Silicon Beach 2012: Not Just London Preaching To The Provinces.
So The London Egotist went along to Silicon Beach 2012 at Bournemouth - a kind of mini SouthBySouthCoast. It was a 2-day event with guest speakers including President of the IPA Paul Bainsfair, Shane Walters from onedotzero and Nick Darken from Albion. Without exception, each presentation was enlightening and inspiring.
Although much of the event involved London-based speakers talking to digital agencies in the Southwest, it was also a reminder that London doesn't have a monopoly on digital talent; there were plenty of innovators here based outside the capital. These are young people with low overheads, no responsibilities and a hunger to learn new things, experiment and innovate – if only for the fun of it. Not money-driven, just determined to create something new and exciting. Imagine enjoying your day job - kind of like that.
If the brief demands digital, we immediately gravitate towards the web and mobile. But it could just as easily be a case of building something in the real world, triggered by beer bottles. Or goldfish.
That's the sort of thing Syd Lawrence does at WeMakeAwesomeSh.it.
Here's a young bloke who wears flip flops in October, has an over-fondness for 'message' t-shirts but will teach himself a new coding language if that's what it takes to get the job done.
He'll think up something cool and make it because no one thought of it before. He'll think of a way to monetize it later, if at all.
Naive? Well his company's just over a year old and his client list already includes Microsoft, Universal, Intel... the A-list goes on.
Have we as agencies been blinded by the bright lights of our big city and become blinkered to the world beyond?
Modern inventions like the Internet and railway locomotives mean it's easy to cast our nets out wider to catch talent with lower costs and a point to prove to the city slickers.
How about collaborating with these outsiders and fast-prototyping stuff to get your clients excited? It doesn't have to be expensive and who knows where it could lead? Agencies get so caught up on the day-to-day, it's easy to forget to be pro-active. And that's where we can create real value for our clients and make ourselves indispensable.
London: we should get out more.