Hello from Las Vegas! Coming to you from the beautiful Palazzo Hotel, the last few days have been quite a ride. I can now say that I have been in the same room with George Clooney, Donny Osmond, and Abby Wambach. Along of course with many other very intelligent and influential people (but come on, George Clooney? <3). This conference has been cool for a lot of reasons, from the practical applications to my job and seeing George Clooney, to the less tangible but maybe more important impact and motivation of seeing and listening to people who are truly passionate about they do and what they have been able to accomplish. I have big goals, and I have talked about them in previous posts, but what I have only mentioned in passing or perhaps skipped on is the the pressure I place on myself and the doubts that sometimes creep into my mind. This is true both in school and in the professional world. I don’t want to just be good at my job or get decent grades in school. I want to excel and I want to climb to the levels that those who inspire me have reached. Two speakers in particular today touched on those motivations. The first was Abby Wambach, who should really come as no surprise as an inspiration for achieving goals. However, it wasn’t her accomplishments on the field that struck me, it was her desire to have a real impact on the world outside of soccer. She has undoubtedly already made a huge impact, in particular on young girls who see her as the example of making dreams come true and being a strong, independent woman; but she wants to do more and impact more big issues that are facing our world. Her quote today was, “I am willing to do the work, and I am not scared.” She isn’t afraid of doing the work, but more than that she is not afraid of it being hard. As someone who is also willing to do the work and is not afraid of it being hard, my question would be is she afraid to fail? It isn’t something I like to admit, but there are times that I fear failing to accomplish goals and fear falling short of my ambitions. Sure, you can always, and should always, learn from failing, but that doesn’t make it any less challenging to face or somewhat disheartening when it happens. I put a large amount of pressure on myself to accomplish and I do not like to think about the possibility of not accomplishing what I set out to do. I think that is true of most people and it is one of the reasons for this blog, to talk about the fact that those fears exist and how you learn from them and push through them.
The second speaker that really struck me was a bit more of a surprise. Richard Dickson is the COO of Mattel, also known as the creators of Barbie and Hot Wheels. His talk was much more marketing and brand centric, but at at conference where the theme was experience and storytelling, he stood out. Not only did he present a great story about Mattel, how they lost their way, and how they’re reconnecting, but he made me, and I believe many in the audience, reconnect to their memories of playing with these toys. Barbie and her recent transformations were heavily featured as an example of how Mattel wants to be an innovation and imagination company and that they had to disrupt the world they had created, without completely reinventing the Barbie brand. Where Abby was inspirational from her accomplishments and motivation as a person, Mattel was thought provoking in how a brand maintains its authenticity through a storied history and how it can find its way back if it goes astray. I think it was one of the best talks so far (though Clooney’s section scores high because he is George Clooney and his hilarious in person)
On the way home, unfortunately waiting for a delayed flight, but I suppose that gives me time to recap for you. The last few days have been an exciting, exhausting, and awesome whirlwind.The Summit gave me a lot to think about as I develop content and strategies in my professional career. It also gave me a lot to think about to think about in terms of my own goals and accomplishments. I listened to and spoke with some of the best in my field and in others, and it served to strengthen my resolve to be one of the best at what I do. The theme of this summit was creating experiences for consumers, not just content, and I have to say, Adobe did a good job in creating the full experience for their customers as this summit. They showcased heir technologies in effective ways while getting attendees to really think about not only how to incorporate Adobe products, but on how to be a better marketer. Sure, they were trying to sell software and grow their business, why else would you make an investment to host 10,000 people, but they were also contributing to making markers better in the face of a changing consumer landscape.
Throughout Summit I also made some great connections who I plan to stay in touch with and even meet with soon. Some were Michigan based, others were not. One of them is the CEO of a drone company who I will be visiting when I am out in San Diego next month. It should be an exciting trip.
I will leave you with a few of my favorite highlights of Summit and Las Vegas. If you would like a more complete view of my trip, check out my Twitter, KJacoby26, to see all the sessions I live tweeted from.