Back in May, I attended the 99u Conference – a two-day event with some of the best minds in the creative/design community talking about one big thing: making ideas happen. I’d read co-founder Scott Belsky’s book Making Ideas Happen several years ago, and I quote from the 99u blog/workbook and their collection of books all the time. If you read this blog frequently, I’m sure at this point you’re saying: I get it.

But lately, I’ve been able to talk quite a bit about 99u to my co-workers, and I realized that there’s never a bad time to champion for great ideas. The conference is like and unlike other conferences I’ve been to in the past – several people speak, laughs are had, a-has are a-ha’d and you get a pretty nice totebag of goodies to take home. Where it’s different is in the type and quality of speakers – this is the conference about making idea happen, about creativity, about innovation – but it’s not just John Maeda and Scott Belsky, Seth Godin and Todd Henry (although this is a seriously awesome group) – it’s also Wendy MacNaughton and Shantanu Starick, Andy Didorosi and Susan Gregg Koger, and more. The creatives in this group were illustrators as well as photographers, they are urban planners as well as entrepreneurs who started their million-dollar businesses in their college dorm rooms. And better than that – most of the speakers had only twenty minutes to get it all out. It was about inspiration, but it was more about the perspiration – enjoying success as well as the tough work it took to get there.

My favorite talk was Tina Roth Eisenberg’s, which is why, when it became available to view recently, I sent it out to all my co-workers. It’s officially called “5 Rules For Making an Impact” but more importantly “DON’T COMPLAIN, CREATE.” The best part about this advice is that it transcends the creative industry and is just plainly good life advice. Take or leave it but watch this:


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