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The SXSW Experience – 2016

Headshot of the Author Matt Kreikemeier

A few weeks ago, we attended SXSW Interactive 2016 in downtown Austin — and it did not disappoint.   There was so much to learn, take in, and explore, it was a truly rewarding experience.  From brand experiences, startups, and technology, to marketing tips and life-hacking advice, we thought we’d round up and share some of our favorite take-aways from the trip.

Wisdom from Talks

Screenshot of roosevelt quote.

Human Resilience

Author, professional researcher and badass storyteller Brene Brown shared her findings on human resilience. She argued framing the narrative in your head in a positive way is of upmost importance. The title of her latest book, “Daring Greatly”, was inspired by a famous Theodore Roosevelt quote. Her talk was absolutely wonderful and we highly recommend you check out her work

Embrace Your Inner Strange

The film crew for the new baseball movie “Everybody Wants Some” discussed the importance of repetition and practice for honing in on your craft. Director Richard Linklater (known for Dazed & Confused and School of Rock) preached to “embrace your inner strange!” and work hard so if you succeed you know you’ve earned it.


Cognitive Scientist and CEO at Brilliant Experience, John Whalen argued that UX happens in the mind. As you design the UX, you should remember that we are multi-dimensional and multi-sensory individuals. His tips included: knowing your audience’s mental models of what is expected, learning their lexicon, and augmenting (anticipating and satisfying) their micro-decisions along the way.

Amazing Talent is Grown, Not Born

Amazing Talent is Grown, Not Born.  The panelists from this session emphasized that more than ever before, we have the power to choose what we want to do with our lives. We live in a world without swim lanes. Be cautious and select your idols and leaders wisely.


Buzzfeed’s CMO/COO Frank Cooper shared their secret to success has been focusing on empathy and human connection.

Consumer Journey

Google’s Global Product Marketing Manager shared that 67% people start their journey on mobile site and then transition to tablet/desktop. Desktop continues to have the highest number of purchases. This makes consistency across multi-screen experience extremely important.

Neat Brand Events

Picture from Mr. Robot theme park.

Mr. Robot

USA Network’s Mr. Robot made quite an impression with their Coney Island inspired arcade park and 100-foot tall ferris wheel.

Friskies: Grumpy Cat

Nestle Purina’s Friskies partnered with everyone’s favorite Grumpy Cat in a unique #CatConcoctions experience.


Nesta, a London based charity designed to drive innovations for the common good, hosted the Great Britain House – essentially a tech-innovation party featuring everything UK has to offer.


Samsung hosted Galaxy Life Fest offering exclusive concerts for consumers in a parking garage turned into a hipster venue.

Cool Company Finds

Hope you enjoyed our experience highlights.  Let us know what you enjoyed from SXSW – we’d love to hear from you!  Interested in more from the festival?  Check out what people were saying on social:  #sxsw , #sxswinteractive , #sxsw2016.


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