Thoughts on the New Serendipity @SXSW2013


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Some of my takeaways from the panel discussion on creating and preparing for serendipity. It's a new concept and conversation topic for me, and it's something that has been intriguing me since Austin.

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Thoughts on the New Serendipity @SXSW2013

  1. 1. photo: THOUGHTS ON THE NEW SERENDIPITY @SXSW2013 @nguyenduongSerendipity happens at SXSW, even among the likeminded.Put yourself into unfamiliar panels, discussions, situations. participation planning director @SaatchiLASerendipity is about finding what you aren’t looking for.With so many new technologies and behaviors, are we changing conditions for Serendipity?Conversations around Serendipity: Beginner’s mind. Putting yourself out there. The networked mind. Be careful of over-focusing.
  2. 2. “As we gain wisdom, how do we retain a beginner’s mind?” @colinraney design and location director, IDEO“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities. In the experts mind there are few.” - Shunryu SuzukApproach everything as if you were a grom. A beginner. Everything is new and exciting. Even wiping-out was fun as a kid. You’re having fun no matter the situation. Manypossibilities when you’re a beginner. When you’re an expert, you see few.Serendipity loves enthusiasm, creativity and optimism. Like you were as a grom. A beginner.“As you grow older, your memory goes down, but your pattern recognition goes up.” - @joi
  3. 3. “It’s important to commit to something and go build it. That will attract others.” @kevinrose founder of @diggYou create your own luck by committing to an idea and putting yourself out there.Breakfast NY: saw the emerging popularity of Instagram and committed to an idea that allowed users to experience it in an analog way.Made By Many: saw a gap in Instagram and created a new way to experience photos and for storytelling.These agencies created their own serendipity when they committed to their idea and shared it w/the SXSW community.
  4. 4. “Teach your kids to ALWAYS talk to strangers.” @jpbarlow co-founder of“Our acquaintances, not our friends are our greatest source of new ideas and information. The internet lets usexploit the power of these kinds of distant connections with marvelous efficiency.” - Malcolm Gladwell, The NewYorkerSerendipity lives at the edges of the network. Expand, explore outside your comfort zone. Look for that person who
  5. 5. Opportunities are created through relationships. And often times we find new connections and inspiration through our weak ties. From people unlike us. Some really big thinking years ago on “The Strength of WeakTies” by a sociologist, Mark Granovetter.How do we find new perspective through our weak ties?Large organizations lose their creativity because they homogenize instead of hybridizing.Agencies hiring people outside of adland. Publishers hiring from adland.Google designing their work places to prepare for serendipity. No one in their 1.1MM sq ft complex will more than a 2.5min walkd from any other. “You can schedule innovation. We want to create opportunities forpeople to have ideas and be able to turn to others right there and say, ‘What do you think of this?” - David Radcliff, civil engineer overseeing the development of the GooglePlexThere’s a lot of serendipity that happens at co-working spaces. Coworking spaces provides solopreneurs a place where collaboration and community are highly valued, where you bring in all different types of brainsand networks. “Fortune prefers the networked mind.” @jpbarlow co-founder of
  6. 6. “You lose peripheral vision when you focus.” @joi director MIT Media Lab“and you lose creativity when you focus.” - @joiIn order to increase the chance of serendipitous events, it’s important to get as many influences as possible. When creativity and innovation isneeded, bring in different skill-sets, experiences together for productive collaboration.
  7. 7. beginner’s mind. put yourself out there. network with weak ties. don’t over-focus.Beginner’s mind: to borrow from W+K, walk in stupid.Put yourself out there: scratch that curiosity itch and commit to your ideasNetwork w/weak ties: don’t be afraid to talk to strangersDon’t over-focus: remember to smell the roses and look up and around you sometimes
  8. 8. thank you. @nguyenduongparticipation planning director @SaatchiLA