I was on the fence about going the event last night. One hand, there would be free wine, free food, and people from my industry. On the other hand, there was going to be a speaker. I was a bit nervous because I have been pretty underwhelmed by industry speakers in the last year or two.
No one seems to have that much new to say. Once a long time ago – it was exciting – when social was new. Young people were supercharging their careers because of the ways they were sharing ideas online. Now the fever has cooled and it’s just the same people talking about the same thing over and over again. I would prefer to hang out with my buddy and talk, rather than sit next to her and listen to someone boring.
But there was the free wine, so Laura and I decided to give it a chance. The wine was good. The cheese was good. And there were some interesting objects on the table. The speaker, stopped by before his talk to say hello and tell me about the objects on the table. They were 3D printing samples, in steel, plastic and other materials. Lovely jewelery and playthings printed by Shapeways, where you can “create high-quality 3D prints in over 30 materials. Products are made to order (in your design) and delivered wherever you are in the world.” The kicker is that there is also a marketplace, where you can sell your thing and they will print it again, and deliver it to other people around the world.
Jeremaiah Owyang is a well known speaker and a pretty classic social media guru guy. Not knowing this, I first mistook him for a salesman for Shapeways – he was really really into it. He even had #hashtag cufflinks printed at Shapeways for the Twitter IPO party. I was not sure what the connection was. We decided to stay for the talk out of curiosity, and because we were a little buzzed and it was nice to sit down.
Turns out the guy was a really great speaker – like TED Talk great. And his content was pretty fresh. Full of new company names I had never heard of (Feastly, Yerdle, SurfAir, Makers Row) and some pretty big ideas and radical predictions. Retail: Dead, Shipping: Defunct, Manufacturing: Pointless. He described a democratic, and I daresay a bit socialist, utopia where you can have an authentic, sustainable existence. This new world is called the Collaborative Economy. And if you are not ready for it, you are soon to be out of business ala Blockbuster.
If you are up for it, you can watch his talk on Youtube. I daresay the in-person experience was better because the small audience was very smart, savvy and lubricated. I left feeling inspired. I am excited to see the connected world of ideas that social has brought us, transform into a place where physical things are shared, made and gifted. And I totally want some futuristic face and body accessories from Three Form Fashion like the one pictured above.
Prompt #8 (Nov 9) Werewolves, vampires, witches. Midterms, bullies, showing up to class naked. First day of work, new boss, annual review. These are some of the things that have scared us as we have grown up. What were you afraid of then that you’re not afraid of now? How did you overcome that fear?