March 24, 2015

Book Review: Better and Faster

Filed under: Books,SXSW,That's Just Cool — Emily Reeves @ 10:30 pm

I experienced Jeremy Gutsche at SXSW this year. I say experienced because he was a performer and I was pleased to have been on the first row of this performance. I walked straight from his session to the SXSW bookstore to purchase his Better and Faster book. I read it cover-to-cover in one day.

Rather than espousing theory and principles for building businesses from ideas, Gutsche provides real examples that are not the overused Apple, Google and Facebook stories of success. Those brands are included, of course. But there are more stories about individuals with a solution to a problem that grew into a business than there are big brands that everyday people can’t identify with as a real opportunity.

The theme throughout the book is that change will happen and spotting trends on the horizon will keep you or your business relevant. The book provides charts, diagrams and steps for identifying business opportunity. I was inspired and making notes as I went along. And Gutsche’s Trend Hunter website is going to be a new regular read for me.

March 13, 2014

Video: SXSW 2014 Recap

Filed under: SXSW — Emily Reeves @ 8:47 am

This morning, I sat down with KATV to talk about the latest trends and top takeaways from South by Southwest 2014. Watch the video here.

KATV – Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

March 13, 2013

#SXSW 2013 Photos

Filed under: SXSW — Emily Reeves @ 10:21 am

Here is a selection from all the photos I took the last week at SXSW Interactive 2013. Hop over to Flickr to see the full gallery.

Badge Line Photo from Dalton AlieraEmily GoProEmily Post ItEmily SXSW BackdroopKyle and Emily SXSW Background

Pink Post ItOverflow Crowd at Search Session

SXSW 2013 Photos, a set on Flickr.

March 12, 2013

#SXSW 2013: This Is What It Felt Like

Filed under: Current Events,SXSW — Emily Reeves @ 11:11 pm

Five days of walking, waiting in line, listening to brilliance, and sharing it all with colleagues. It has been a great, though exhausting week. I am inspired and tired. Here is a short video of footage I shot while moving around the last five days.


SXSW 2013 GoPro Recap from Emily Reeves on Vimeo.

March 10, 2013

Girl Gets Geeky: #SXSW 2013, An Update On What’s In My Bag

Filed under: Girl Gets Geeky,SXSW — Emily Reeves @ 9:13 pm

My bag hasn’t gotten any lighter since the first day of SXSW. I’ve only added to it and it has gotten much messier:

SXSW Bag Day 3

It is still relatively easy to find what I need in that bag though, mostly because I have bags inside of the bag and each bag is “themed” so like contents can be found in the same bag. I made reference to my “necessities” bag in my “Day 1″ bag post, but here are the contents that I consider necessities and that can be found in that bag.

SXSW Necessities Bag

  1. Jendarling Traveler bag.
  2. Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve, because dry hands hurt.
  3. MAC Fix+, for a face refresher.
  4. This is really a card case, but I use it as a wallet. It is engraved with an “E” on the top and it was a gift from a good friend.
  5. Aesop Ginger Flight Therapy, for help with relaxing during times of frustration (like not being able to get into full sessions).
  6. Bandages, for the blisters on my feet. These came from the SXSW trade show and Kyle actually picked them up. When he was showing me his swag, I begged for them. He graciously turned them over to me.
  7. Headache medicine.
  8. Apple EarPods.
  9. NARS Light Reflecting Setting Powder.
  10. Urban Decay Lip Junkie Lipgloss in Naked.
  11. Estee Lauder compact, engraved with my mom’s initials and my parents’ wedding anniversary.
  12. NARS Velvet Lip Gloss Pencil in Cythere.
  13. Rodin lip balm.
  14. Kleenex pocket pack.
  15. Herbal Essentials antibacterial wipes.
  16. “Boss Ladies” receipt pouch, for collecting receipts, a gift from a good friend.

I never claimed to be low-maintenance.

Getting Dressed: #SXSW Day 3

Filed under: Style,SXSW — Emily Reeves @ 8:36 pm

Because presentation is vital and how you say it can be just as important as what you say, even if it is at “Spring Break for Geeks.”



{all about the comfort}
Another long and full day at SXSW. I needed to be comfortable.
Splendid shirt; JCrew sweater; Lululemon leggings; New Balance sneakers.


March 9, 2013

#SXSW 2013: Brainstorming Technology First

Filed under: Business,Digital Strategy,Marketing,SXSW — Emily Reeves @ 8:49 pm

One of my favorite SXSW sessions today was “Brainstorming Technology First.” It was presented by an agency and they provided real examples with actionable steps for implementing a technology-first approach to brainstorming projects. R/GA created this process to counter the consistent problem they were encountering where an idea was generated then the question “is this possible” was asked to the technologist. Their desired outcome was to know that something was possible and that it was possible to do well as the idea was generated.

Tech First Brainstorming Framework

  • Still start with creative brief. But choose a technology that is relevant to the audience and hardcode it into the brief. It should be a technology that is specific to your audience. The more granular you can be, the better. For example, not “mobile apps,” but “Passbook for iOS.”
  • Time box brainstorm session at one hour. Get everyone on the team at the same time in the room. Present the brief. Then give them 5-8 people to silently write their own answers to the questions in the brief. It is really important to let them work silently first.
  • Spend next 45 minutes sharing their ideas and encourage creative riffing.
  • Then the senior leadership team should take the ideas and distill them and craft them into something presentable.
  • This is an efficient process because 90% of ideas that come out are feasible because we have embraced the constraints on the front end and we don’t have to ask if this is possible.

Examples of Approaches

  • Fill in the blanks: give people a grammar and a framework to tell stories.
  • Magnetic poetry: provide a list of descriptors and a list of technology, then mix and match to get creative.
  • Branded magnetic poetry: same as above, but brand specific.
  • Social media API roulette: pick two very specific API points from two different networks and ask what can be created by combining the two.
An example of the "magnetic poetry" approach to tech-first brainstorming sessions.

An example of the “magnetic poetry” approach to tech-first brainstorming sessions.

As technology is integrated more and more each day in our activities and communications, thinking about how an idea can be executed as part of the technology rather than being retrofitted into the technology is increasingly important. This approach to brainstorming can help agencies and brands make the transition in their thinking about technological communications.


Getting Dressed: #SXSW Day 2

Filed under: Style,SXSW — Emily Reeves @ 7:34 pm

Because presentation is vital and how you say it can be just as important as what you say, even if it is at “Spring Break for Geeks.”






{preppy pink}
Day 2 of South by Southwest and today I was prepared for rain that never really fell. My preppy signature pink definitely stood amount among the hipster dress code of SXSW.
JCrew shirt, sweater, and scarf; Lululemon leggings; Hunter boots; Eric Javits hat.