Category: Digital


SXSW V2V: Day 1


We love SXSW not only because of the parties and people (although we should note both are excellent), but also because, on a more earnest note, we at Oishii love participating at SXSW V2V and the community of like-mind entrepreneurs and creativists who experiment with the order of things.

Building on the SXSW experience, SXSW V2V is a four-day event in Las Vegas with an emphasis on the creative spark that drives entrepreneurial innovation.

In the days ahead, the 1,500 attendees will participate in informative panels, mentoring and coaching programs, intense workshops, pitch competitions and exhibits of startup innovations.
Here are a few highlights from today’s sessions:

America’s Entrepreneurial Spirit: The Case for Fixing our Broken Immigration System
Alex Torrenegra, CEO of VoiceBunny
Andrew Crump, CEP of Bluefields
Mark Falzone, Deputy Director National Immigration Forum
Rep. Joe Heck, US House of Representatives – US Congressman
Scott Allison, CEO of Teamly Inc.

This panel discussed what lies ahead for immigration reform, and what the tech industry can do to fix the broken system.

Key takeaways:
• Like a bad football team, we’re training the players with the best strategies and sending them out to work in other countries because of immigration.
• It’s necessary to bring (the right) talent to startups.
• There’s need to be a balance between bringing international talent and national security.

Founder’s Guide to Securing First Round of Funding
Alex Mittal, Co-Founder & CEO of FundersClub

In this session, Alex Mittal outlined the fundraising process for first-time founders, focusing on whether fundraising makes sense, best practices for securing their company’s first round of capital, the role investors will play in their company’s future, and things to consider before agreeing to investment terms.

Key takeaways:
• Try not raising money. 2/3 of IPOs are not from VC money.
• $25-50k can start companies. Go with your family and friends.
• Then raise about 18 months’ worth of money.
• Spending doesn’t equal results.
• The key to success: don’t die!

Not Just a Pretty Profile: Building Online Persona
Brett Martin
Christine Herron, Director of Intel Capital
Peter Kazanjy, Founder of TalentBin

This panel discussed the importance of cultivating the online persona, provide concrete examples of what has and hasn’t worked, and help you understand the challenges that come along with that creation.

Key takeaways:
• How a person can act like a brand and vice versa.
• Everyone has an online persona. Be proactive about managing it.
• Venture groups and employers will look at your online persona.
• Authenticity has to be proportional to what you share. Personality is what attracts people.
• Create goals and objectives around your online persona and build a content strategy for it.
• Purpose needs to be defined:
o Build professional credibility
o Professional engagement (personal)
o Create connections
• Address mistakes head on
• Your online identity carries over into the real world (examples: Uber, Lyft, etc.) Rating each other furthers that identity.
• First step to engage (if not already) is to signup, consume and learn.
• Good analytics tools: Reporative, Twitter (analytics) & Sprout Social

Keynote: The City as a Startup
Tony Hsieh, Zappos

Culture is to company as community is to city; it’s about values, innovation, serendipity, and attraction of smart startups and the creative class. Tony applies his Zappos corporate culture to build the most community-focused big city in the world, in Downtown Las Vegas.

Key takeaways:
• Tony invested in Zappos… and then joined the company because investing was boring.
• He invested into customer service instead of marketing.
• Culture is the most important thing in order to deliver happiness.
• The values can be anything; it just requires company alignment.
• There needs to be a higher purpose beyond profits.
• Brand and culture are different sides of the same coin.
• A great brand is a story that never stops unfolding.
• Zappos moving past its four walls and into community as well.

Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh

Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh

Learn How Top Brands are Succeeding by Being Transparent
Jeff Rosenblum, CEO of Questus

Jeff discussed how advertising is the connection point between consumers and corporations and that the industry can be the linchpin in a revolution that enables corporations to earn billions while moving the planet forward.

Key takeaways:
• Advertising is going through a revolution. Social media and technology are forcing a paradigm change.
• Advertising can save the world.
• Trust is at an all-time low. The authenticity of a brand is so important to building that trust.
• Because of technology, transparency is forced. If you don’t participate in the conversation, people will have it around you.
• As branders, we have to help companies be great. We can inspire a new generation of branding where authenticity drives consumers, not false messaging.
• Digital natives are now taking over the workplace. What happens as transparency natives come into the workplace?
• Advertising has to make a fundamental shift from “interrupting us” to adding value to our activities.


Oishii at Google i/0

Al-Insan Lashley (Digital/Interactive Producer) and the KID were both present and accounted for at Google i/o Extended’s Keynote address and for a variety of presentation sessions.  Google i/o offered deep technical content and a lot of geeky fun…

The day could have easily been an empty or celebratory party on the part of tech industry giant Google… but the announcements were riveting and valuable.

Some of the up-and-coming releases and educational presentations made at Google i/o included:

  • •Exciting animation developments that occur right in the browser (no no app or video required) [via a demonstration of The Hobbits: Trollshaw Forest]
  • •Really engaging multi-device gaming experiences, including tablets and iOS, see below.
  • •Increasingly shared experiences between Google websites and apps on a variety of machines – desktop computers, mobile phones and tablets.
  • •Powerful new features that can be accessed on the web, not just through Google’s browser, but on a variety of modern browsers.



Oishii Digital and Interactive producer, Al-Insan Lashley, at the recent Google i/O event in Los Angeles.

Al-Insan Lashley (Digital/Interactive Producer) and the KID were both present and accounted for at Google i/o Extended’s Keynote address, as well as in a wide variety of presentation sessions.  It offered deep technical content and a lot of geeky fun…





The Kid In The Wild Series


The Oishii Kid was a labor of love. After a team conversation about our favorite DIY toys, Ish designed, produced and found distribution for the Kid, complete with iconic hair, belly and attitude. The toy was an inspiration project and a way to talk about creativity, idea generation and imagination. The Oishii kid is now out in the world and in the wild! Fans are now using social media, #kidinspired, to capture the kid’s travels and how he’s making their day a bit more inspired and interesting.


Think Like A Tourist


Ish preps for a strategy session by thinking of Peru

Tourism as Thinking Tool

 Do you know how to think creatively? What does that even mean? A lot of authors blogs and webinars generate lots of money and buzz around this very simple but misunderstood intention—how to think creatively.  Thinking creatively is deceptively simple in that it involves more than using your brain for a task or outcome. It is a physical process working in tandem with carefully practiced thinking skills.  We at Oishii Creative encourage everyone—clients, and within our internal culture, to think creatively everyday and this is what we mean:

  • Tourism as Thought Process: What do you do when you go to a new city? Most people explore through maps and with feet on the ground. That is, we use a map and walk around getting a lay of the land. We invariably make a few wrong turns; we go back and find where we want to go.  Using the same “outsider” mindset to understand a problem we want to solve, an article to write, boards to create or whatever (insert task here) goes along way toward pushing the mind closer toward opening the space for thoughts, ideas and action. Try the following exercise before work: Walk around the out-of-doors of your work -space. Bring nothing with you but a paper and pen.
  • Step #1 Walk briefly and notice where your mind wanders: Let loose without censoring yourself: think about the multiple upcoming deadlines, the annoying meeting you want to miss or the best options for lunch. Let your mind loose for five minutes.
  • Step #2 Now find something that grabs your attention—a tree, a person, a building—sit or stand near the object and give it your full attention. Think only about that object—this can be hard, but do your best.
  • Step #3 Begin writing notes about the object. Write as if this object were completely new to you. Like you are a tourist and you are seeing the object for the first time. Jot down its physical characteristics, its size, shape, scale color etc.  No detail is too inconsequential or too small; write everything you notice.

Look at your notes. Did you draw a picture or diagram? Did you record lots of detail or only a few? The goal of the exercise is to generate as many details as possible.

If you took only a few notes or drew with minimal detail on your first excursion, no worries. Practice your tourist skills again tomorrow before work. Practice will train your brain to think actively and generate lots of details about whatever it is your observe, the goal being to bring a fresh and perceptive mind to the day.

We call this the Oishii Tourism as Thought Process, because it takes the best of academic, neuroscience and ethnographic research and synthesizes into a tool kit for approaching problems.  And creativity, or learning to “think” creatively is a problem we love to solve.



Do You Know Your Story?

You have ideas, technology and investors… but do you know your story?


Oishii’s own consumer behavior specialist Sterling Hawkins was recently profiled by NewsWire on his work through Maverick Angels, an entity that takes an entrepreneurial approach to angel investing. Last year, the company invested in no fewer than 11 startup businesses, of which the largest group worked in software or the Internet.
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