Today was our second day at SXSW! We had a fun-filled day with lots of sunshine and great panelists. One of our favorite parts of the day…meeting fashion guru and host of TLC’s What Not to Wear, Stacy London!
We started the day learning about habits with Gretchen Rubin, who is an amazing speaker and psychologist who studies everyone’s favorite subject, the art of happiness. Highlights from the session include:
~ Habits are the invisible architecture of everyday life – 40% of our habits shape our everyday life.
~ Setting a finish line is a great way to set a goal, but not to set a habit. It’s not about running for 30 days as part of a 30-day running challenge, it’s about running for a lifetime. One of the reasons diets often fail is because people set a goal weight and once you hit your goal, you feel like you have passed the finish line and are done. But it’s about milestones, not finish lines.
~ When you set up a habit in a way that works for you, you are more than likely to succeed.
We then ventured to Austin’s famed Driskill Hotel, where SXBites – all things foodie – was taking place. The first panel we dove into featured a talk about Culinary Innovation: Tracking Food Trends with Will Levitt from Taste Talks, Kara Chiles from Whole Foods, Lucie Greene from J Walter Thompson and Damiano Marchetti from Munchies/VICE. Highlights from this session include:
~ When looking at food trends, you can identify a trend versus a fad by examining the contextual drivers and seeing what is driving that change.
~ Smart brands play in a variety of places and tap into different customer needs but still find a way to appeal to mass audiences.
~ You don’t want to chase a trend. If you force it, it will not feel authentic.
~ The best way to track trends is to know and tap into an influential community within each local area and have them help mold the direction – trends are about talking to the right people.
Our next culinary adventure took us to the world of foodie cities, posing the question “Is New York still the most influential food city in America?” The panel featured Andrew Knowlton from Bon Appetit, Joe Kindred from kindred, Sara Kramer from Madcapra and Vivan Howard from A Chef’s Life. Highlights from this panel include:
~ It is now possible for chefs to succeed without starting their careers in New York – there is still a fascination with the city, but the reality of having your own place in New York is incredibly slim.
~ By having incubators in each market to help develop the food scene, it is helpful to have success come from within.
~ Food awareness is a big piece of our culture now – and that makes it easier for other cities to come on the map as being a food town.
Our next panel was about everyone’s favorite love/hate topic – emails! “Email is the Devil and Must be Vanquished” was the title of our next talk and featured Hazel Swayne from Hyper Island, Pramit Nairi from RPA, Rachel Kaplowitz from Honey and Brian Braiker from DigiDay. Highlights from this panel include:
~ When possible – pick up the phone or walk over to the person and talk.
~ You can’t stop email – you just have to integrate programs like Slack and Honey into your email.
~ Email is not collaboration. Email kills collaboration. We need to be a hive of activity – email inhibits collaboration significantly.
We then took a break to grab some food and get out in the sunshine – and ventured over to the SXSW food truck park. On our way there, we stumbled upon the #Iamafeminist activation, where we met Stacy London – so cool! After that, we went to grab some food and went to get set up for our keynote with Dr. Brene Brown (who is a professor at U of H!). Highlights from Dr. Brene Brown’s session “Daring Greatly” include:
~ When you put yourself out there, it’s naïve to think there will be no criticism. If you are brave with your life and with your work, you are going to get your butt kicked. That is what you sign up for when choose to be brave with your life and your work. Choose courage over comfort.
~ Vulnerability is not weakness. It is important to let people see your imperfections. Vulnerability is the willingness to show up and be seen without worrying about what people will say. It’s the most accurate reflection of courage.
~ What does it take to get back up after failure, heartbreak and disappointment? The bravest among us will always know heartbreak because those are the people who had the courage to love someone. If you are innovative and creative enough, you will see failure. You will create nothing new if you don’t want to fail.
After feeling inspired, we finished our day with two final sessions!
Sports and the Sharing Economy with Andrew Batey with Spinlister, Cindy Wood Abbot with REI and Dan Driscoll with reQwip
~ Awareness of sharing economy brands is high, but participation isn’t catching up to the level of awareness.
~ Manufacturers are worried that people will share, not buy, but you aren’t going to share something forever, you are eventually going to want to buy it and you will; getting the product in someone’s hand to experience it is the critical first step.
~ Money isn’t the primary driver of participation in the sports-equipment sharing economy, the major drivers are giving people the opportunity to share with others and connect to a community of other like-minded people.
Our last panel of the day featured Andrew Zimmern from The Travel Channel and Josh Tetrick from Hampton Creek. Highlights from this panel include:
~ Everyone agrees food that is good for you should be affordable and taste good – now it’s about figuring out how to make that happen.
~ Our current food system is out of balance and is a global issue; more companies are moving toward an international business model, and this ‘starting things over’ for us is not just a fad or a thing.
Phew! What a fun-filled day. We enjoyed a delicious dinner and now it’s time to rest up for day 3!
SXSW sweet dreams,
Lauren and Emily
P.S. Check out our Day 1 Recap from yesterday!