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April 3, 2006

SXSW Day One (continued)

I know, it's completely pathetic that it's several weeks past the conference, and I still haven't finished blogging about Day 1. I've made a promise to myself today that I am going to write about at lease one session from the conference every day. So, here we go...

Saturday Sessions (continued)...
Convergence and Transformation: A Whole New Creative World
Catherine Crago (Semicongroup), David-Michel Davies (The Webby Awards), David Pescovitz (BoingBoing.net), John Tolva

Key Points:
- Smart companies should work with people to exchange technology - as in mash-ups
- By opening your APIs so that others are able to access your information and integrate it with other information, you create an advantage for your product because people are more likely to use that over something that doesn't have an open API -- communities form around your product instead because it can be used with other things.

How to Increase Creativity at Work
Charles MacInerney (Expanding Paradigms)

Key Points:
- "Yoga is the art of controlling brain waves"
- 4 brain states (see similar article on the 4 brain states):
*beta: mind is sharp, you are on a deadline, a tiger is chasing you...no creativity. Beta waves range between 13-40 HZ
*alpha: This is where creativity happens. Alpha waves range between 7-12 HZ.
* theta: Unfocused creativity, dream cycle, may/may not be sleeping. This is where the "aha!" moments and breakthroughs occur. Example: Archimedes had his big breakthrough while taking a bath! Theta waves range between 4-7 HZ.
*delta: Dreamless sleeping, unconscious. Delta waves range between 0-4 HZ
- Creativity happens most in the alpha state. Since yoga is the art of controlling your brain states, you can use yoga (or meditation) to bring yourself into the alpha state when you need to.
- Site: www.creatingminds.org lists the principles of creativity
- Studies show "happy smokers outlive miserable non-smokers"
- The death of creativity is the inner critic (likes neatness, perfection, etc)
- Mind Mapping (see sample mind map) - stores information into long-tem memory better because it organizes the information in your mind. MacInerney says that people always think he reads a lot more books than the average person of books, but really, he doesn't read as many a year as many of the people around him, he just remembers the content better than the other people. He says that after he mind-maps a book, he could easily give a several hour presentation on it without needing to read it again.
- "Creatives" in a company need to be treated very differently than the "beta" group (organizers, financial people, etc.) MacInerney gave the example of not restricting the creative group to a real specific dress code.