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One of the coolest things I took away from SXSW was a renewed faith in people. Not just the people on the streets and in the bars, or the locals who took me on a tour of their very happening city, but the visionaries and thinkers who got up and showed us that it’s cool for people – and brands – to care deeply about stuff.

I was deeply impressed by Cameron Sinclair, the self-styled Chief Eternal Optimist for Architecture For Humanity and his take on open-sourced architecture. Fashion designer Marc Ecko became my new personal hero when he rocked a madcap Prezi to take us down the rabbit hole of ‘AWEthenticity’ to a place where we were confronted by the issue of state-sponsored violence in U.S. schools.

Science-fiction author and SXSW veteran Bruce Sterling saved the best for last, launching into an incendiary call-to-arms for millenials. Nothing short of generational change will suffice for a man who, by his own admission, is in the wrong generation.

I fulfilled a life-long dream and got to floor the accelerator of a brand-new Corvette, saw a ‘secret’ Foo Fighters performance at a the official closing party and will forever be seduced by the words ‘breakfast taco’. I’ve got my longhorns cap and my wife scored a shirt from the Driskill hotel. Austin, you were great.

But most importantly, I’ve got some very clear ideas about where our industry (or parts of it, at least) is heading and I’m lucky enough to be in a position to be a part of it. I’ve collected together a lot of the links and resources from SXSW and related coverage here and I thoroughly recommend you start working on your plans to get yourself to SXSW 20112.

This video is part of the video blog series  “10 Things Agencies Can Learn From SXSW” presented by Barrie Seppings, Creative Director at Ogilvy Sydney.

Whether you’re trying to write a brief – or an operating system – clear thinking and simple objectives are pretty much all you need, the rest gets figured out as you go along. Wired magazine has just published a short yet brilliant interview with University of North Carolina computer scientist and author Fred Brooks who not only designed IBM’s first successful mainframe but also coined what became known as Brooks’ Law: the flawed assumption that more manpower meant predictably faster progress.

In the interview, he shares some great perspective on how things get designed, but may favourite has to be this one:   “The critical thing about the design process is to identify your scarcest resource. Despite what you may think, that very often is not money. For example, in a NASA moon shot, money is abundant but lightness is scarce; every ounce of weight requires tons of material below. On the design of a beach vacation home, the limitation may be your ocean-front footage. You have to make sure your whole team understands what scarce resource you’re optimizing.”

It’s a great way of thinking about a problem and if we apply it to brief-writing for marketing, we’d have to admit that the scarcest resource we have is the audience’s attention.

Among Brook’s other advice: live prototyping; examining failures more closely than successes; and (perhaps surprisingly) judicious use of silos – something he refers to as “encapsulation”.

After just a little taste, I’m loving the way Fred Brooks thinks and now I’m on the hunt for his books The Mythical Man-Month and the just-released The Design of Design.

Check the Wired Interview here.