SXSW 2009: Change Your World in 50 Minutes: Making Breakthroughs Happen

Monday, March 16th, 2009 3:30 PM
Kathy Sierra, CreatingPassionateUsers

Gain real-world ideas for markedly improved productivity from an industry expert and passionate apeaker who always inspires SXSW audiences.

Incremental releases causes Arms Race. There are two types of Arm Races. The two types are quality and feature. There are 15 different ways to have breakthroughs. Your ability and time are greatly influenced in how good your final product is.

Word of Mouth (WOM) vs. Word of Obvious (WOO)

Someone being better goes a lot farther than saying you’re better.

Are you stuck in the grove of what you’re confortable with? That is the same reason why people do not want to upgrade their products to your latest version, because they’re worried about the changes that will occur.

How to know someone:

  1. iPod Playlists and…
    Answer this one question, “Flight or  Invisibility?” Then ask, “What superpower do we give our users?”
  2. Superset Game
    What coller thing is my thing a part of?
    ie: you sell kitchen appliances on your web site, but the cool thing is people are cooking and using it.
    If you blog about your company, that’s probably not the coolest thing you could be blogging about.
  3. Shortcuts
    Outliers: 10,000 hours
    Learn the patterns, and shorten the duration. If you can get the patterns out of experts heads then you can shorten the 10,000 hours.
  4. Deliberate Practice
    Kicking ass in < 1,000 hours. But 1,000 hours in what? After 1-2 years, experience is a poor predictor of performance/expertise.
    Work on your Strengths, do not work on your Weaknesses.
  5. Make the right things easy and the wrong things hard
    Make it easier for users to…
    Treadmill gathering cobwebs? It’s not in the corner because you don’t use it, you don’t use it because it’s in the corner.
  6. Get better gear (and offer it)
    A lot of times the more expensive equipment is more expensive because its better. People will understand that although something costs more to purchase it, they’ll understand that it is better and makes them better. You have to help them justify it. Find, make, offer higher-end gear that bumps them to a new level.
  7. Ignore Standard Limitations
  8. Total Immersion Jams
    16 hours over two days vs. 16 hours over two months. How often you get your users to do things depends on how much productivity they’ll get done.
    Ad Lib Game Development Society: they were so busy at work, they ended up getting together over a weekend and force themselves to fully develop a game.
    “The surest way to guarantee nothing interesting happens is to assume you know exactly how to do it.”
  9. Change your perspective
    Don’t make a better [X], make a better [user of X].
  10. What movie are your users in?
    Everyone is on a journy with your product of service. Who are your user’s allies and mentors? What does your tech suppoer look like to them?
    Your company is to your user as ____ is to Frodo. Most people would quickly say Ring, but maybe you should think into it more?
    Exercise: What movie are your users in? What movie do they WANT to be in?
  11. Don’t ask your users.
    Incremental? Ask your users what tweaks you should be making. Although you listen to your users, what they say and what they want are two different things. You should also ask other people’s users.
  12. Be Brave
    Although it is a Concept Car, the Actual Car is never the same thing. What happened between the fantastic idea and the real thing?
  13. Rethink Deadness
    Do not ask your users for inovation. If you were to ask your users what they want, then they wouldn’t imply the smartest idea. However, people are getting more and more closer to being able to answer that question better. If Ford Moters asked their users what they wanted, they would have said, “Faster Horses.” But even if they did look into increasing the power of horses they’d see that $40,000,000,000 are spent each year on that recreational hobby.
  14. Change the Equalizer (EQ)
    This is the standard way people look at making incremental improvements. If you want to make incremental changes then move the sliders. If you want to make new breakthroughs then add new sliders. Check out this neat slider tool. Gary Vaynerchuck from Wine Library appeared on stage to talk about his.
  15. Don’t mistake narrow for shallow
    52,000 Google hits: lolcats+translation
  16. Be Amazed
    “Everything is amazing right now, and no one is happy.”
Posted in Geeky, SXSW 2009.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *