Remixing The Guitar \\ #DTKreAXE

Small teams from 10 tech companies based in Waterloo Region were given well-used guitars and simple instructions to reimagine them using whatever ideas, materials or themes they wanted to. Using their creative capacities and technical know-how (and cranking both up to 11), the resulting collection of remade axes will be assembled into one of Night\Shift 2016’s marquee installations: the #DTKreAXE exhibit at KPL’s central branch.

Worlds will collide. Sparks will fly. Familiar wooden forms will be reborn.

pic234The project’s unlikely guitar remaking heroes include teams of people from Vidyard, NetSuite, Plasticity Labs, Lani, InkSmith, Bridgit, Communitech, InTheChat, Accelerator Centre & Sortable.

The guitars have been donated by Bob’s Guitar Service – unsalvageables from 2015’s 100 Guitars for 100 Kids campaign – and their inspiring remakes will be on display together in KPL’s main lounge during the entire month of November 2016. The DTKreAXE exhibit opening will take place during #NightShift16 on Saturday, November 5th and will feature live guitar music by the great Jennifer Castle and others, plus the chance for festival-goers to help communally redecorate a few more retired acoustic bodies.

I caught up with InTheChat to check out their progress. InTheChat (aka ITC) is a communications platform that allows businesses to provide customer service on any digital or social media channel of their choice. In other words, if I had a complaint about my phone bill, I could contact my phone provider via text, Twitter, Facebook messenger or any other digital channel. On the other end, the customer service rep would see my message on the InTheChat platform and be able to respond immediately to my question.

I asked ITC product & loyalty manager Kat Austin what tech start-ups and guitars have in common. 

pic5“It doesn’t take an orchestra. With only six strings, a guitar can perform works that are both complete and rich. Likewise, a tech company may only have six key people who can work together to create technological works which are robust and elegant. The guitar allows the creation of musical complexity in an agile way with limited resources. Tech start-ups also owe their agility to small, dynamic teams working together in harmony to create innovative masterpieces.”

… DEEP!

Also, we flipped the ITC team a couple more Qs about their epic remake-in-progress…

The first song your company’s DTKreAXE creation would play (if it were playable):

It’s Not Easy Being Green

If your remade guitar were a love child, its parents would be:

Katie Perry and Audrey, the plant from The Little Shop of Horrors.

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pic6Meanwhile, over at 100 Ahrens Street in downtown Kitchener, the Bridgit team has also been hard at work. Bridgit is a local startup that is making waves in the construction industry. They build punch list management and subcontractor communication tools that allow construction teams to problem solve on the fly and keep on the same page about workplace needs and priorities.

The first song your company’s DTKreAXE creation would play (if it were playable):

Bella Finals from Pitch Perfect

If your remade guitar were a love child, its parents would be:

Mallorie Brodie and Lauren Lake (Bridgit’s co-founders)

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sortableslackAt Sortable, where smart people solve hard problems for a living (aka optimizing web impression strategies, helping manage client relationships and generally making ads suck less), resident guitar remakers took a different approach altogether to answering the question, ‘How is a guitar and a tech company alike?’ Check out the screenshot of their remaking team’s conversation to decide upon their reply. And it reads like dialogue you might expect to see in Douglas Coupland’s JPod

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Think you can rock the remake harder than these guys? Prove it. The #DTKreAXE opening at #NightShift16 will have craft stations so that festival attendees can collaborate on their own badass axes.In the meantime, stay tuned for further updates and glimpses of the masterpieces to come!

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