home #SXSW Adam Savage: don’t let others telling you what to think

Adam Savage: don’t let others telling you what to think

If there is one thing to take away from Adam Savage, the energetic guy from Mythbusters it is the power of passion. Way too often, I’m in dusty meeting rooms with people with great corporate hair, who lost faith in their art, skill and business eons ago. I love the sparkle of energy, the profound flow of authentic passion, and the problem solving motor of believing that what you do makes a difference.

Adam Savage has energy to spare.  He hits the 9000 people in the audience like a fire hose of freezing water, barely letting them breath for air. He thunders through his keynote like a rally pilot: pedal to the metal and barely keeping the rubber on the road. Savage is a liquid energy.

Curiosity Works: Savage has something profound in common with UM: he believes curiosity works, that hunting for the answers to the right questions make this world a better planet. Push things to the limit, see what happens, and learn what the boundaries are. The difference between whipped cream and butter is a minutes.

Science is believing in the ignorance of experts: don’t take long standing strategies, shady facts or rusty habits for granted. Question it. See if you can prove it wrong, if you can find a better, more impacting way. The brilliance is not often in the first hypothesis: it’s most likely in the sixth or seventh tour of the problem.

Culture is conversation: Pushing messages is all fine, but to really make a long lasting effect, you will have to find a way to get into genuine conversation with your audience. The very foundation of our culture, the success of humankind as a species is conversation. If you’re not able to connect through conversation, your long term impact will be minimal.

Mythbusters are scientist and storytellers. It goes hand in hand. There is this misperception that you have the cold data, the cool analytics on one side, and then the fuzzy world of stories and art on the other side. That is so dead wrong. To be able to be a great story teller, you need all of the science. And all of the science is useless if you do not find a great story to package it in.

Failure is the most important part of science… It’s where you learn things. Why is it that in the corporate world failure is never an option? We should allow for an environment where people and ideas have the liberty to fail. Getting it wrong, learning from it, turning it around, and approaching it from a different angle is what makes creativity boom.

Old media turned down Napster: they clearly don’t know what to do either ;-). Savage is sick and tired of the ranting on social media, real time marketing, platforms, and all thinks connected and new. “The old media that frown upon all this new and exciting stuff turned down technologies like Napster”, he said: “that proves that they really do not know how to judge things. They allowed the music industry almost to be wiped out.”  Time to open minds, and embrace and try out new things.

Get your hands dirty before you teach:  To excel, you need to have hands-on-experience. Savage mocks all of the gurus, ninja’s, masters and exerts that flood the new media space, without any own proven personal experience. “If you cannot do it yourself, you cannot teach others. You need to get your hands dirty before you can evangelize.” he said.

And I wish more people would go into my meeting room convinced of my favorite Adam Savage quote: “Let’s blow up some stuff!”

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: