SXSW Is Neutral Ground

SXSW 2007

I’m searching my articles from last year regarding SXSW and I can’t find any documentation of one of the major discoveries. SXSW is the only conference I know where designers and developers hang out. Designers have design conferences. Developers have nerd conferences. SXSW has somehow convinced both parties to head to Austin and actually talk to each other.

Designers and developers have a basic conflict of interest. They both believe that they are the only parties on the organizational chart who build real stuff. Actually, everyone on the organizational chart believes that, but the designers and the developers are the only ones who actually do build real things. SORRY SALES.

SXSW is neutral ground. Designers and developers huddled up in hotel bars drunk and yelling at each other because we know that we desperately need each other.


Thanks to whomever voted for my panel, I’m happy to report that I’m moderating again this year. As with last year, I’m lucky to have an all-star set of panelists, including:

Nick Bradbury, Creator of FeedDemon, TopStyle, and HomeSite. Nick is going to handle the Windows side of the debate.

John Gruber, The original Daring Fireball. John will argue with anyone about anything. Can’t wait.

Shaun Inman, The man behind Mint. Handling the web application side of the debate, Shaun will also explain his fascination with green.

The title of this year’s panel is The Design Aesthetic of the Indie Developer which I’m certain is a lock for most misspelled panel of all time. What are we going to talk about? WE’RE GOING TO TALK DESIGN PEOPLE. We’re going to talk about design when it’s just you and your thoughts. We’re going to talk about how constraints make you creative and then we’re going to answer some questions and then we’re drinking until someone has to get on a plane.

The panel is on Tuesday, March 13th some time in the AM. Before that, I’ll be part of the 20×2 event on Monday @ 7pm at The Parish where I’ll have the opportunity to answer the question “What If?” in two minutes or less.

Oddly, I’m much more concerned about “What If?” than the panel. Actually, concerned isn’t the word. Unprepared is closer. Little of both really.

In unrelated news, I’ve giving Twitter and Twitterific a two-week trial. Please play along as I think this self-imposed trial will be more interesting with more eyeballs.

8 Responses

  1. Berislav Lopac 17 years ago

    FOWA in London a week from now also seems to cater for the both types of crowds, at least as far as Web apps are concerned.

  2. Oh Rands, I so wish I could go to SXSW. ๐Ÿ™

  3. SarahS 17 years ago


    Brent Simmons might make a good complement to Nick.

    Wil Shipley always has plenty to say.

    Paul Kafasis has had some good posts on Indie Development.

    Cabel Sasser is a well-known Mac celebrity.

  4. Peter Jaros 17 years ago

    This sounds amazing, I wish I could be there. Will it be recorded?

  5. Wish I could join you Monday. I’ll be here:

    Drop a line; let’s hook up at some point that week!

  6. I second Wil Shipley. He always seems to have two cents to throw in the ring.

    I’d also like to hear from someone like Jon ‘Wolf’ Rentzsch.

  7. Another vote for the Rentzschman.

  8. Ruben Fernandez 17 years ago

    In my humble opinion, maybe Allan Odgaard from TextMate, which “recently” started the Indie career (and is having Great Success as you all may know) could talk zillions on Indie software developing.

    Just my $0.02.