iSummit took place in Orlando the last couple days of September. The conference, focused on all things digital, lasted a day and half with participating speakers from Mashable, Y-Combinator, and Disruption Corporation, to name a few.
Topics ran far and wide, but even though it is a conference on digital, it is crazy how it all goes back to basics and human relationships. There were a couple topics that were recurring in several talks, and although they aren't new by any means, it is incredibly important to make sure we're on top of them.
EXPLAIN WHAT YOU DO TO YOUR MOM.
The 'why' you do things is huge (right, Simon?), it is what will inspire others to connect with what you do at an emotional level, but before you can inspire people, they need to understand what is that you do in the first place. "Less is more" is way harder than it sounds, and yes, achieving clarity can be a really hard thing.
Ultimately the goal is to be able to communicate what you do to anyone (including those outside your industry). A great way to test if you have this part down is to be able to explain it to your mom. If you're having a hard time doing this, the blame is not on her. Amber Horsburgh, Strategist at Big Spaceship, is no stranger to this concept, she put together a killer deck to Explain Digital Strategy to your Mum.
So go ahead, feel free to allow technical terms and buzz words rot, and start cultivating fluency in a language we all understand: plain language.
DON'T MAKE MONEY WHILE YOU SLEEP, BUILD TRUST.
As sweet as it sounds, without building trust, there is no way you'll ever make money while you sleep. All of these help build it: clarity (do you sense a pattern here?), coherence, credibility. In essence, as Oli Gardner so philosophically captured, we all have a "bullshit detector" and the goal is to get through it unscathed.
A great way to build trust while you sleep is to blog. Basecamp, the artist formerly known as 37Signals, started a blog back in the day when they used to be a web design firm. They shared their expertise and managed to develop an important base of readers. Those supporters were the ones eager to start trying out Basecamp's products in the beginning, because they already knew them and liked them.
If you aren't blogging or if you are and your main goal isn't to build trust, taking 5 mins to read this could prove to be 5 minutes well spent: Why You Aren't Blogging.
WATCH OUT FOR THESE SPEAKERS
Here is a short but sweet list of those who were exceptional. Watch out for them in case you get a chance to listen to them in the future:
- Oli Gardner, Unbounce
- Kevin Hale, Y-Combinator | Preso's deck
- Jeff Hoffman, Priceline.com
- Audrey Hendley, American Express
- Paul Singh, Disruption Corporation | Preso's deck
Not only do these people know their stuff, they also know how to deliver it to a crowd.
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Illustration by Fabricio Marques