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MDW Boulder April '11 | Scott Prindle_The Role of the Creative Technologst



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MDW Boulder April '11 | Scott Prindle_The Role of the Creative Technologst

  1. 1. The Role of the Creative Technologist Scott Prindle Executive Creative Technology Director Crispin Porter + Bogusky
  2. 2. Moore s Law The number of transistors on a chip will double about every two years. Gordon Moore, Intel co-founder, 1965
  3. 3. More processing power, falling costs
  4. 4. Source:
  5. 5.
  6. 6. "The computer in my cell phone today is a million times cheaper and a thousand times more powerful than the computer that we used at MIT when I was an undergraduate [1965]," he says. "That's a billion-fold increase. And we'll do that again in the next 25 years. Ray Kurzweil Source:
  7. 7. More storage, falling costs
  8. 8. 5 MB in 1956 Source:, technology/storage.asp
  9. 9. 64 GB in 2010 Source:
  10. 10. Faster bandwidth, falling costs
  11. 11. Source:
  12. 12. We’ve shifted from a traditional model
  13. 13. To a hybrid traditional/microsite model
  14. 14. To a growing digital ecosystem driven by complex software and algorithms
  15. 15. This ecosystem combines elements of brand story and brand utility
  16. 16. It makes sense then to integrate those who live and breath software and utility – creative technologists (programmers) – into your creative and strategic process.
  17. 17. Culture clash at first
  18. 18. Technologists think in code
  19. 19. And think in left-brained, logical, rule-based constructs If this condition is true then do this Else do this While this condition is true then do this Do this, this many times
  20. 20. And structured data and APIs That we use to search, sort, filter, edit, and save.
  22. 22. And are relatively new to the world of advertising.
  23. 23. What do we call this position? -  programmer? -  developer? -  software engineer? -  creative programmer? -  interactive developer? -  creative coder? -  data processor? -  creative technologist? "
  24. 24. A tour through our bookshelves can help better define the role.
  25. 25. The early years: brochureware and the beginnings of ecommerce
  26. 26. Source:
  27. 27. Source:
  28. 28. Source: s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1291566696&sr=1-1
  29. 29. The emergence of digital branding: the microsite era
  30. 30. Source:
  31. 31. Web 2.0 and the rise of social media
  32. 32. Source:
  33. 33. Source: ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1291566772&sr=1-1
  34. 34. Source: ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1291566798&sr=1-1
  35. 35. Source: s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1291566868&sr=1-1
  36. 36. Looking ahead: computing extends beyond the desktop
  37. 37. Source: s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1291566933&sr=1-1
  38. 38. Source: s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1291566956&sr=1-4
  39. 39. Source: s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1291566985&sr=1-1
  40. 40. Source:
  41. 41. Source: s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1291991530&sr=1-1#reader_0240520815
  42. 42. Source: s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1291567028&sr=1-1
  43. 43. We’re in the advertising business now. Shouldn’t programmers know about traditional advertising? And know how to make advertising concepts?
  44. 44. Source:
  45. 45. Source:
  46. 46.
  47. 47.
  48. 48. Source:
  49. 49. Back to titles. The industry has rallied around the title Creative Technologist Source:,,
  50. 50. The role of the creative technologist
  51. 51. The creative technologist is a key member of the digital creative leadership team. And helps lead projects from briefing, through concepting, system architecture, development, and final delivery.
  52. 52. 1) The creative technologist writes code and makes functional software.
  53. 53. 2) The creative technologist leads strategic and creative thinking for brand utilities and platforms.
  54. 54. This isn t throw away brochure-ware. These are major brand investments that need to be architected to live over the long term. Source:,,,
  55. 55. 3) The creative technologist brings emerging technology thinking into the creative concepting process.
  56. 56. A couple of years ago our toolkit was somewhat limited: -  Flash -  HTML -  Video -  Databases
  57. 57. Technologies in our now toolkit include: -  Flash -  Tablet devices -  HTML -  Augmented reality -  Video -  Voice recognition and -  Databases audio detection -  Mobile -  Physical computing -  Augmented reality -  Facebook -  NFC -  Twitter -  E-readers -  Geo-location -  Connected TV -  Multi-touch interfaces -  Automotive technologies -  APIs/Mashups - Robotics -  Near field communications
  58. 58. 4) The creative technologist manages complexity and change.
  59. 59. Rapid advances in technology can be intimidating and overwhelming.
  60. 60. With an in-depth understanding of core computer science and IT principles, this rapid change and complexity is manageable.
  61. 61. The client-server model
  62. 62. The web browser on your laptop is a client.
  63. 63. The smart phone app is a client.
  64. 64. The tablet device app is a client.
  65. 65. The Internet TV is a client. Source:,
  66. 66. We need to be positioned to manage the multi-screen consumer experience
  67. 67. 5) The creative technologist builds early prototypes to test ideas, interactions, and functionality. This creates forward momentum and is very helpful in selling through ideas.
  68. 68. Dominos: visual builder prototype
  69. 69. Dominos: visual builder live Source:
  70. 70. 6) The creative technologist enables an agile workflow. This helps to ensure high-quality, on-time deliveries.
  71. 71. 7) The creative technologist manages relationships with client IT stakeholders.
  72. 72. Source:,,,
  73. 73. 8) The creative technologist sparks creative thinking through emerging technology research and experimentation.
  74. 74. Art, science, and play had merged into the magical activity of programming, with every hacker an omnipotent master of the flow of information within the machine. Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution Source:
  75. 75. Augmented reality (AR) prototyping
  76. 76. BK: augmented reality banner
  77. 77. Experiments with multitouch table
  78. 78. Experiments with the connected vehicle: Trike Plus
  79. 79. Experiments with the connected vehicle: Trike Plus
  80. 80. VW Fun Theory
  81. 81. One happy family now
  82. 82. Technology will continue to bring about disruptive change in our business. The creative technologist will play a lead role in creating ideas that carry across the rapidly expanding digital ecosystem.
  83. 83. Points to consider when introducing technology into a traditional environment -  Put technologists on your core strategic and creative leadership team -  Include technologists in the full project life cycle – from initial research and briefing, through final project delivery -  Hire technologists who know software architecture and hands-on coding -  Hire technologists who can communicate and collaborate -  Try out new team structures -  Understand that making software is a significantly different process than making TV, print, or radio. QA is very, very important. -  Be respectful of the complexity of the software development process "
  84. 84. Points for technologists to consider when joining a traditional environment -  Don’t hide behind esoteric acronyms and buzzwords -  Enable ways to say ‘yes’ -  Don’t just say you’re creative, show it -  Be respectful of the creative vision and strive for visual pixel perfection - Use your knowledge of technology to make ideas better -  Don’t promote technology for technology’s sake. Start with an idea and fulfill a business need. - Study the advertising and branding business -  Understand that frequent change is part of the creative process"
  85. 85. Good resources on technology Blogs - Creative technologist group on LinkedIn -" - - Books - HTML and XHTML: The Definitive Guide, Chuck Musciano and Bill Kennedy - Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, Steven Levy - The Cathedral and the Bazaar: Musings on Linux and Open Source by an Accidental Revolutionary, Eric S. Raymond " " "
  86. 86. Thank you.