My Favorite Moments of the 99U Conference

I was lucky enough to attend the 99U Conference last week in NYC where they gathered "some of the world's most productive creative visionaries & leading researchers to share pragmatic insights on how ideas are brought to life." Even better, I was attending as an Ambassador, which means I'll be bringing a 99U Local event to Philadelphia this September. 

Conferences tend to bring out the awkward introvert in me, and the idea of days of networking makes me cringe with anxiety, but I knew that it would be important for me to connect with as many brilliant people as I could while I had them within my reach. Thankfully, the other 27 Ambassadors were easy to spot with their eye-catching white lanyards, so I made it a point to seek them out. 

After meeting a good number of them, I began to feel incredibly grateful to be included in such a wonderful group of driven, successful, warm, and remarkable people. In a mere two and a half days, I know that I've made long-term friends from across the globe. Whether it was dancing together during Questlove's DJ set, or sharing desserts at the Russian Tea Room while brainstorming ridiculous startup ideas, or splitting a cab at the end of the latest night out I've had in years, I felt surrounded by my people

A few of the 99U Ambassadors with Behance creator, Scott Belsky.

A few of the 99U Ambassadors with Behance creator, Scott Belsky.

In addition to meeting some phenomenal humans, the content of the conference was valuable, applicable, and not to mention entertaining. Here are some of my favorite tidbits from the conference sessions.

Assumptions are hypotheses in disguise.
— Getting Started with User Research (on a Budget), Spotify
Getting things done means giving things up.
— Wil Reynolds, Seer Interactive
You don’t have to agree with a stereotype to be affected by it.
— Heidi Grant Halvorson
A meaningful life is also a stressful life.
— Kelly McGonigal
Genius has less to do with the size of your mind than how open it is.
— Shane Snow, Contently
Kimberly Bryant, Black Girls Code

Kimberly Bryant, Black Girls Code

Before you engage in conflict or a difficult conversation, you want know what it is you are fighting for.
— Rochelle King, Spotify
Design is identifying restraints and applying them in the right order.
— Stewart Butterfield, Slack
We’re living in an era where regular people can do extraordinary things.
— Chris Anderson, 3D Robotics
If I had to take myself from 10 years ago on in a creative battle, I would kick my ass.
— Christoph Niemann
Don’t try to take on the world. Try to change the way a few people see the world.
— Franklin Leonard, Black List
Don’t limit yourself to fights you know you can win.
— Kelly Sue DeConnick

As soon as the conference ended, I began looking forward to next year. But in the meantime, I'll be doing my best to make 99U proud of the Local event that I put on in September.