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Polymathic Monthly - Issue #5: SXSW, Design and Function

 After ten (10) days of tech/music/games/movies, SXSW ended today. This year, the conference felt mor

Polymathic Monthly

March 20 · Issue #5 · View online
A curation of articles, tech, books and innovation strategy to enrich your career and personal lives.

 After ten (10) days of tech/music/games/movies, SXSW ended today. This year, the conference felt more subdued than the previous five (5) I’ve attended. Many sessions felt like we were questioning where we are at this point in our humanity, even as technology advances at a pace unmatched in our history. I’m still unpacking the ten days…
Sidenote: I had a great chat with a subscriber from India and she asked me what I do to keep the lights on :) Here’s clarification and a shameless plug; Corporations/startups engage me to assist with futurecasting (where is our industry going?), to develop their innovation strategy and structure the company’s operations to capture the opportunities. We also create content that enables the companies to share insights gained from these sessions with employees and prospective clients. I’ll be in west Africa in a couple of weeks and Vietnam a few weeks later. I’m available, provide great service and more affordable than the McKinsey’s of the world!
Nike and water dominate the recommendations this week. No real connecting thread, they’re all just good reads on my mind this weekend.
  1. Book: I reread Shoe Dog, the Phil Knight/Nike story and was once again struck by the fact that Nike designed a totally new lifestyle, opening up a multi-billion dollar market; before Nike made it so (in the 1970’s), it was abnormal for the average individual to wear sneakers. Sneakers were for athletes and sports people. Or so the competition thought…
  2. Book: Between 2004-2009, before Flint, there were 500K water violations reported in the US. More violations probably occurred but, in the worst case of process design I’ve seen in a while, violators were allowed to self-report. This and many more facts about the terrible state of US water can be found in The Ripple Effect by Alex Prud'homee. It reads like a thriller that’ll make you think twice before accepting your next cup of tap water.
  3. Article: Nike designs for function and performance. It’s always been this way and, as march madness rolls into the next round, read about how and why this one company dominates this event like no other
  4. Article: Cape Town, one of Africa’s most beautiful cities, (technically) only has 100 days of running water left. That’s a problem.
  5. Article: Esports is big business and it’s growing bigger. If the live competitions played in large auditoriums at SXSW, and the gear promoted by tech companies, is anything to go by. But the NCAA, despite the money and sharing a core demographic with esports, won’t touch it. It’s got everything to do with amateur/athlete classifications.
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