Semi Permanent - Day One

13 Aug 2018 by Jeremy Sweetman

Blog SemiPerm

Semi-Permanent has always been a calendar event, but previously there was never really enough ‘digital’ to justify shelling out any sort of investment. This year, however, the ‘Day One’ agenda looked particularly designed for the technically inclined. Speakers from Air BnB, Google and Uber spoke alongside Netflix and Facebook forming the opening salvo for this year’s event. Dad, can I go? Pretty please!

The morning was crammed back-to-back with the above speakers, and they were all good (well, mostly). Each offered a mix of wisdom and experience, which is still echoing away in my mind. One clear theme from all speakers was a need to craft the solution, prototype, test (and repeat and repeat and repeat), before deploying at scale (and by scale, think 80 million Uber users generating over 10 billion rides (to date) or 120 million Netflix users over 109 countries). What’s even more mind-blowing is the Netflix product design team is only ten-strong and constantly on the move, experiencing the different countries and cultural differences to maintain relevance for each country Netflix is in.

Another core theme was the notion that ‘there are no sacred cows’, citing many examples where improvements can be found in areas already thought perfect.

Whereas the morning talked digital, the afternoon couldn’t have been more different with a series of talks aimed at diversity within the creative industry. Really powerful stuff! Talks from Beth O’Brien (Colenso) and Tea Uglow (Google) left me particularly inspired (for different reasons) and reminded me of the benefits that pursuing more diversity brings to our own creative pursuits.

For me, ‘Day One’ was a success. Well done Semi-Permanent! Knowing me, the speakers’ experiences will now slowly be deconstructed and repurposed' eventually touching aspects of my work. Thanks for letting me go, Dad.