Lessons learnt in the surf applied to life

Every surfer will tell you that surfing is not just a sport, it is a way of life.
I entirely agree; some of the things I learnt surfing are also totally applicable to life outside of the water.

Here are some of these nuggets:

  • Never turn your back to the ocean: Observe what’s in front of you. The good, the bad, the ugly, face it and embrace it.
  • Surf in every condition:
    There is only one way to improve. Practice and practice again.
  • Eddie would go:
    You might not always have a good session but you will never regret getting in the water. Don’t hold back, go for it!
  • Respect priorities:
    Learn the rules of the game and when it’s your turn to play, don’t let anyone steal your opportunity!
  • Be humble:
    The ocean will always be more powerful than you. Don’t let it remind you, it hurts – a lot.
  • The winner is the one having the most fun:
    It doesn’t matter how well you ride, how man waves you catch, how radical (or not) your maneuvers may be as long as you are having fun you are doing it right!

And finally, last but not least,

  • Keep our oceans clean:
    There is no metaphor in this one. The ocean is not only the playground of surfer, the ocean is life. We must protect it.

Marie Sornin

 

Life hack: How to read more?

One of my 2018 new year’s resolution was to read one book per month. To do so, I made some simple yet powerful adjustments to my daily life: I swapped social media time for kindle time.

Easier said than done… after multiple failed attempts (as I am sure most of you can relate), the trick that worked for me was to delete most of my social media apps from my phone, carry my kindle in my bag everywhere I went and consciously reach for it during down times: commute, airport, line at the super market, hairdresser… That worked. I read 17 books in 2018!
Also always line up your next read before you finish your current one.
If you need some inspiration, here my 2018 reading list (not in order of preference). I recommend all of them, especially the ones in bold:

  • Powerhouse by James Andrew Miller
  • Porcelain, by Moby
  • Neuromancer by William Gibson
  • Hit makers by Derek Thompson
  • 50 shades of grey by E.L. James
  • Future presence by Peter Rubin
  • Shoe dog by Phil Knight
  • Grit: The power of passion & perseverance
  • Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson
  • Post American World by Fareed Zakaria
  • Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  • The shock doctrine by Naomi Klein
  • Exponential living by Sheri Riley
  • Born a crime by Trevor Noha
  • The rules of civility by Amor Towles
  • Part of the tribe by Kevin Richardson
  • L’Horizon a l’envers by Marc Levy

    Marie Sornin

VR on the Croisette

Publicis bold statement about shifting resources into AI rather than continuing to showcase its work on the Croisette, seems to be creating more buzz than the 2017 Cannes Lions winners.
The industry is concerned about what it means for International Festival of Creativity, It also reveals a lot about the value of agencies in a world where AI/ AR/ VR are transforming their role, purpose and creative process.

I say AI/ AR/ VR because one of my observations from attending the Cannes Lions this year is that these 3 disciplines are often grouped together and take up most of the innovation stage.

My focus for this post is going to be on VR: How was VR represented at the 2017 International Festival of Creativity ?

First, some general observations:

  • VR campaigns have swept awards in the innovation & digital craft categories
  • The differentiating points of campaigns come from outstanding level of creativity or utility, rather media strategy
  • Google stands out with 4 awards (TiltBrush, Earth VR, Google Arts & Culture)
  • Independent specialist agencies (e.g.: Analog & Rewind)are ahead of the global holdings

Now, here are the Lion winners showing what VR can do for creativity & advertising:

Digital Craft Grand Prix Lion: Bjork
REAL-TIME VIRTUAL REALITY EXPERIENCE FOR BJÖRK’S NOTGET

Innovation Grand Prix+ Bronze Digital Craft Lions: Audi
THE ENTER SANDBOX VR EXPERIENCE

Innovation + Digital Craft Gold Lions: Google
GOOGLE TILT BRUSH

Digital Craft Silver Lion: Nike
NIKE ID VR STUDIO

Digital Craft Silver Lion: BBC
BBC HOME: A VR SPACEWALK

Digital Craft Bronze Lion: Google
BACK TO LIFE IN VIRTUAL REALITY: RHOMALEOSAURUS & GIRAFFATITAN

Innovation Bronze Lion: Google
GOOGLE EARTH VR

Congrats to the creators and brands who won some VR Lions.
Marie Sornin

 

 

 

No tiara involved

I recently left Twitter and joined NextVR as the VP of revenue partnerships.
The #WomenOfNextVR welcomed me to their uplift lunch series where Melinda Witmer (guest speaker), Stefanie Yoshimura (software developer at NextVR) and myself shared our stories around the topic:

What is the biggest challenge of your career and how to overcome it

A tiara and cuffs might allow Wonder woman to gracefully extract herself from some tricky situations… as far as I am concerned, I only have a brain, a body and a few connected devices to “do epic shit” day in day out!

So, no tiara involved, here are some resources that I use to do so.

  • Nurture your creativity & confidence in your own time:
    Find and practice what gives you “thinking space”.
    The best ideas often come from unexpected places/ moments. This is because all the work you do throughout your busy work days sometimes needs a spark to ignite the insight that will give you the confidence to move forward with an idea or solve a problem.
    I often find that spark while surfing, that’s when I used to live in Australia, now that I live in NYC, it’s by walking the streets of the city with blasting house music in my headphones, or painting, meditating…
    Whatever it might be for you: cooking, playing with your kids, walking your dog, singing in the shower, doing your hair, dancing, watching cats on the internet, chasing double rainbows…. Make time for it!

 

  • A good read is always a good idea: 
    A trick that helps me read more is to swap social media time for reading time.
    From quotes, to articles, fiction or self development books, here are a few examples I love and find very useful:

 

Oh and one more thing, if ever in doubt about life, listen to the lyrics of this song (it seems crazy, I know. trust me on this one)

React and share your wonder woman/ super man tool kit!

Marie Sornin

SXSW 2017

Recently I found myself running out of books to read so I thought, this year I would approach sharing the learnings from #SXSW in a different way, by creating a reading list inspired by #SXSW 2017 keynote speakers.

Here it is:

  • Absolute TOP read for anyone working in a start up, at Twitter or Facebook, or fascinated by the Silicon Valley:  Chaos Monkey by Antonio Garcia Martinez
  • Amazon did tell me that I would enjoy Disrupted by Dan Lyons based on my Kindle purchase an also probably my average page turning speed, nb of hrs/ day, time to completion of Chaos Monkey , but after attending Dan Lyons  keynote “Ending the bro culture and bias in Start up land”, I can confirm that Amazon is probably right!

All the below are plugs from authors and speakers at #SXSW. I haven’t read them myself yet but won’t run out of books to read for a while.

Marie Sornin

 

Owning an Oculus rift: 6 months of excitement, 5 hours of set up, 2 hours on Ebay

 

Before I share my experience as an Oculus rift early adopter, I just need to say that I have no doubt that VR will transform the way we consume content.

I absolutely believe that VR is one of the biggest disruption the entertainment industry has ever seen…  even if the following might not sound like I believe in what I just wrote…

  • 6 months of excitement

I have been excited about VR way before I had my first experience with it.
Thanks to @WSL for letting me go on a surf trip to Teahupoo with Taj Burrows.

That’s why I was one of the 1st to pre order my oculus rift back in January 2016.

Since then I have been playing with Google cardboard and tried the Samsung gear VR 4D ride in the NYC Samsung experience store and was anxiously waiting for my Oculus rift order update.

So last week, when my huge Oculus box got delivered I could not wait to unpack it!

  • 5 hours of set up:

Discovering the product was fascinating. It’s a device of its own.

Just like an apple product, it is delightful to unwrap and discover. The material, the device and its components are beautifully designed.

The rift headset comes with a sensor, a remote control, an Xbox command and lots of cables….

Even though I was aware that it only works with a PC running windows 7 ore newer and with a GeForce GTX 970 or AMD Radeon R9 290 or better graphic card,… Plugging the cables, setting the sensor directly across the rift and getting error pop up upon error pups on our poor PC was not the best fun.

After upgrading the graphics card and testing every possible USB to cable configuration, we were finally ready to immerse ourselves in this new world and leave the reality of our tiny Manhattan living room scattered with cables, laptops, remotes and packaging everywhere .

Then I wen through this 3 stages…

Wooooooo!!!

The Oculus operating system is amazing.
The navigation system takes you into your virtual home, Japanese style with some water feature and a fireplace that you can hear gently crackling in the background… nothing like the cable & PC jungle I was in a second a ago.

Euh?

The visuals appeared a little blurry, like if I was extremely shortsighted… that was because our PC was giving all its power but still couldn’t keep up with how much the rift was sucking out of it!

And then for someone who more familiar with purchasing mobile apps than video game, $40 for an Oculus app (in this case a game) felt really steep….

Hmmm?

After playing with the operation system for a few minutes. My husband’s nagging, who was out of the experience, was too much so I had to let him try it.

So, if you have a crowded household… you might want to think about the dynamics the rift might create…

  • 2 hours on Ebay

With our living room taken over by the mess of VR, we were facing 2 options:
Upgrade our PC or get rid or the Rift.

We decided to put the Rift on Ebay and if it didn’t sell we would gladly upgrade the PC.

2hrs later the Rift was on its way to a state where space is a lot cheaper than NYC and hopefully to a home with a game room and a Oculus rift ready computer.

I loved this experiment and I can’t wait for VR to become a mass product.

It actually has led me to understand Google’s cardboard strategy a lot better.
It is actually with Google cardboard that I have (and will for the next few months/ years) consumed the most VR content, through New York Times, VRse, Discovery… through a library of content relevant to a standard consumer (i.e.: not a gamer).

Google cardboard is making VR accessible to all…. which is a pretty compelling proposition for today’s users and content creators… until the tech becomes accessible to a majority!

Marie Sornin

 

 

How to [really] change your habits

This is one of the most powerful presentation I have seen about shaping your life with good healthy habits.

18 min well spent….

Marie Sornin