This past week two of our team members (myself included) had the pleasure of attending Collision. For those of you who may not be familiar with Collision, it is a US tech conference where startups and industry leaders gather to learn and network.
My primary purpose for being there was to soak up as much knowledge as I could in the one day I was able to attend. There were hundreds of lecturers at different stages who spoke in 15 minute increments. There were several stages set up which categorized the different types of lectures; I spent most of my time at the Marketing Stage however made a point to venture out to learn about other topics such as sustainable growth.
Almost every speaker I saw reignited my desire to improve and ramp up marketing efforts and gain more knowledge about the tech industry in general. There were some major industry players there such as Neil Vogel of About.com, Phil Gilbert of IBMDesign and Julia Hartz of Eventbrite. I enjoyed the 15 minute lectures because the short time frame encouraged speakers to hit the most important points of their experiences and encouraged attendees to soak up as much information as they could.
Here are the topics which were covered by the aforementioned people:
- Reinventing your brand and beating the competion (Neil Vogel)
- Sustainable business: is growth the right metric? (Julia Hartz)
- Using the creative mind to problem-solve (Phil Gilbert)
I was blown away by how candid Neil Vogel was. He spoke about the struggles About.com has had, and how they had not kept up with their competion in terms of branding and strategizing their content. He also discussed their plan for their new health website, verywell.com which was launched that day, pretty genius if you ask me.
Julia Hartz had a conversation with Tina Sharkey of Sherpa Foundry about sustainable growth, how do you truly measure it, and how do you achieve it in different markets? Hearing the history of EventBrite was very motivating and made me start thinking as to how this might be applied to my own job.
Phil Gilbert, stood at a high table while sipping on Abita Amber chatting with Harry West of frog and Chris Dannen of Fast Company. They discussed the importance of communication within a company and how before you can truly be valuable to a customer, you have to make sure your own team is on the same page. This really hit home in terms of the importance of communication within an organization, be it a tiny one or a large one.
Below are some of the major takeaways from each lecture:
1. Companies that are not customer centric, fail.
2. It is important to take a step back from your company and examine
everything from an outside perspective.
3. You must have empathy within your own company, a sort of humble confidence.
All in all, Collision was a great experience. There were many incredible speakers which were not all covered in this post, but we wanted to share with our readers some of the valuable highlights. We plan to attend next year and fingers crossed it will be in our awesome hometown of New Orleans!