SxSW 2010 Recap

I am back from my second SxSW experience. Here are some notes and thoughts.

  • Use the time away from your daily routine, concerns and responsibilities to think about what you do in different ways. For me this was an opportunity to think about my business and technology in general in a more abstract and strategic way.
  • Pick your panels, discussions, presentations, etc. by presenter rather than by topic. Some topics sound great but don’t deliver. This is happening a lot less for me since I started using this approach.
  • Go to as many appropriate “birds of a feather” meetups, events, etc. that you can. Speak openly about what you do, your ideas, challenges, etc. and watch and learn as others do the same.
  • Speaking of birds, I saw a Pteranodon or a Pteradactyl (not sure which) being carried around the convention center for no apparent reason.
  • Keep an open mind and talk to smart people that disagree with you.
  • Discuss ideas that other people are passionate about but that you aren’t (yet), learn why they care so much about them.
  • I watched a WordPress developer sing karaoke to Billy Idol with a live band in front of a LOLcat slideshow backdrop. Also 99 Luftballoons with the German part in German at the same party.
  • I discovered that a friend that is looking for his next gig may be a perfect CTO for another friend’s company and already have taken steps to introduce them.
  • I’ve added at least 3 new features and architectural requirements for my products/framework – learning more about stuff and seeing how it can fit often means more work.
  • Give generously of your ideas and experience.
  • Lastly: I had a goal of having either BBQ or bacon with every meal. I came up one meal short – couldn’t get bacon at PF Chang’s last night.

Until next year SxSW…