2014 SXSW Interactive Session Spotlight: How Creative People Arrive At Good Ideas

Written by Megan Simpson | February 3, 2014

At SXSW 2014, Brian Janosch leads a talk about creative people and good ideas

Brian Janosch doesn’t consider himself a “tech person,” but rather a creative who is excited to present at the 2014 SXSW Interactive Festival this March. His speaking topic, “How Creative People Arrive At Good Ideas”, reflects an idea that hasn’t nearly been explored enough. Check out Janosch’s personal recommendations on Tumblr or connect with him via Twitter @bjanosch where he tweets about media, news, sports, comedy, and random funny observations. And check out his insights on SXSW via this installment of the Session Spotlight.

SXSW: What will you be covering in your session at SXSW?
Janosch: We’ll be exploring the processes and systems behind great idea factories.

SXSW: Why are you qualified to talk about this?
Janosch: I used to run the writer's room at The Onion. That process was what I daydreamed about on the train and what I thought about right before I went to bed. Now, as creative director of a startup/agency, I'm building an entirely new environment from scratch. I'm trying to learn as much as I can about the levers and cranks behind creative meccas, and tapping into my deep-seeded journalism background to ask questions of these three brilliant people should be illuminating to everybody.

SXSW: Who’s speaking with you about this topic?
Janosch: Will Tracy (@williamtracy) is the editor of The Onion. He'll be able to detail how this incredible comedy institution has been able to produce mountains of quality content, day after day, for 25+ years. Through staff changes or troubling times, The Onion has always maintained a certain quality standard most any organization would dream of. Erin Clift is VP of global marketing at Spotify, held a similar position at AOL, and once headed agency relations for Google. Her experience in marketing, advertising, and agency models will contrast in certain ways to what gets done at The Onion, but she should also help illuminate similarities between the content world and the business/marketing world. Finally, Colin Raney is a managing director at IDEO and will complete the loop, to a certain extent, speaking to creativity as it pertains to design and production of physical goods. He can speak to how the visual medium affects creative process, when you need to present not just an idea but an actual sketch.

SXSW: What kinds of people should plan to attend? What do you hope they gain from your panel?
Janosch: Really anybody whose day-to-day involves the creative process. Whether in marketing, writing or design…if you work with teams on discovering and developing new ideas, this session is aimed directly at you. Hopefully, attendees will gain a little bit of the secret sauce behind über creative places and learn how these places that have figured out creativity have instilled a system that maintains quality control.

SXSW: And what if someone is unfamiliar with the topic – will they be able to follow the discussion?
Janosch: Some degree of knowledge definitely helps, but any fans of creative stuff - be they movies, comedy, architecture, design - should be able to pull something from this. People curious about systems or learning how stuff works, this should satisfy their curiosity.

SXSW: At an event like SXSW, do you tend to hang out with old friends or try and make new ones?
Janosch: I try to do a good mix. Catching up with old friends and rekindling the relationship is often as valuable - if not more - than meeting new people. The best scenario is when old friends introduce you to new people.

SXSW: And one of the fun questions - not necessarily related to your topic at SXSW, what’s your favorite movie of the last year?
Janosch: Her. This movie blew me away with its insightfulness. I'm not sure a good movie has been more prescient than this one in a long, long time.

Watch this website for more installments of the 2014 SXSW Interactive Session Spotlight. Click here for the complete list of programming for March in Austin. For tips on interesting sessions to attend, vista the new Recommendation page. Register now to attend “How Creative People Arrive At Good Ideas” and other incredible programming at SXSW Interactive 2014.