We Analyzed Every SXSW Design Session Proposal. Here’s What We Found.


South by Southwest is the granddaddy of all conferences. With over 300,000 people descending on Austin, Texas every year and talks from design superstars like Bruce Mau and Elon Musk, it’s an incredible way to see what ideas are important within the design community. After attending the event for the first time this past year, we left with one goal: to one day get up on stage and spread our own ideas.

The 4 Fundamentals of an Innovation Framework

baller Photo by Chelsea Ferenando via Unsplash

Learning How to be an Innovation Baller

We’re going to veer off in an odd direction, but stick with us for a minute. Let’s talk about basketball. (If you’re not a big basketball person, that’s okay; pretty much any sport will work for this, but we’re going to go with basketball). So to set the stage, let’s say you have a big game coming up against your arch rivals. Leading up to the game, you spend hours practicing your shooting and ball-handling skills. Then practicing passing, rebounding, and specific plays as a team. Game day arrives, and you are feeling pretty great at this point; there’s no way you’re going to lose. Then the whistle blows and the game begins. You’re shooting and playing defense almost subconsciously at times. You definitely haven’t forgotten everything you practiced, but in a game-time scenario, the other team is putting you in more situations than any team could possibly have practiced for. This forces you to just play the game and act on your instincts. Sometimes things go the way you want and other times, not so much.