February 3, 2010
Yesterday, I attended the Big Ideas Big Action (or BIBA) event in Washington, D.C. hosted by iStrategyLabs and FedScoop. The event exuded quirkiness, filled with Playdoh, blow up beach balls and dinosaurs, Etch-n-Sketch, Legos and more as it brought together a blended crowd of creatives, entrepreneurs, government officials and marketers from the Washington, D.C. region. The creative juices were flowing aimed at big ideas and big action!
Big Ideas In The Wild
Andy Carvin, the Senior Social Media Strategist at NPR, spoke about his work through the years with social media especially during times of disasters. From 9/11 to the latest Haiti earthquakes Andy had some great stories about the evolution of social media out of necessity during these trying times.
He also talked about mobilizing and dubbed the term “mobcasting” which sounds very similar to “lifecasting” as explained by the equation:
Mobile Phones + Smart Mobs + Podcasting = Mobcasting
Philippa Hughes shared her story about leaving her comfy job as a lawyer to start The Pink Line Project. The Pink Line Project is committed to boosting the Washington, D.C. art scene with a series of creative art focused events – big and small. She shared some of her lessons learned and explained that in many cases nothing would get done without taking a little bit of risk.
Peter Corbett, iStrategyLabs CEO and BIBA event co-host shared his approach to getting things done from idea to launch. He thankfully attributed some of his success in getting things done to his brother pushing him to execute rather than just dream about ideas as a youngster. Peter showcased a few tools that he uses which include Google Ad Planner, Linkfluence and Google Adwords to determine different attributes about a brand.
Peter also stressed the importance of focus on one single thing (i.e. single pointed mind) and a clear “cache” to stay focused and do it well. For example, exercise is a great way to clear some cache to help maintain focus. I would have to agree. If there is one thing that I learned in college it was the importance of exercise in helping you focus and relieve stress. Peter touched on the importance of play. Play helps you remember your childhood which helps you get into a playful frame of mind and removes you from the world of “no”. It brings you into a world of possibility. Peter also shares ideas with others to help build momentum and crowdsource for nuggets of information that might strengthen his idea. Peter explained the “Yes and” approach to non-judgmental idea sharing to help people build ideas rather than crushing them but admits is takes some practice to get used to and he hasn’t entirely mastered it yet.
Innovation Methods by Intel & Microsoft
Mark Drapeau who recently joined Microsoft to help them with public corporate diplomacy, shared his perspectives on being lethally generous. He shared his approach to handling things that might not be in your job description explaining that often times building community is outside of your job description. He touched on sharing and even relayed one of my favorite phrases related to social media “Sharing is Caring.” I have been saying this for years and would take it a step further and say “Listening is Caring too.” Since everything is a conversation these days. For example, if I share a photo online, it could spark a conversation for me to listen to.
Nigel Ballard from Intel shared his experiences and perspectives on how Intel innovates. Nigel shared some stories about security and explained that even hackers know that:
“Knowledge truly is power.”
He offered a number stories about how Intel has focused on security. Nigel also said:
“Work is something you do, not where you go.”
He is a big fan of the “digital nomad” lifestyle, a concept of which I definitely fit the mold. Nigel explained the thinking behind the invention of the netbook and shared that Intel has sold 40 million netbooks in the first 18 months and they expect to do another 40 million in the coming months. Pretty impressive numbers for something that didn’t even exist a few years ago. Bravo Intel!
Big Action Planning
Tim O’Shaughnessy, a self-proclaimed platform manipulator and founder of the D.C. based start-up LivingSocial shared some great tips on creating virality in applications. LivingSocial has created a bunch of social applications leveraging the Facebook application platform. They have one of the largest book review sites by registered user counts in Visual Bookshelf. Tim explained how they leveraged the Facebook platform to accomplish this by looking at the user acquisition funnel as well as getting users to help spread the word virally – friend to friend.
Steve Moore, CEO of the Washington D.C. Economic Partnership had an inspirational story about the economic development of the H Street Corridor neighborhood into an urban laboratory for new business, artists and events. It is exciting to see Steve and his group involved with the creative community as they look to revitalize different neighborhoods in Washington, D.C.
Finally, Peter Corbett of iStrategyLabs announced the upcoming Digital Capital Week DC in Washington, D.C. in mid-June. My other company, Shiny Heart Ventures has partnered with iStrategyLabs to produce and manage the week for creative technology events, similar to New York’s Internet Week or the Fringe Festival. More details will be coming soon about it so stay tuned, you are not going to want to miss this.
The afternoon was filled with brainstorming, concepts, feedback and connections. Which basically included breaking into groups to share ideas and work with other attendees to help sharpen those “big ideas” and then they were presented at the conclusion of the event. So now it is time to take those “big ideas” and turn them into “big action.”
Photos from BIBA were taken by local entrepreneur and photographer Jen Consalvo. You can find all photos from the BIBA event on Flickr. Also you will soon be able to learn how to take better photos so that you love them with the upcoming launch Jen’s new photography book.
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