger, this cost could have been reduced significantly and completed in a fraction of the time. Currently a vote will cost the taxpayer between $7 to $25 as there are physical materials and travel costs involved. Plus, there is a risk of tampering with results. Using the Blockchain, this cost is reduced to less than a dollar and reduces the risk of tampering almost to zero.

A historic improvement in our democratic processes awaits.

8. The Brands of Tomorrow - Sarah Owen, Senior Editor, Digital Media & Marketing at WGSN

Some of the key points the brands of tomorrow follow:

  • Put purpose first
  • Care about sustainability
  • Sell services not products
  • People buy stories, connections not only products
  • Go offline
  • Experiment with AI
  • Use psychographics (not just demographics)
  • Create their own channels to market
  • Service to the community
  • Engineer virality

9. 5 Lessons from running a purpose-led business with Simon Griffiths, CEO at Who Gives a Crap

  • Dogs work (and cats!)– Find what customers love and use it in marketing campaign
  • Doing good = good business – Impact of the brand is what people remember most.
  • Doing good is not easy – When you do good, there is always people who wish you were doing better.
  • Everything as marketing – Think about the impact of everything you do, how people will react to it and use it. 
  • Deliver unexpected delight – Offer beautiful, colour packages, jokes, and gifts. 
  • Honesty is the best policy – Recognise when you’ve done something wrong and people will give you a second chance.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Lowe

Director of Liquid Agency