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SXSW Interactive 2015

Art vs. Purpose: Innovation in Marketing

Product development 101: know your customer and understand their problems. Lean startup techniques have taught us the important of failing fast, and iterating in such a way that you are able to pivot long before wasting precious startup capital. But how then do we account for major breakthroughs and entirely new product categories? What about natural curiosity and “innovation for innovation’s sake” are we losing when we focus on monetization alone? I will argue that "art is the best alibi" and that the entrepreneurship-minded artist has a strong role to play in the world of branded innovation. Through personal examples such as the Mondo Spider, a 2,000 lb. sculpture that travels the world, and Local Warming, a recent Venice Biennale art installation, I will help describe a loose framework from which creatives can explore their artistic aspirations – within the context of brand building and reaching consumers in completely unexpected ways.

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  1. What is the role of the artist in business?
  2. How does art affect engineering?
  3. If we pursue solutions without problems, will that not simply lead to wasted capital?
  4. What are some examples where art projects have led to important innovations?
  5. How does innovation in art affect marketing?


  • Leigh Christie, Lead Innovation Engineer, Isobar


Leigh Christie, Lead Innovation Engineer, Isobar

Meta Information:

  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Solo
  • Track: Art and Inspiration
  • Level: Advanced
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