My #PSFK NY Conference Notes


A couple of days have passed since I attended the latest PSFK NY conference to gather my thoughts. Overall I enjoyed myself and didn’t look at my watch wondering how much longer any of the speakers had to talk. I also didn’t think they should have done anything differently in terms of how it was organized or the order of speakers. A common trend of conferences now is to tweet it, sometimes it works other times it annoys people. My rule of thumb is to limit the number of tweets of any one speaker to two max with the idea of keeping it to one per speaker. Below are the sound bytes that stood out for me that I posted live on Twitter.

I’ve heard Rob Walker talk about this project a couple times on podcasts and through the interwebs. I was slightly concerned that it wasn’t going to be interesting to hear in person—thankfully it wasn’t an issue. It was interesting to hear what object was the most desired in terms of money spent.

I wasn’t aware of Steve Powers before his talk. I liked how he talked about uncontested spaces and finding new things to do with his art.

Of all the talks, I though Ouigi Theodore’s was one of the most personal of the stories told on stage. Talking about his education, being a graphic artist and turning into a graphic designer that created a successful brand for himself.


To be honest I was surprised when Nick Felton mentioned the percentage of people that filled in his survey after receiving a card from him. I thought it would have been much higher consider how well known his reports are.

Andy Spade & Anthony Sperduti put on some crazy energy talking about their projects. When do these guys sleep?

I’ve seen friend Tina Roth Eisenberg give a couple talks now, and to her credit she’s kept it fresh each time. I was also amazed to hear how she’s helped people continue their livelihood by mentioning their designs to her audience.

Over lunch PSFK screened the film Lemonade by Erik Proulx. It’s a film that not only people in the creative industry should watch, but those that want to explore what really interests they have inside.

Adam Wells dropped an interesting comment about the TSA mentioning that they’re starting to work with designer to make the airport screening process better—if we’ll ever experience a more humane way to go through the screening process is something design should be used for.

Of all those that took the stage, Shantell Martin owned the stage. But her talk wasn’t about what was going on outside, but getting in touch with an inner dialogue about knowing when to say yes or no.

Colin Beavan shared some of the experiences of his family dealing with his environmental experiment.

Andrew Hoppin in a short period of time has done an amazing job getting the New York Senate working within digital communications. The number of initiatives is impressive.

John Dimatos gave an impassioned speech about UNICEF and the projects at ITP that are helping the organization.

This was the second time listening to Zach Lieberman speak, the first time being at Creative Mornings. His talk was one of my favs. from last year.

I’m a designer so I thought Grant McCracken talking about the number of whites available today to be quite interesting.

I really enjoyed hearing the future of the tv industry logic from Avner Ronen. In practical terms he mentioned why things will fail and how they could be improved.

Naveen Selvadurai kept things going posing some interesting questions about what data can do to improve people interacting with their cities.

So my iPhone battery died for the talk that I got the most out of from the day. Steven Grasse talked about how he turned his skills as a creative into a very smart, fun and profitable venture for himself. He talked about the farm he bought, the tools to make his own alcohol, the print shop to make his own labels to his own store to sell the fruits of his labors. While I’m probably not going to be making and selling gin anytime soon, making a name for yourself through passion and branding was something I’ll be thinking about for a long time to come.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
  • ian smile

    ESPO (Steve Powers) is amazing. He's a highlight player in Beautiful Losers and has a section on his Cyclone painting and (I believe) mentions his newest Philly project… which is amazing!!!!