So, our biz dev guy (Mike) and I, who have to constantly introduce ourselves as “Mike” and “Mike” followed by a “yes, really… yeah… we get that all the time,” started our SXSW experience at badge pick-up in the Austin Convention Center… we figured that this might be a good place to start, because, according to legend, you don’t get free beer at all the parties if you don’t have a thing dangling around your neck… though… If anyone’s looking to crash the SXSW panels, the SXSW college kid volunteers don’t really check badges at the panels hosted in the hotels… But if they just so happen to check when you get there without paying, don’t blame me… I’m speaking from limited experience.
After picking up our badges, we met up with the great guys at Appstores.com for lunch at this amazing Argentenian restaurant. Afterwords, we ended up meeting up with Gowalla guys… and to sum up that first afternoon at SXSW with these guys with a word would be to just allow the t-shirts they bestowed upon us do the talking… they said “#winning.”
Afterwards, I went to a few panels.. One was on digital wallets… long story short… we’ll be using our cellphones to pay for stuff. Went to a great Newbies and Veterans meetup which was awesome… Tips for SXSW… keep yourself open, learn as much as you can, collaborate, and never pay for beer if you’re smart…
badges yield free beer from sponsors.
Keeping myself open as advised, I ended up meeting one of the interior designers of the bar, Sameen… and then we ended up at Lambert’s (best BBQ in Austin, allegedly)… where I ended up doing a video interview about VCs, PE firms, and startups… it was awesome.
Another long story short, after 11PM, 6th St. is the place to be… certainly worth the hype… and now off to do it again.