You know you’ve got something special when The Huffington Post hails your presentation as one of “8 Crucial Takeaways of 2012 SxSW.” But that’s exactly what John and a colleague delivered. In 2011, Sean Miller, a planning director at R/GA approached John to partner on a SxSW panel. The two had first met as parents of children attending the same preschool. Months later, the two friends shared that connection on stage at SxSW with a presentation titled, “Why Your 5-Year-Old is More Digital Than Most CMOs.” They conducted the talk because of the increasing concern that people, business leaders and clients, who have not grown up with digital, are falling further behind and have lost some of the sense of wonder, curiosity, experimentation and possibility that kids have.
The presentation centered on the unexpected and amazing advantages young children have over today’s CMOs while examining their ideas and thought processes, and how they can inform new behaviors in marketing and advertising professionals. Among a wealth of valuable information, audience members learned that the pace of technological change is dizzying and “it’s not about generations anymore;” that the average 11-year-old child has adult technology skills; and most importantly, that “it’s NOT about being a kid, it’s about being a beginner, again.”