Makers and Futurists at #InsighTech2015

We are only halfway through the first day of InsighTech 2015 and I am happy to say the conversations are all over the map in the best way possible, from more traditional market research concerns around when/where to reach consumers to out-of-the-box discussions around flying drones and the power of social media.

While varied topics make conferences interesting and keep attendees engaged, it is important to point out themes that are emerging among all the presentations and interactions so far. These are the themes of new frontiers, hands-on innovation, and being unafraid to step into the unknown.

During this morning’s talk by Chris Anderson (former editor of Wired, current CEO and co-founder of 3D Robotics) he urged us to be fearless, and experiment before you really know what the outcome might be — this attitude took him from at-home experiments with robotic Lego sets to leading the way in the consumer market for flying drones.

Later in the day I heard a presentation from Suzanne Henricksen, who is working with partners to integrate new methods of social listening into traditional brand tracking — taking the beast that is social data and wrangling it to play nicely with (not instead of) long established surveys at Clorox.

Manish Gupta from Twitter also stated the importance of finding the right partners when dealing with insights on a platform that is the “largest searchable collection of human thought that has ever existed.”

What I am hearing from all sides today is that we, as a community of insights-driven, tech-savvy, and increasingly curious researchers, need to drive forward with all manners of new tech and data without waiting for a mandate or a clear path. We can come together as the makers of new methodologies to take advantage of the wealth of consumer data that is swirling all around us.

Stay tuned for more from InsighTech 2015 — there are too many good ideas in the room to cram in one blog post!