This is my second SXSW which apparently makes me a veteran because I get quoted saying things like this:
It’s true. The best part of SXSW is the networking which goes on outside of the panels. SXSW is a concentrated pool of people who share your same interests which means if you randomly choose to talk to that guy in the bar, he probably does something you care about. While I’m sure this year’s SXSW will break the previous years attendance record, the fact you’re surrounded by peers keeps the conference feeling small.
There’s a lot of bar chat that the panels this year are lower quality than previous years, but I haven’t been to enough panels to give you an educated opinion. What I do know is that there is a lack of themes wandering the halls. There is a lack of buzz. Last year, there was lots of “How to Get Bought by Google” and “How To Be Like 37Signals” discussion, but the hallway discussion this year is random and unfocused. It’s not clear to me what we collectively care about this year.
I’d like to thank my panelists, John Gruber, Shaun Inman, and Nick Bradbury for participating in my Design Aesthetic of the Indie Developer. They made my job simply by showing up and talking about the jobs and their products.
I’d also like to thank Kevin Newsum over at 20×2 for the opportunity to answer the question “What If?” in two minutes in front of a room full of strangers. I upgraded the question to “What if you had two minutes to live and could only send text messages?” and finding the answer to that is a journey I would recommend taking infrequently.
As with last year, the drinking was epic, the stories are endless, and none of it would’ve happened without Khoi, Liz, Gruber, Nick, Shaun, Rob, Alyssa, James, Chris, That Facebook Guy, Amy, Joe, Rossana, Duncan, and endless bright people I’m forgetting because I was pretty drunk, but having fun. Let’s not wait another 365, ok?