BrXnd NYC Recap // BrXnd Dispatch vol. 020
Looking back on an amazing day in NYC, plus a special announcement!
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What a week. Thanks to so many of you for making the first BrXnd conference a roaring success. We had a full house, and basically, no one left all day. I will be posting all the talks as the wonderful team at Persistent Productions gets me the final cuts. That said, I wanted to share a few thoughts from the day and make a fun announcement.
First, I spent a lot of time working on my presentation to start the day, which built on some of my thinking about building intuition in this new space of AI. One of the things that has really crystalized for me over the last few months is this idea that the more time you spend with this technology, the less sure you are about what its second- and third-order effects will be. So there’s a bit of a paradox there.
With that said, I have been struggling to say exactly why that is—what about this technology makes it so much harder to forecast? And then I felt like I finally put it together. It’s because it’s counterintuitive. Not in the way people throw the word around, but in the truest sense that I have built an intuition over a career for how things work, and there’s a lot about AI that works in the opposite way. I illustrated this by talking about building a plugin for ChatGPT, which requires creating an integration that looks nothing like any of the 100+ integrations I’ve made before. That’s because rather than the platform deciding how they want me to send and receive data to them, they ask me how I’d like it. I have an intuition about how to integrate software, and this works in the opposite way. This is possible because they’re using AI as a fuzzy interface, but it also means we have to expect a learning curve here as we rebuild intuition.
To that end, I was delighted to see this comment come back in the survey responses:
Humility is the last thing you'd expect to find at a tech conference, but the emergence of generative AI demands it, and the humble, hopeful, even playful vibe at the BRXND conference felt like the exact right way to approach the brave-new-worldness of it all. To be at the first of what should be at least a semi-annual meetup was super energizing.
That is exactly what I was going for. I feel overwhelmed and saddened by the state of the conversation around this stuff and am hyper-aware of wanting to differentiate what I/BrXnd are doing and contributing to the discussion. If I sound unsure about how this is all going to play out, it’s because I am, and I think you should be too, and anyone that sounds too confident is almost definitely full of it.
But also, to the last sentence in that response, this will be “at least a semi-annual meetup,” as I am happy to officially announce we’re bringing the BrXnd Marketing X AI Conference to SF in the fall.
I hope to have a venue and date soon (targeting October), but if you’re interested in sponsoring or speaking, please be in touch. In the meantime, you can add your email address to the site to stay up to date (though I’ll also be posting everything here). And if you were on the waitlist for NYC, I promise you will get the first opportunity to buy tickets.
I also wanted to share some of the work I showed during breaks that was submitted by all of you. Thanks again for doing that. It was great to have interesting creative work looping on the screens. You can now check it all out on the site.
Finally, a huge thank you to the many supportive sponsors who made the event possible. I put my own money into the conference, and I’m happy to report that I broke even. That means I can do another one, and it wouldn’t have been possible without these great companies who helped me make it happen:
A huge thank you to our sponsors at The Brandtech Group, LinkedIn, Redscout, EZNewswire, Nova, Horizon Big, Otherward, Persistent Productions, McKinney, and The Imaginarium. If you’re interested in sponsoring SF, please be in touch.
Hope to see you in SF!
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