Science of a Keynote

Last week I had the awe-inspiring experience that is Higher Ed Web. I met awesome people and listened to really smart people talk passionately about their work, projects, and basically shared knowledge among like-minded peeps.  This exchange literally sums up the 3 day experience:

Knowledge HangoverAdditionally, we were treated to two outstanding keynotes bookending the conference; opening keynote from King of the Nerds, Steve Wozniak, and the second one from @unmarketing’s Scott Stratten. Although the two work in different sectors (technology v. marketing), they both celebrated geek culture, the big connector between all of us in the audience.

Also, the best part of tech conferences? You don’t have to take notes, just collect your favorite tweets because everyone–EVERYWHERE–is tweeting and instagramming the whole thing.

Misbehavior and humor are related to creativity.

– @SteveWoz

I had heard before the keynote that Woz isn’t exactly known for his stellar speaking skills, so when I heard that this session was going to be more a Q and A, I was excited, and it was truly amazing to watch Woz–cofounder of Apple and billion other endeavors–describe his own experiences and answer questions intelligently and succinctly on the spur of the moment.


Many of the questions centered around where technology is headed, and the source of creativity and innovation. Anyone who knows his background understands that education is almost a personal crusade to Woz, and he’s got some definite ideas about how to spark creativity.

Woz didn’t necessarily talk through his creative process because it’s so innate to his being. Coding is fun to him. Solving problems with technology is fun. That’s why he’s successful.


But it all ties back to education, and the point of the college system. It’s a place where students should take time to learn who they are and what they want to do before embarking down that path.


But probably the most tweeted sentiment heard from Woz’s keynote was probably this comment:
Woz: Marketing is the most important part of any company

Woz delivered his “keynote” with an exuberant sense of self; there was an organic honesty to his answers, and the winding path he took in some answers (sometimes needing to be reminded as to what the original question was). He’s an impressive figure whose mind moves at a faster pace than his tongue sometimes, and it was an honor to witness it.

I know marketing. I know how full of crap we are!

Scott Stratten, @unmarketing

Angry, exasperated shouting never came across so well. Scott Stratten’s perspective can be conveyed through the title of his latest book (given to all heweb13 attendees): QR Codes Kill Kittens.

(He’s not against kittens or QR codes–he likes both in proper contexts, especially QR codes–only when used in the proper context).



But the wider message behind Stratten’s closing keynote that reverberated through the crowd was related to marketing and higher education, and the idea that students = customers. In both institutions for whom I’ve worked, this is a huge, contentious issue, but it’s something with which I agree.  4


In this day and age, social media is seen as a marketing tool, but it’s also a super expeditious customer service outlet as well. Viral speaks to this. 3


I still think of viral as a buzzword, or something that HiPPOs (my newest favorite acronym) without a real sense of what it is or how it happens.  Stratten gets it. And he gets us.


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