29 Things I Learnt From PSFK London

PSFK London was a great day out. Free from the usual advertising conference “we’ve done something cool, but we can’t tell you how or what it achieved”, the range of speakers were diverse, interesting and talented. You can’t ask for more than that, and it was a pleasure to spend the day listening to them speak. Here are 29 things that it taught me:

  1. Poolga.com has some wonderful desktop wallpapers.
  2. Game mechanics don’t work if they’re placed on top of something that isn’t fun. Therefore, if you use them, make sure what you’re building is FUN.
  3. Pachube.com is a wonderful resource to help connect internet-enabled objects together. The Internet of Things is among us.
  4. The end goal in-and-of itself is not enough to get people to reach the end goal. You need small, immediate feedback that allows instant reward and incremental participation, which should result in incremental gains.
  5. You should build tools to allow people to convince themselves to join in.
  6. The overall solution to a problem might be bigger than any one individual can understand.
  7. A marketplace welcomes you even if you have no money to spend. You can go there just to hang out. This is how it differs from a market.
  8. Wilsonbrothers.co.uk are 3 brothers that create seriously cool retail experiences
  9. If people are shopping online, do you really need to stock all the products in-store? Is there scope to use retail space as a larger brand experience?
  10. Invite other brands into your retail space to create a greater, combined and complimentary experience
  11. riittaikonen.com. It is always cool if you make a leaf costume and wear it sat in a tree.
  12. Always look to get nearly arrested.
  13. The disgusting creates a macabre attraction. Disgust is a form of fascination, and therefore can build a surprising relationship with individuals.
  14. Big business can turn human beings into automatons, suffering from a lack of craft.
  15. Listening to The Who once a month will make your life better.
  16. The bassist from The Who could really play.
  17. Create things that have a point of view. These are the things that start conversations; that start stories.
  18. Networked culture renders everything immediate, and creates a philosophy called Atemporality.
  19. Make stuff people want.
  20. You need to unpack the story and lie in it for a while before you tell it. Really understand what you want to say before you say it.
  21. Stats from McKinsey will help in presentations.
  22. Futurology is rubbish. Even if you could tell what was about to happen, what would you have actually added? You just get to say you’re right.
  23. Look for what is neglected NOT what is next.
  24. Look for the ugly and make that shiny. Looking for the shiny is just copying.
  25. Urgent Evoke is an online alternate reality game developed by The World Bank Institute.
  26. We shoud all follow @lendmesomesugar on Twitter.
  27. Mobile phones are having a great impact on medical diagnosis, from registering a new birth via SMS to diagnosing the type of cough you have.
  28. T-shirts that have emergency medical instruction on them are quite cool.
  29. Have a makers perspective on everything. MAKE things. DO things.

With apologies that I haven’t correctly attributed who said what, a massive thank you to Jason Fields, Dan Hon, Usman Haque, Dougald Hine, Ben & Oscar Wilson, Piers Fawkes, Riitta Ikonen, Katrin Baumgarten, Thomas Thwaites, Matt Jones, John Grant and Kyle Studstill for taking the time to write presentations and turn up and talk to us all. A full list of speakers with a bit more background on each of them is available on the Eventbrite page for the event.