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September 5, 2018

5 Takeaways From Drift HYPERGROWTH 2018 [Slideshow]

Last year, Drift held their first ever HYPERGROWTH conference in Downtown Boston. There, we learned about Drift’s future plans and gained insights from a number of interesting speakers (check out our recap here). For 2018, they announced a new west coast HYPERGROWTH in San Francisco (happening later this month), and they moved the Boston conference to the expansive Blue Hills Bank Pavillion. They got over 4,500 registrations this year, which is multiple times that of last September.

Here are five takeaways of our time at the event, and you can see more of HYPERGROWTH 2018 in the slideshow below.

DC Brings the Announcements

We had a feeling there were going to be announcements this year and Drift Co-Founder & CEO David Cancel did not disappoint. The biggest one was the announcement of a new product, Conversational Advertising, which allows you to click on an ad and start a Drift-style chat with someone without filling out cumbersome forms. They also announced an AI assistant called Drift Assistant which can take lots of administrative tasks off your plate. The technology behind Drift Assistant came via the company's acquisition of Siftrock. In addition, Cancel announced strategic partnerships with Demandbase, Marketo, and Outreach. You can read more about all of these announcements here.

Train Your Brain to Think Differently

The first speaker was Amy Morin, a psychotherapist-turned-author whose list, "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do," went viral. Morin's talk was an inspiring one, discussing how to overcome tragedy and become a mentally-stronger version of yourself. Two of them include, "They Don’t Waste Time Feeling Sorry for Themselves," and my personal favorite, "They Don’t Waste Energy on Things They Can’t Control"

Brand is the True Marketing Advantage 

A good story is everything, but in a good story, good characters are everything. DigitalMarketer Founder Ryan Deiss discussed what makes a brand a good brand, and he pointed to storytelling as the differentiator. But he added that while humans love a good story, it's the characters that we crave. Relateable, compelling, human—even sometimes flawed—characters make brands all the more compelling, and he said that marketers should look at brands as fictional characters.   

The Value of Compassion, and Learning to Be an Effective CEO

Lola.com executives Paul English and Mike Volpe took the stage in two different talks to discuss compassion and leadership respectively—two of the most important skills one can learn. English discussed the idea of learning from the heart, as well as the value compassion can bring to one's own life. Volpe, meanwhile, discussed leadership from his own specific perspective—that of a CMO transitioning into the CEO role. He said that being the best CMO in the world will not be enough to get you the CEO job, and that one should gain skills like managing outside one's own expertise, as well as learning how to manage one's own board and investors.

If you want to learn more about them, The VentureFizz Podcast recently released a two-part miniseries on the duo. Listen to the Paul English episode here, and listen to Keith's chat with Mike Volpe here.

Persistence + Time Can Be an Invaluable Formula 

YouTuber, filmmaker, marketer, and entrepreneur Casey Neistat started his talk as a simple autobiography, but it quickly proved to be one of the standout highlights of the day. In his 40-or-so minutes on the stage, he told the story of how he dropped out of high school, became a teenage parent, fought to avoid homelessness, picked up filmmaking when he bought an iMac with money he didn't have, and moved to New York City to pursue a dream with little other than supreme will. He also discussed how a viral iPod battery video led to the term "viral video" being coined, how he sold a show to HBO with his brother, and how he managed to create two extremely effective videos for Nike and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty