PM @ Big O

on May 18 | in General, News | by | with Comments Off on PM @ Big O

Photo Credit: Silicon Prairie News

Take five marketing people, add equal parts sugar, Red Bull and portable electronics, and stir them up with two solid days of speakers on everything from LOLcats to innovation in third-world countries.

Let it simmer and you get a whole new perspective.

That doesn’t begin to describe last week’s Big Omaha conference, but trust me, it was an experience. Silicon Prairie News knows how to put on a show that energizes and inspires. Get this — every speaker gets a standing ovation when they walk on the stage. And I think it actually works. It’s tough to sum up, but when you listen to a bunch of incredibly smart and successful speakers, you look for the common threads. Here are some we noticed:

  • They find different ways to solve human problems. Tired of paying waaaaay too much for glasses? Warby Parker sells a complete pair for $95 — and donates a pair for every one they sell. (Todd is already wearing a pair.) Can’t get a cab in San Francisco? Uber lets you request a car from your smartphone. Need a laugh? Don’t underestimate the power of cat photos with misspelled captions.
  • They give back. Nearly every speaker talked about doing something to improve the world, through charity as well as mentoring others. Speaker Leila Janah founded Samasource — a company that connects people living in poverty to microwork (small computer-based tasks) to earn life-changing income.
  • They listen to the end user. As Gary Vaynerchuk said, “Now your ears matter more than your mouth.” Consumers are putting out a huge amount of content every day. It’s easy to tell the world about your experiences with a company, good or bad. So know what matters to your customers. Solve their problems. Lifetime retention is going to be the game in the new market.

Final Thoughts …
Just as interesting as the content was the audience. I was surrounded by people with their heads down, tweeting nuggets of wisdom from the speakers — completely without context for the people who weren’t there. (Thanks to Stan for observing that it sounded like we were at a Successories convention.)

At any rate, it’s nice to see the Midwest get some much-needed recognition as a hip, happening center of innovation!


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