Through an anonymous source whom we are obliged to protect, SnapMunk has gained access to a leaked copy of the script for this year’s SXSW Interactive 2016 Opening Keynote Speech. It is still under investigation whether this script has been exclusively produced for SXSW Interactive, or it is a modified version of every single tech conference keynote speech ever given since 2010. Spoiler Alert: It includes the word “Disruptive”.
Strobe lights begin beaming around room, inconspicuously intermixed with long-range barcode scanners over attendee badges for re-subscribe to email newsletter.
Enter (Stage Center – REAR): “DJ” rises behind table with MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iPad Mini and actual apple with USB port. Beat drops on high-energy electronic melody mixed with audio tracks of random profanities and quotes from Larry Ellison (auto-tuned) and Stephen Hawking (auto-tune not required). “DJ” is wearing headband that reads brainwaves to control audio cues – while track builds, “DJ” stares blankly at crowd with right ear to right shoulder, slight torso movement (all audio cues have been pre-recorded).
Ashton Kutcher is probably there – just, somewhere.
Enter (Rafters): Cloud-like receptacle descends slowly towards stage. Keynote speaker is visible inside the cloud. As cloud finally reaches stage, music stops abruptly and robotic security command is heard over the PA.
Voice: “For cloud permissions, please provide your password.”
Keynote speaker performs Slash riff on air guitar (sync’d with audio track over PA).
Voice: “Password accepted.”
Music Cue: AC/DC “For Those About to Rock We Salute You”
Cloud door opens and speaker emerges. Cloud ascends into rafters. “DJ” descends into carbon monoxide chamber.
Enter (Stage Left): Female coder on hoverboard holding microphone. Female coder rides over to speaker, stops 4 feet short and flips him the microphone with left hand. She is ambidextrous.
The two exchange glances as if to say, “We’re different, but we’re equal – see you at Scrum.” Female coder exits stage left.
Announcer is heard over music.
Voice: “And now, to welcome you to SXSW Interactive 2016, the Founder, CEO, President and Chief Disruption Wizard of Fast Company’s Fastest Growing Unintentionally Not-for-Profit Startup of 2015, CloudBoner – let’s give it up for Kip Cory!!”
Three dimensional CloudBoner hologram logo flashes on stage as crowd goes wild. Crowd dies down. Kip Cory addresses room.
End Stage Action]
When I was six years old, my father got me my first computer – it was a “lap top” that also worked on a desk. He sat me down in front of that computer and he looked at me and he said, “Skipper, I’m not going to tell you how to use this. But I don’t want you to move until you’ve launched your first website. I don’t care what you do, or how you do it – I just want you to do it and get it done by just doing it.”
And he walked out of the room and locked the door.
Four days later I was taken to the hospital for severe dehydration and when I got back from the ICU, my father sat me down and he looked at me and he said, “What the fuck was that? You’re supposed to be my little Rocket-Kip, Kip-It-‘N’-Rip-It. Four days locked in a shoe closet and you couldn’t even figure out how to turn on a computer? Are you retarded?”
I looked my father right in the eye and I said to my father, “Ya, I think so a little bit.”
“So what are you going to do about that?” he asked me.
And I knew exactly what I had to do.
I took off my overalls and I pissed on the computer. Then I took a book of matches, lit the urine-soaked symbol of creative confinement on fire, grabbed the cell phone from my dad’s hands and texted “FUCK IT” to 911.
Through the smoke came the moment of clarity. My father looked me right in the eye, and he said to me, he said, “You know what, son? You’re not just going to be another Kip on the radar. This is just the Kip of the iceberg. You’re gonna change the fuckin world.”
And I thought, “Well of course I am – I have like, one friend and I hate reading. What else would I do?”
By 14 years old I had paid a crab-shucker in the Philippines twenty six dollars to build an app I designed that automatically turned off a smartphone when it had run out of batteries – an app that literally every mobile OS on the planet adopted shortly after launch. By 15 I had read the first eight pages of “Crossing the Chasm”, and by 16 I had gotten my dick stuck in eleven different Blu-ray discs and two of my parents’ Hall & Oats CDs.
Then it was time for College. But I thought to myself, “Kippie, if you’re really going to change the world, who has time for it to be time for College?” Everybody is so impressed with Bill fuckin’ Gates, but the guy wasted two full years in that Crimson cockship. Steve Jobs bragged about dropping out after only six months at Reed, several of which he so impressively spent sleeping on floors, cashing in Coke bottles and trying LSD. But if you really want to rattle the cage of innovation – if you want to lead a revolution – you can’t be afraid to go all in and risk everything.
So at 17 years old, I went to prison.
It was in jail that I met my first and most influential mentor – an entrepreneurial visionary named, “Fister” – just “Fister”. His last name was a vulgar gesture with his arm and his wrist because he knew that if someone wanted to make a difference, they couldn’t be tied down by conventions and pressures from a world too weak to explore the unknown, pursue the painful and implement the impossible.
His profound words still race through my head each and every day I step into the office space I share with four telemarketers and an ESL student.
“Fish & Kips,” he said, “if you keep bending over, people are going to keep fucking you.”
While he most certainly meant that literally at the time, its application to every subsequent step of my journey as an entrepreneur and innovator could not have been more inspiring.
While in jail, I launched my first biotech startup called, “Plan D”, the first commercially distributed male birth control treatment. Within 8 months of launch, I had fulfilled orders for over 20 million units across almost 30 US facilities and over 100 different cell blocks. In my second year of operations I increased top-line growth by 18,000%. Then, after only 3 years on the market, on the day before my release, my company was acquired by an organization called, “The Not-So-Pretty Boys”, who took full ownership of Plan D in exchange for six cigarettes, a photo of someone’s sister, and a series of aggressive “embraces”.
I was hooked. Amongst other things, I had caught the entrepreneurial bug and there was no looking back.
Once I was settled in on the outside, it didn’t take long for me get something off the ground. I started piecing together my idea and my plan – I grinded, leveraged my network, iterated, hit the pavement, knocked on doors, chomped on bits, put fingers on keyboards, paid my dues, integrated iterations, drank lots of coffee, integrated iterations of gamified big data, went to coding bootcamp, hyperconverged SOAs, focused on the end-user and became a change agent for changing what it means to make changes without having to change the underlying core values behind change.
Then I pulled together a team of bored, introverted asexual developers with rich parents and quickly raised $3 million dollars to start “Plan-Tain”. Plan-Tain was a team collaboration food photography platform that allowed distributed project teams to easily communicate with one another and provide centralized progress updates using a series of tropical fruit and vegetable emojis, like enormous bananas, wrinkled eggplants and fried jalapeños. Only 12 months after wrapping up our 36 month Beta, our Monthly Inactive User count had reached over 7 billion and our unaudited share price had hit six decimal places.
Our valuation soared to $140 billion dollars and before we knew it, Facebook and three sixteen-year-olds from Texas bought us for an undisclosed amount.
With the alleged money from the sale, I started the revolutionary technology startup for which you now know me today: CloudBoner.
What we’re doing at CloudBoner is reshaping the way we look at traditional media, traditional consumer models and traditional theories of human evolution and the origins of matter. For the last two years we have had our heads down, doing, redoing, refining and re-refining. Now, I am excited to announce that today, right now at SXSW Interactive 2016, we are officially launching CloudBoner’s flagship platform and mobile application: Cumuluzzz
[Music Cue: Electro-pop-funk remix of “Heavy Clouds No Rain” by Sting]
[Off-Stage Action: Attendees cheer violently while aisle support staff uses t-shirt guns to shoot 3D-printed CloudBoner “Corporate Enema Kits” into crowd.]
Cumuluzzz is a service platform hybrid enablement application framework that integrates with any wearable device and uses horizontal cloud-based AI to generate algorithms that analyze and leverage your data to curate location-based 360 degree augmented reality experiences that can be shared on any social media platform as a monthly subscription box.
And it’s free.
[Music Cue: Metal-punk-dubstep-Klezmer remix of “Blow My Mind” by Janis Joplin]
[Off-Stage Action: Attendees cheer violently while aisle support staff flies weighted drones into crowd and knock several audience members unconscious.]
Not only are we revisualizing the way we reshape our perspectives around artificial intelligence and its potential to exponentially broaden our immersion into virtual connectivity and the social mediafication of curated commercial touchpoints, but we are defining and spearheading what I consider to be the future framework of innovation and the model with which all future trailblazers in the technology space will design our futures.
I call it “Replicative Marginal Market Remodelling”; the strategic process of taking a bunch of shit that a bunch of companies already do, making marginal changes to each individual thing in that bunch of things, then getting someone from Asia to combine all those things into one big thing that looks like a little thing, and then spending $25,000 on design, branding and social media campaigns so that consumers don’t realize they pretty much already have that thing until they find the FAQ page in the footer of your website.
Because all of this – our industry, our technology, our SXSW festivals, our purpose, our lives – comes down to one simple word:
Simplified disruptive change.
If any of you in this room are here because you want to follow some kind of lead; or you’re here hoping to preserve something; or you’re here to find somewhere to work – then you’ve come to the wrong place. The next UT career fair isn’t until April and I sure as fuck didn’t pay this festival to let me speak in front of a bunch of wobbly-kneed interns who can’t wait for their next performance review.
Life is your performance review. People telling you to fuck off because they think you’re crazy, and then asking yourself, “Or am I a visionary?” and then them being like, “No, honestly, you’re actually just an idiot” is your performance review. Introducing something so disruptive to a marketplace that not even your wife likes you anymore – that’s your performance review. Figuring out how to work the word, “Uber” into your product description – that’s your performance review. Everybody has to be the Uber of something. Everybody. Even Uber.
Simplified. Disruptive. Change.
You can’t make a difference if you aren’t different. So this weekend, while you’re wandering around SXSW, taking in the panels, exchanging business cards, listening to best practices, forecasts and premonitions, before you write anything down or absorb any of the information, stop and think to yourself, “Wait – what would nobody do right now?” And then do that. I promise you: it will result in something happening at some point eventually.
If it’s two things, then do those two things; if it’s three things, then do those three things, and if it’s five things, then maybe excuse yourself and make some notes so you don’t forget the last couple of things. But if you do anything, do that, and don’t stop doing it until it’s pretty much done. And even if it’s not done, always pay yourself first.
That’s startup culture. That’s technology. That’s entrepreneurialistics. That’s creativity. That’s courage. That’s change.
And that’s everything.
CLOUDBONER, MOTHERFUCKERS!! LAUNCH PARTY TONIGHT AT BIKINIS – TEN DOLLAR COVER!
[Drops mic. Investors swarm. Ashton Kutcher is definitely somewhere.]
Editor’s Note: Obviously, this is outrageously fake. If you’re angry about it, we can’t be friends.
Ben is a Toronto-based writer and public speaker with more than a soft spot for 90s hip hop. He has spent over 10 years in business & tech, more than 20 in the arts, and an entire lifetime in a state of perpetual judgment (highly recommended). He is the author of the blogs This Is Your Brain on Dating and Love Gone Cray and can be found pontificating on Thought Catalog, Notable.ca, The Toronto Standard, Offline Magazine, Gasm.org and Huffington Post.
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