SXSnippets: Checking in from a sun-splashed Sunday at South By
Sunday at South By Southwest for Sam Schill started with the Silicon Prairie cereal bar (left) and included a stop at the Boxee Kegger (right).
11:00 a.m. - The day started a little later than usual (taxis!), but it began with a bang as we met with Phil, Manager of Emerging Tech for VaynerMedia (Gary Vaynerchuk's agency). The rest of the team took the divide and conquer approach, attacking sessions on the campus: an interview about "the tragedy of comments" with Nick Denton of Gawker Media; career lessons for non-designer, non-techs from Matt Van Horn of Path; and a talk on irrational customers with author Colin Shaw.
11:30 a.m. - Silicon Prairie News Cereal Party. Stopped by to visit the SPN team and have a brief milk accident with Jason Walsmith of The Nadas.
Noon - Sun came out. There was much rejoicing.
1:45 p.m. - Boxee Kegger. It was everything it sounds like: an old-school plastic cup beer party for startups and tech people. Some of the folks in attendance included Andrew and the RV crew from Boxee (obviously), Billy from Turntable.fm, Rob from Twilio. Games of flippy cup and famed Salt Lick BBQ also made an appearance.
3:30 p.m. - How to be an Idea Factory. Session featured Matthew Diffee, a New Yorker cartoonist, with some keen insights on being constantly creative. A healthy dose of Diffee's absurd observations helped keep the afternoon lively.
5:00 p.m. - Biggest Ideas in the Smallest Spaces: SXSW isn’t just a place for startups, scrappers and the bootstrapped; the big boys release incredible new products as well. Last year Google revealed a 20 percent project involving new analytics functionality, some features of which we saw in this year’s upgrades. This year, they showed how they’re changing the game for advertising with Project Re:Brief, an interactive reimagination of four famous ad campaigns. What if history's greatest creatives had access to today's tools? The Coke machine example earned rave reviews from everyone in attendance.
7:00 p.m. - Made in NY: Austin Event. Thanks to Side Tour, we met up with Jim and Vinny, founders of Yipit, guys who know daily deals like no other. Other New Yorkers showcasing products included our friends at Tumblr and General Assembly.
9:00 p.m. - foursquare Party. Checked in to our dancing pants and reconnected with our favorite NYC fun bunch at their South By shindig at the Cedar Street Courtyard. On our way home, we learned even the driver of our pedi cab represented the SXSW spirit – it was a UT student named Austin who has his own startup.
Just this day alone was a prime example of the vast cross-discipline learning and meetup opportunities that make SXSW one of the only conferences of its kind. Today was about ideas, about taking existing tools or capabilities and turning them around, twisting, distorting, whatever it takes to create something new and necessary.
Credits: Photos of SXSW by Schill. Photo of Schill from twitter.com.
About the author: Sam Schill is in business development for Iowa-based Sigler Companies, representing businesses in branding, strategy, creative, production and fulfillment services.
About SXSnippets: SXSnippets are posts from residents of the Silicon Prairie chronicling 24 hours of their experience at South By Southwest Interactive in Austin, Texas.