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Espresso of Innovation: Thinking Differently after SXSW Interactive

By Martin Talks, global digital lead, president digital UK
 
Hello and welcome to this week's Espresso of Innovation; the hottest news and strongest stories from the world of creativity and technology filtered into a quick shot of inspiration. This week we're discussing the SXSW and the power of thinking in all shapes and sizes.
 
SXSW interactive has always been a great excuse to network and notwork with the global digital community. It came to a close in Austin Texas on Tuesday and as the dust settles on the presentations, coffees and cocktails and the attendees get over being awe stuck in the presence ofGrumpy Cat, we are left with plenty of thought stimulus as always.
 
Thinking Big
Most of us at some point or other in our childhood dreamt of being an astronaut. None of us seriously expected to be one. But Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal, Tesla Motors and nowSpaceX, has always thought big and urges us not to give up on big audacious ideas.  Musk is into tackling humanity's big problems such as finding more room and resources for Earth's expanding population on other planets. And not satisfied with that alone, withSolar City he is also figuring out how can we sustainably produce and consume energy. Musk's call to arms at SXSW was for disruptive change, to create things substantially better than what has gone before, pushing humanity forward.
 
Thinking Small
The Industrial Revolution brought large-scale production for the masses from centralised facilities. The 3D printing revolution will bring small-scale production for the masses by empowering us all with 3D printing facilities. The potential disruptive power of 3D printers has been dramatically demonstrated in the past witha kidney being printed at Ted. It is widely predicted that, just in the same way as we have a paper and ink printer under our desk at home, we will soon all have 3D printers replacing broken crockery, car parts and even producing the evening meal. Each of us in our own small way will be part of a manufacturing revolution. MakerBot has been part of the 3D printing movement for some time. And at SXSW, Bre Pettis, their CEO, revealed theMakerBot Digitizer. The digitizer scans objects of up to eight inches in height with a laser and two web cams and produces a digital 3D model on the computer, which allows infinite copies of the object to be produced without having to input complex CAD files or designs. This combined withThingiverse- a place to share and download designs - could create a 3D printing ecosystem which could transform our world one household/business at a time.Staples are already offering 3D printing in store, thefashion world is also getting on board andeven cars will soon be 3D printed.
 
Thinking Different
Every business and every person should take time out from their day-to-day business lives to think more audaciously. Larry Page's Google talks of the power of 10x. The way Page sees it, a 10 percent improvement means that you’re basically doing the same thing as everybody else. You probably won’t fail spectacularly, but you are guaranteed not to succeed wildly. Setting up Google X, he is proving his point withGoogle Glass andself-driving cars. And with that spirit in mind, I developed the 2-day head bender that isThe Ultimatum.
 
So overall, SXSW has reminded us that we should think big and think small, but above all we should allow time in our days to think different.