Standout Sessions at Silicon Slopes Tech Summit 2020

Silicon Slopes Tech Summit is a globally recognized two-day summit organized and hosted by the Silicon Slopes organization and community. With some of the most prominent and leading minds in the tech industry taking the stage, Silicon Slopes Tech Summit is one of the largest and most prominent annual tech events in the world, bringing out more than 20,000 attendees. One of the most interesting and diverse new hubs in the U.S., Silicon Slopes is an area that encompasses all of the tech companies located along with the Wasatch Moutain range. The ‘slopes’ from the name is inspired by the Utah mountains that take the place of California’s valleys, and the area is home to a whole heap of software and hardware companies. Last week, OptConnect’s marketing team had the opportunity to attend the summit and hear from some of the brightest minds in tech on a variety of topics including marketing, branding, diversity and inclusion, leadership, and more. In today’s post, we’re going to review three standout sessions we attended and discuss how their main points can translate over into any business.

The Ideal Team Player

On the opening day of the conference, we sat in a session led by New York Times best-selling author, Patrick Lencioni, where he discussed the concept for his book The Ideal Team Player. His book revolves around the 3 core things that Lencioni says are universal to being a team player: being humble, hungry, and smart. Lencioni then broke down these three things into what they really mean, with humble meaning that you’re confident in your work but you realize that you’re a part of a bigger team working toward a bigger goal. Hungry, Lencioni explained, means that you have the drive and ambition to get things done and reach your goals. Finally, being smart means that you are emotionally intelligent and able to understand people’s reactions and feelings around you. Lencioni said that the ideal team player will possess all three of these qualities, while those with two or less will have to work harder to be a strong team player. He then identified what it means when you possess two specific qualities that he identified. For example, an employee who is humble and smart is known as what Lencioni called a “lovable slacker”. They understand they need to work with others and have the knowledge and skills to get the job done, but they lack being hungry so their drive or work ethic falls short. This session was eye-opening and thought-provoking, with Lencioni leading an energetic and occasionally humorous session that did well in setting the tone for the conference as an intuitive learning event. The idea of being a team player is one that pertains to every business. At the end of the day, we’re all working toward a common goal, wanting our businesses to be successful.

Embracing an Underdog Story in a Marketplace with Heavy Hitters

Another standout session was led by Jessica Klodnicki, the Chief Marketing Officer of Skullcandy, the colorful audio brand. To begin her session, Klodnicki discussed how Skullcandy had to first work on establishing their brand foundation and purpose in order to compete in their highly competitive market where they were relatively small and lacked capital resources compared to their competition like Apple, Sony, Beats, and others. This meant that in order for them to create a successful marketing campaign, they’d have to make sure it was disciplined, integrated, and measurable while also getting creative with messaging and what mediums to use with their limited advertising dollars. With the company’s north star being “music you can feel” the company went to work creating a campaign that would implement this core mantra and thus, the widely successful 12 Moods campaign was created. For this campaign, Skullcandy went to work creating a content plan per market to make sure they were aligned on all fronts. They then chose 12 themes for each month of the year that would be represented by a color, a musical artist, and an athlete, to name a few staples. Additionally, they have also made sure that each month had corresponding limited-edition items. They then posted content on their Instagram to reflect the chosen mood for each month, taking their brand aesthetic to a whole new level. So just how well has the campaign done? The campaign launched in March of 2019 and has sold out all limited-edition items each month so far. Competing with brands like Sony, Beats, and other heavy hitters, is not an easy task, but Skullcandy has really honed in on who their target audience is and has been very strategic about how they cater to those customers. The lesson for other businesses here is that it’s normal to feel intimidated by bigger brands within your market, but that it’s really about having a quality product and positioning it well to the right target customers that makes all the difference.

Change Your Mind to Change Your Life: 6 Happiness Tools

The session that really felt diverse and yet so relatable for everyone there, was Melissa Garland’s session on tools for happiness. Garland is the owner of Tadasana Yoga Studio who after burning her candle at both ends as a 9-5 executive, made a decision to purchase a yoga studio to focus on relaxation and well-being. In Garland’s session, she outlined 6 tools for happiness that each individual has control over in their lives.
  • Talk to strangers. Yes, this can sound a little uncomfortable at first, but Garland swears that by getting out of your comfort zone and talking to strangers you can indeed increase your happiness. Garland attributes this to the power of human connection.
  • Declare yourself. It’s not uncommon for many of us to feel insecure or unsure about who we are and what we stand for. Garland says that taking time to think about what personal statements apply to you personally will help engrain those into your mentality and empower you to be your best self. One of Garland’s examples was her declaring to herself, “I help myself so that I can help others.”
  • Practice gratitude. Garland said that nothing makes you feel more surrounded by abundance than being thankful for what you already have. She said that practicing gratitude daily can help boost happiness and give you a new look on life.
  • Breathe. True to her yoga nature, Garland encouraged the audience to take time to breathe at least once a day, explaining that beyond regular breathing, this means taking time out of the day to sit in true silence and focus on deep breaths in and out. Filling your lungs fill with air and exhaling deeply helps the body and mind focus on what's going on internally and can help you stay calm and happy.
  • Pay close attention. Most of us interact with people every single day, especially at work. In an effort to nurture human interaction Garland recommends paying close attention to the people you communicate with when you’re talking. This can mean making eye contact and making sure you’re really listening.
  • Change your perspective. This is the sixth and perhaps the most important tool according to Garland, changing your perspective. She explained that it’s easy for us to look at a situation in a negative way, but that it’s far more beneficial for us to challenge ourselves to look at a situation in a more positive way.
After taking the audience through each of these 6 tools, it was clear that Garland did a solid job of letting us all know that we all have the power to be happier in our lives. Ultimately, this happiness can translate into your personal and professional life, helping you to be an all-around better person and employee.

Wrapping Up

These three examples were just a few of the standout sessions at this year’s Silicon Slopes Tech Summit. As Utah’s tech community continues to grow, it’s important that we are able to come together and learn from one another. OptConnect is proud to be a part of the Silicon Slopes community and we’re excited to see how the industry continues to flourish! For more information on Silicon Slopes Tech Summit, visit

Related Posts

Oct 1, 2018
Mwc 2018 blog

Highlights From Mobile World Congress Americas 2018

Mar 5, 2019
Atmia social blog 03

OptConnect Exhibits at ATMIA 2019