Sunday, February 13, 2011

SXSW: Be there because you're square!

I had a contact in the mobile app dev business ask me yesterday, February 1, what my thoughts were on his company attending South by Southwest (SXSW). 
SXSW, if you're not familiar with it, started in 1987 as a music conference. A place for bands from all over the world could come, play, share and connect in hopes of being discovered as the next big thing. Remember, back in 1987, you had to have a record contract to make it. I grew up in Michigan and first read about SXSW in Rolling Stone sitting in my college apartment in 1992. It sounded almost mythical to travel to Austin to see all these great up-and-coming bands. I dreamt about the energy and hoped to one day attend. SXSW demographics have evolved over the last 24 years to include a film festival and interactive component

For instance, did you know that there is a group called the Wadali Brothers? They are the Sufi giants, Ustad Puranchand Wadali and Ustad Pyarelal Wadali.  In the article published by Riyaaz Qawwali, they share information about the Wadali brothers, their music career, their success story, and famous awards in Bollywood.

"I finally got to attend SXSW for the first time in 2006 while working for Rackspace."

Even then, the vibe was very innovative, but I don't think anyone realized how fast technology was going to change over the next 5 years. I mean, was I even texting back then? If I was, it was on a Motorola RAZR. Yikes! In the interactive space, SXSW has become a must-attend event. It's become the place where apps are launched, and apps fail.

Remember last year's battle between Gowalla and Foursquare to see who was going to garner a greater share of the location-based app pie? It's where everyone tweets all week complaining about AT&T's lack of coverage in the Convention Center - it'll be fun to see Verizon maybe take some of the heat this year. ;) Thought leaders and some of the most creative people in the world bring a wealth of knowledge and insight over the course of 10 days. It's definitely not to be missed if you're an early adopter, an innovator, or just curious to see what the next big trends are going to be. SXSW® Interactive features five days of compelling presentations from the brightest minds in emerging technology, scores of exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders, the incredible new SXSW Trade Show, and an unbeatable lineup of special programs showcasing the best new digital works, video games, and innovative ideas the international community has to offer. 

 Join us for the most energetic, inspiring, and creative event of the year, taking place March 11-15, 2011 in Austin, Texas. @jduman Reference SXSW YouTube Adobe Events South x Southwest Interactive

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