Live from TEDxSeattle: Why the artist/geek hybrids will power the next generation

tedxjohn

Zumobi co-founder John SanGiovanni talks about the importance of the artist/geek hybrid at TEDxSeattle on Sunday. Photo via TEDxSeattle.

Sure, it’s good to be an expert of something specific, whether you’re an Android developer or an accounting expert. But for those wanting to find an incredible new invention or perhaps create a new industry — those people find their magic at the intersection of several domains of human knowledge.

That’s the message Zumobi co-founder John SanGiovanni tried to get across during his fantastic talk at TEDxSeattle this afternoon, which focused on something he defined as the artist/geek hybrid.

“I believe now, more than ever, that the economies of the future will be defined and led by these hybrids, these freaks of invention with a depth of experience in two, three or more domains,” he said to the packed house at Seattle’s Children’s Theater.

SanGiovanni, who was a GeekWire Geek of the Week, spoke about several of his own stories to illustrate how a bevy of experiences has helped shape how he analyzes problems today, whether it was lessons learned from his parents building and designing churches to his days at Microsoft Research thinking about what is now the Live Tiles interface on Windows Phone.

He also talked about the STEM campaign, which encourages students to get involved with science, technology, engineering or math.

“I don’t care about the acronym,” he said. “I care about the hyphens across domains.”

It’s that unique knowledge across domains — the “wild card,” as he said — that can help inventors see what others may not.

You can watch SanGiovanni’s talk below. He starts at the 02:39:00 mark. You can also check out the hashtag #TEDxSeattle on Twitter to see what people are talking about here.