Reflecting on Silicon Beach 2015

Silicon Beach 2015

Now that the dust (and the cake crumbs) has fully settled on this year’s Silicon Beach conference, I thought it might be a good idea to take a look back into the dim recesses of my mind and see what (if anything) I can remember from it.

Writeups on the day or the day after are all very well and good, but what benefit is going to a conference if you can’t remember what the speakers said in the following days, weeks and months? Well that’s my theory anyway, and nothing to do with being too busy to do a proper report!

Ever since the first Silicon Beach event, I’ve been taking notes the best way I know how – using colour, shape and doodles to help make all the facts stick in my head. Much has been written about the benefits and processes involved in ‘sketchnotes’, and it’s certainly something that has helped me over the years when I’m in a situation where I need to process a lot of spoken information in a short space of time.

In this first sketchnote (above), I recall all the talk of “normals”, and the distinctions between “us” as the early adopters, tech geeks and IT professionals, and “them” as the kind of people who are hesitant towards leaps in progression and reluctant of large-scale change. I was also really impressed by the talk on cymatics which produced some incredible visuals. The ‘DROP’ acronym (Desire Risk, Outcome, Profit) was something that resonated with me, as creative professionals are always wrestling with the balance between creativity and financial sustainability.

The notes above remind me that throwing the word “future” around can be risky – the future is not now, nor can it ever be! An uncertain future isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I’ve still yet to see a truly good example of “stexting” (strategic texting), and I had to look up the “learn, re-learn and “unlearn” quote to remember it in full:

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. ”

It’s from a dude called Alvin Toffler who’s a futurist. Whatever that is…

This next one got a surprising number of retweets, which is a shame because it’s one of my least favourite! Anywho, it reminds me of the staggering fact that the dollar value of our attention has increased by 20%. Can’t remember the timespan, but it sounds impressive. The three points from Dan Machen have stayed with me, and I can still picture the clever ads he showed us.

I really enjoyed sketching this one, there was lots going on in these talks, and I can remember the honesty fridge at Karmarama, the “straight outta…” campaign from North Kingdom. “Be adaptable, be humble, be insightful, be brave. Great stuff.

In this sketch, I covered the seven points from Anjali Ramachandran’s talk, and some good stuff from Alistair Duncan – do we do work that is provocative, memorable and different?

This illustrates the brilliant talk given by Rina Atienza, which touched on my favourite film of all time, Blade Runner. She also dropped a great quote – “don’t work for applause, work for a cause” which I really liked. I also liked the line “creativity flourishes outside of creative agencies”, though I’m not sure if I need to attribute that to anyone!

Last but by no means least (why do people even say that?), we have this little number featuring the monumentally profound “the purpose of looking at the future is to disturb the present”. Nice. The suggestion that 3 in 8 people love brands more than their spouse is worrying, but that’s not nearly as troubling as the whole concept of “dreamvertising“. Kill me now.

All in all, it was another brilliant event. I was encouraged, inspired and challenged. Well done to everyone who worked so hard to make it happen, and I’ll see you next year for more sketchnotes!

Createful at #tryitblind

Createful at #tryitblind feature image

Out of all the things we take for granted (and there are a LOT), sight has to be one of the biggest. We wake up, open our eyes, and spend the rest of the day relying on our vision to carry us through our life experiences…

Q&A – How Much Does an App Cost?

How much does an app cost?

There are some questions we get asked regularly here at Createful. And one in particular we hear almost every week – “How much does an app cost?”

Making a hobby pay: Apple TV


Steve Jobs famously once described the Apple TV, “as a hobby”, a description that rather belittled the rather capable little media-streaming box. In fact Apple TV is now big business, with over $1bn of Apple TVs sold last year and with the launch of new Apple TV, the company is finally throwing its collective engineering, design and marketing muscle behind capturing the last screen.

So, what are the key battles and opportunities for the Apple TV?

Voice Explorer for iPad


‘Voice Explorer’ is an iPad game created for Victoria Education Centre in Poole, Dorset by our placement student-turned web and mobile developer Jamie, in conjunction with Bournemouth University. Jamie is going to give a run-down of the project, which aids speech therapy with the help of some brightly coloured characters…

What’s the deal with Japanese website design?

Header graphic - Akihabara

I just got back from a two week long trip to Japan, which was beyond fantastic (can I go back please?). Whilst I was out there, I noticed a few interesting things about the state of Japanese technology and website design that I thought I’d share…