Two SXSWi sessions today highlighted critical topics to any business infrastructure: job creation and brand creation. Steve Case of AOL and Tim O’Shaughnessy of LivingSocial gave a keynote this morning about entrepreneurship in the USA (hashtag #usasauce), covering topics from crowdsourced funding to taking advantage of inefficient markets. Case stressed the importance of passing the JOBS Act (see summary), which would increase funding sources and ease the IPO process.
Throughout the chat, Case stressed the critical importance of startups in job creation. He also pointed out the counterproductive way the U.S. handles student visas, educating bright young people from other countries only to kick them out of the U.S. once their education is complete. (Case was clearly not referring to doctors, but the situation provides a bit of a counterpoint to this New York Times coverage of the tendency of the U.S. to attract doctors educated in other countries.) Since entrepreneurship is an economic engine, these students are “job makers not job takers” and should be able to remain here to help establish successful businesses.
O’Shaughnessy discussed LivingSocial’s strong infrastructure of brand and business relationships, and how they can help create new resources for businesses to leverage. He sees the future of businesses as providing a platform for new interactions, which connects well to the “Brand as API” theme (hashtag #brandasapi) covered in a separate session. That session compared the “closed system” of board games to the more open possibilities of a deck of cards to demonstrate the openness of API. APIs also connect with the previous SXSWi trend I identified of moving from consumer to creator. APIs are a key—perhaps THE key—component in creating an the opportunity for consumers to transform themselves into creators. A great Storify from Jeremy Waite summarizes insights from the session.
So what do you think? Is job creation something that we should worry about specifically, or will jobs come with the new “API” type technology that connects multiple brands and services? Will APIs allow everyone to create their own “job” and extract enough value from it to succeed? Let us know your thoughts and come back tomorrow for more SXSWi trends and a wrapup on Tuesday!