So it's been a month since Mitch, Jennifer and I got back from SXSWi. I have finally caught up with the work I missed, recovered from the hangovers, and have had a chance to sit back and reflect on our experiences. But I don't even know where to start. So like all lazy writers, I turn to the most trite of literary devices - the Top 10 list.
I will do my own Top 10 list and then Jennifer and Mitch can add their thoughts later. While the three of us hung out at night together, generally we went to different panels during the day. I went to marketing and business ones, Mitch went to technical ones, and Jennifer went to design ones, so we could cover as much as possible as a team. So while I am sure they will agree with some of what I write here, some of my business stuff they may have no clue about. Also, I can't speak for them! So without further ado...
THE TOP 10 THINGS I LEARNED AT SXSWi
10. Web people are cool. Despite the (perhaps misguided) notion that we are all geeks, I met some of the coolest, creative, hip people I have ever met. Sure, there were the traditional geeks who were always buried in their laptops, but generally I was really impressed.
9. Web people are non-hierarchical, reflecting the Web itself. Coming from a traditional business background, I was used to an "I'm the boss and you're not" philosophy. That may be true at Microsoft, but it's not with most of the people that I met. This is reflected by the fact that the panelists at one panel are in the audience at the next; there is just no "us and them." It's all us.
8. I am part of something bigger. Sitting behind a computer you really don't appreciate the people behind the Web. Putting 5000 of them in the same place so they can talk in person, you really do.
7. I know nothing. I thought I knew stuff, but there is just SO much still to learn. Must. Read. More.
6. You can make money and do what you love. Panel after panel included people who loved what they do and were making money. What a concept!
5. The Planksters can party. Every night until 2 AM. Just check out this photo, and that was only Day 1.
4. Mobile, mobile, mobile. It's not going away, and your sites better be optimized for it. Not to mention Twitter.
3. Social networking. Social networking + _____ = VC$. We've been saying that around Plank for a while, but it's true. Everyone has a social networking idea. Even The Planksters.
2. Austin is now #2 on my list of coolest cities in the world. After Montreal of course. But between 6th Street, the random weirdness, and tons of awesome bars, lots with amazing cool music coming out of them, we really never wanted to leave.
1. I want to go back next year. Please, Warren?