The Magic Midnight Mind Meld

Posted on Mar 22, 2011 | 54 comments


The most common questions I’ve gotten over the past week have been a variant of:

  • Was SXSW worth it?
  • Was it just one big party?
  • Should I go next year?
  • Why do your eyes still look so bloodshot?

(And I’ve learned a new term, I arrived home with SxSARS).

As you may know I outlined my rules for maximum impact at events / conferences before SXSW began. If you didn’t read it, it’s here.

I hold true to form and follow my own advice. I didn’t sit through any panels (other than the day where I was the emcee and judge for the BizSpark Accelerator program). I booked several high-profile meetings in advance. I had scheduled dinners every night with small groups of people. I stayed out late. Strike that. LAAATE. Every night. I focused on relationships, connections, human bond, idea generation, testing products and also I generally tried to be available for others.

SXSW was magic. I can’t imagine having been at a better event. I was listening to NPR on my drive in yesterday morning. They were talking about the music portion of the show. A band was saying, “I can’t believe that at one event you could get access to the band managers of Lady Gaga, FooFighters, etc. Every night you are just hanging out with big name bands and the teams around them that brought them to their peak.”

I couldn’t have said it any better replacing music with tech. Want to hang out with Dennis Crowley? He was there in the Pepsi pavillion playing actual FourSquare with anybody who wanted. Want meet one of his key investors, USV partner Albert Wenger? He was there, too. Just hanging out. In fact, I saw them having a drink along with COO Evan Cohen. I turned around and there was StockTwits founder (and my favorite Tweeter) Howard Lindzon. We live 100 miles from each other but always struggle to find enough time to hang out. But at SXSW? Nobody has family duties, board meetings, full schedules. We’re there to hang out. To meld.

Want to debate Naval about AngelList? Hanging. Want to become one of 500Startups? McClure was omnipresent. Gary Vee. Dropping wine knowledge in person. Dave Morin of Path? There. SimpleGeo – in da house. Want to talk Twitter integration? Ryan Sarver was there, too. Hanging out. Struggling to get time with First Round Capital? Rob Hayes / Kent Goldman there all week. Easier than getting them in San Fran!

You couldn’t help but seeing Uber Pedicabs all around town. But you also wouldn’t have struggled to share one with Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. Or how about the inventor of the Internet? No, not Al Gore. The real inventor (the creator of Ethernet) Bob Metcalf.  He was there. And accessible. And a pleasure to speak to. I could go on. You get the point.

But here’s the real point. Every night there was a magic midnight mind meld.

Saturday night. Stupidly I wasn’t pacing myself – this was going to be a long week. I had come off of a Hashable party and dinner with Naval Ravikant, Farb Nivi (Grockit) & John Price (Vast). We wandered over to the 500Startups / Moonfruit party one block away. Every party seemed to be only one block away.

There I bumped into one of my favorite people to hang out with: Steve Blank (above). He’s always a pleasure to see and always sparks interesting debates. Yes, this is what I look like at 2am. As my college buddies used to say, “you could blindfold me with dental floss.” And we’re here with Dan Martell, who like any great startup founder is wearing his company t-shirt for Flowtown.

Moments after that Naval, Steve & I were having a discussion, “Are we really in a bubble?”

“Maybe,” says Naval, “Certainly valuations are creepy up quickly in all stages of deals. On the other hand, 10 years ago when we all felt like this last time the total market size for any company was at maximum 100 million potential users. Now we’re in the billions of users. Facebook connections alone bring 500 million, Twitter 200 million. 10 years ago we only connected for brief periods of time when we were at our PCs. Now we’re connected to apps all the time, everywhere we go. So maybe there’s a bubble. It’s hard to say. But we’re also looking at unprecedented opportunity.”

Said so starkly it seems obvious. Yet the art of shifting your mindset is often taking a complex idea and generalizing it. Steve’s reply said it best, “Wow. Just wow. Let’s repeat that. So you’re saying that a decade ago we had 100 million addressable market connected some of the time and now we have 2+ billion connected all of the time. Wow. That’s a huge difference in opportunity.”

And so it is. And as simple as that sounds I had never put that together in my mind like that. Wow. The opportunity is really, truly, mind-boggling – bubble or not. Ok, it’s not quite a “double rainbow all the way” moment, but close.

And so as Steve is apt to do, he consolidated this midnight mind meld, added it to his linear thinking on the investment phases of tech companies and turned it into one of the most cogent pieces on the topic that I’ve seen. You should read this. It is called, “the new rules for the Internet bubble” and he just nails it.

He then left. It must have been about 2am. I was the fool who put in 2 more hours.

The next night was a repeat.

I started at a cocktail party on the top floor of the largest building in Austin with the who’s who of the local (and national) tech scene including our host John Price, CEO of Vast, Adam Dell (of Austin Ventures), and I’m told the governor of Texas. Given that I hadn’t had time to change out of my t-shirt (I had promised Jonathan Strauss I would wear to support his company), I tried to keep a low profile here ;-) [full shirt: Effing Social Media, How Does it Work? Awe.sm.]

Dinner was hosted by Joshua Baer of OtherInbox who held a great event. It was a bunch of members of the Austin Startup Factory mixed with some out-of-towners like myself. Was a great mix of people and learned much about the local Austin tech scene. Enjoyed hanging out with Noah Kagan and also Marc Smookler who founded a business that imports sake & sells it online. He gave me such a great idea. Why bring wine to friends’ houses as gift? They never remember who gave them which bottles and the probably re-gift them anyhow. If you bring a nice bottle of chilled sake they’ll always remember it was from you. I like that idea. I shall be ordering a case.

But yet again there was some midnight mind meld. This time on mysterious party bus to nowhere but situated with the CTO & Cofounder of Living Social, Aaron Batalion. The ever-bad-influence Dave McClure. Wendy Tan White, the founder of Moonfruit. And a motley crew of other interesting startup founders. Late night waffles, with fried chicken, bacon, syrup & hot sauce with Joshua Cook of Gunderson Dettmer (ok, I ate it, he didn’t). Then even later night sub sandwich with R. Phillip Stevenson who is currently a Wharton MBA (and whom I was trying to talk him into being an entrepreneur). Home. 4am. Again.

But the NEXT night was mind-meld on steroids.

After dinner with a film distributor dear friend of mine, Janet Brown (check out FilmBuff) I caught an interesting screening of a new film, Surrogate Valentine with Gary Chou of USV. I thought that was the end of the night (whew, a night’s sleep!) until a text from Dave McClure came in announcing a late-night tech discussion / round table with Gary Vaynerchuk (@GaryVee).

We assembled chairs in a circle in Gary’s living room. Dave McClure, Ryan Holmes (CEO of HootSuite), Travis Kalanik (Uber), Angelo Sotira (DeviantArt), Gary V, AJ VOmid Ashtari (Twitter) and a host of other really interesting folks. About 15 in total. We ran from midnight until about 3.30am in the morning wherein I had to exit, stage left. I had to be on stage at 7.30am for the Startup Accelerator event. Who knows how long the others stayed?

We debated everything including, “is Apple like China?” “Is Facebook the new AOL?” “Has Twitter become useful to our moms & sisters?” “Was AOL smart to have purchased HuffPo?”

We learned about the economics of iPad apps from the founder of 955Dreams. Check out their app “the History of Jazz.” It’s super cool. And the economics / conversion rates were mind boggling.

But then Gary V introduced a topic that has been on my mind for a while. He talked about what he believes will be one of the most important products in the next 5 years.  It’s a topic I’ve not only been thinking a lot about over the past year but had been planning to write about. It has to do with the future of social networking. And what I hadn’t realized was how the behavior of mainstream, young people – high schoolers – has already changed in ways that I was not even aware of.

And I’ll talk about this market and why I find it so interesting in my next post. (sorry)

But what I can tell you that it was the midnight mind meld, the coming together of people from all places and different backgrounds, the jazz-like riffs of our debate, the passion, the challenges to prove your assertions, the datapoints / facts people offered about their businesses that furthered my thinking about important topics.

If you’re not finding ways to interact with other people in one of these late-night jam sessions, if you’re not getting out and meeting people with opposing views / ideas, if you’re not getting out of the office, pounding the pavement, shaking hands & kissing babies, if you’re not forming your own points-of-view … you’re definitely missing out.

But next time I’m bringing Purell with me.

Update: Yes, a lot of name dropping in this post. It was more to try and give the reader / non-SXSW attendee a flavor of the atmosphere in Austin than to try and name drop. OK, well maybe 80/20 ;-)

  • http://MeetInnovators.com Adrian Bye

    thats a pretty killer quote from naval

  • http://twitter.com/Headblownov Blorch Headblownov

    I think this blog entry is supposed to answer this, but it mostly says “It’s good to do this because it’s good to do this”. All I see is a bunch of paunchy middle aged white men with a lot of disposable income holding plastic cups of beer and reliving what they remember as their college experience.

    How about some real numbers, like: What’s the ROI of a VC going to something like this? How many deals did you close? How many leads did you take in?

    I keep hearing about how “I have to have a perfect 10 second pitch” because of how insanely busy VC’s are, and then I keep seeing blog posts like this. Perhaps some VC’s aren’t as busy as they think and they’re just rude.

  • http://byJess.net Jess Bachman

    Wow, sounds amazing. Maybe one day I’ll go. The last festival I went to had more mind melding than debate, if I recall.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/Mr_RamV RamVaz

    That was a fun post. Being able to engage, debate, and share with so many intelligent people in that setting sounds great. I would have loved to heard some of those discussions like: How does FilmBuff earn revenue from the referral traffic they generate? How is Facebook NOT like AOL? What are the economics/conversion rates for premium paid niche apps like the History of Jazz? It sounds like a great trip.

    small note – Unless you two were sharing chicken, I think you put an extra ‘n’ in fried.

  • http://gregmberry.com Greg Berry

    Mark, I can’t tell you how spot on this recap is. I experienced so many great discussions/debates about where we are/where we are going. It will be interesting to see, 6 months from now, main stream America just starting to talk about what we were all discussing last week.

    Bubble, shmubble. Late 90′s are not even close to what is going on today. Sure, there are probably 100x the amount of bad ideas with cool domain names now than there were then, but I think it’s easier to call them out now. The good, problem solving ideas/co’s are more solid and based on producing actual revenue, not just monthly uniques. I think for most people, 12 years ago is a relatively recent memory. Also, obviously, for now, these are not truly publicly traded companies. With that said, if I was a stock trader, I’d be foaming at the mouth to short Groupon.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/TheJulior Julio Rodriguez

    Just finished watching the interview you did with Dave McClure at SXSWi and I really enjoyed it. While he usually plays up a sillier persona, his intelligence was really shining through here.

    From your description, it seems like SXSWi was a place where you could lower your guard a bit, relax, and partake in friendly conversation with like minded peers. This is probably not a luxury you enjoy as frequently as you would like due to your position.

    I’ll be looking forward to your next post since I share the sentiment that Facebook is not the final word in social networking.

  • http://bothsidesofthetable.com msuster

    Speaking of rude …

    Since you don’t know me and are alluding to this I suggest some mirror gazing.

    That said, here’s my ROI. I invest in lines, not dots. So I’m not looking to “do a deal at SXSW” like you would at a film festival. I’m looking to strengthen relationships. But if you must know – we had meetings with a company with whom I’ve been talking to for 12 months. We brought them together with a business partner and discussed the industry. We flew to LA afterward and discussed with my partners. We agreed to submit a term sheet within 10 days. SXSW wasn’t responsible but it WAS an enabler.

    re: paunchy middles aged white men – there were plenty of young people at the event of all sizes, colors, and income levels. The event is a good thing to do because relationships matter and relationships are formed outside of the office. If that wasn’t clear from this post, let me say it more bluntly for those that have a hard time grasping inferences. SXSW is about relationships. Relationships turn dots into lines. They make it easier to do a deal in the future. That simple enough for you?

    re: VCs too busy to hear your pitch. Maybe it’s actually just an excuse because they find your style, delivery and temperament off putting. Just a guess.

  • http://bothsidesofthetable.com msuster

    The beauty of late-night debates is … people’s opinions get to remain private! re: FilmBuff – it’s not her primary business. She is a digital film distributor for independent films (e.g. she did Little Miss Sunshine). But to effectively distribute and build consumer demand she needs to also be able to promote films. Thus the consumer website / Twitter handle.

  • http://bothsidesofthetable.com msuster

    re: GroupOn – people definitely took both sides of that debate! Will be interesting.

  • http://bothsidesofthetable.com msuster

    re: “a place where you could lower your guard a bit, relax, and partake in friendly conversation with like minded peers.” I wish I would have said it that way. Exactly. And not just peers. Young, aspiring entrepreneurs could interact with Internet legends like Craig Newark or Alfred Lin. Awesome.

  • http://twitter.com/billmcneely Bill McNeely

    Nice volley!

  • http://www.tnl.net Tristan Louis

    Mark,

    While you cover SXSW in this post, it’s unclear to me as to how SXSW itself is different from any other conferences. The experience you describe seems to be consistent with most internet conferences I’ve attended over the last 15 years and I’m not clear as to whether SXSW is different in any ways or whether there’s something different there. Just curious.

  • http://startupnorth.ca Jevon

    Love the 2am pic and I can see how you were vulnerable to having your mind blown at a time like that. ;)

  • Dave W Baldwin

    The dental floss as a blindfold metaphor is priceless! Can’t wait until the next post.

  • http://bothsidesofthetable.com msuster

    Many conferences are great.

    Normal conferences:
    * senior execs fly in, given a speech or panel & leave. They are in NY, SF, LA, etc. so they plan other meetings. They stay 1 day

    What I like about SXSW is this
    * senior execs come for 3-4 days
    * they often do no speaking
    * they hang the whole time. They are not booking a lot of side meetings

    That is the biggest difference I experienced. People seem more generally available and accessible.

  • http://www.tnl.net Tristan Louis

    Thanks for the clarification…

  • http://twitter.com/brianylim Brian Lim

    This post reminded me of Burning Man 1998 when tech entrepreneurs invaded the strange experiment by free thinking radicals. I’ve now got Prince’s song in my head now… “So, tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1999!”

    There are many other similarities, and I see “another bubble” mentioned in many articles & blogs.

    I am curious if you have updates to your “What’s Really Going on in the VC Industry? What Does it Mean for Startups?” posted July 16, 2010?

    One thing I am personally experiencing is that the magnitude of deals flowing into VCs seems have increased so much that meeting/feedback process has slowed down considerably. It’s a very busy and exciting time. Letting off steam at the SXSW exactly what you all needed!

  • http://thetrailblazinglife.com Collin Vine

    Wow, SxSW sounds amazing! Thanks for a re-cap and painting a picture of what I can expect when I make it there one day.

    Plus it’s great to hear you emphasize relationship building. That’s my kind of “networking”.

  • http://twitter.com/sal_matteis Sal Matteis

    Mark,

    this did it for me: ‘ SXSW is about establishing real relationships’ – From experience most events turn into customer/seller conversations where the key in your mind is how quickly do I get to the end and close the ‘transaction’ – both parties know it and so they both stay on their guard, really missing the opportunity to make a ‘connection’ and learn something.

    re: bubble – I think naval nailed it. We are in a very different time with very different dynamics.

    Facebook and Twitter are incredible communication & distribution platforms – that didn’t exist 10 years ago and neither did posterous, tumblr, 4sq – and so are the millions of real time connections we make every day.

    The very fact that you can read this comment is a testament to the sea-change we have experienced over the last 10 years.

    In the next 10 years we will see those connections explode further and meaning created – an uber-layer will be superimposed to the social connections to make it all more meaningful and if we are lucky we’ll all be part of that creation process.

  • http://www.90DayGuides.com Rich Benci

    Mark – ONE night of mind meld usually wipes out this 40-something, so I bow down to your ability for 3-consecutive nights! Other than the 7:30am session, what were your wake-up hours for the other days? I suspect you didn’t book breakfast meetings and had time to snooze! Thanks for the insights. – Rich

  • http://twitter.com/iCrowdApps Ted Kao

    Sounds like a great way to get to know people, not to mention the debauchery! I’m sure you get some pretty honest opinions after a long night at 2am.

  • Niraj

    Great post. We also met at the late night sub truck and discussed the accessibility to so many interesting people and NoCal vs SoCal for our startup location. Understandably I wasn’t in my best shape, but nevertheless great to see highlights of our discussion in your post. Will email you later this week regarding our conversation and potentially follow-up.

  • Eric Manlunas

    Nice retort Mr. Suster!

  • Davide

    While I can see your point, you must admit that when you are already known it’s easier to hang out with certain people.

  • http://www.doubledutch.me lawrence coburn

    Hater! You kind of missed the whole point. Otherwise insanely busy people let down their guard for a week, chill out, and become accessible.

  • http://newshour.org/ Kate Gardiner

    SxSARS. Yes. Yes. Yes.

  • http://learntoduck.com/ micah

    I didnt know you made it to the jam! It was my biggest disappointment that I wasnt able to get to it this year. At least we connected in the greatest point of connection in Austin during SXSW, the Hilton Lobby. Until next year! :)

  • http://twitter.com/robin_ahn Robin Ahn

    For any doubters out there, just take a look at my happy face (http://j.mp/gkFRbe) and know that SxSWi is where the inmates are running the asylum…and this is a good thing.

    I’m a Sx sophomore and as each of my <1000 twitter followers will tell you, I'm relative Nobody. I spent my first Sx (2010) on my own, running into the few people I knew, getting introduced to their friends and eating and drinking with complete strangers. Was it weird? Sure. Was it hectic? Hells yeah. Was it worth it? You betcha. I met people I would otherwise never crossed paths with in circumstances that allowed a candor that's only rivalled by sleepaway camp. Difference this year was I knew more people and got to know them even better.

    You get to meet awesome people and you get to meet douchebags at SxSWi but but you rarely get to do it in such a rapid fire fashion and all connected to the industry. I walked away with more insight than I knew what to do with and it's served me well. You have to draw on all your entrepreneur-fu and be willing to use your patience, good instincts and empathy. All at once. It's the flip side of what everybody calls "hustle". It's also called being "human".

    For less than one week in Austin, established pecking orders are disrupted (though not flattened) for a glorious moment. I saw Werner Vogels on the wrong side of the velvet rope! Robert Scoble gave me chocolate! And I got to talk to Mark Suster about my fave post from Both Sides. Nay-sayers will remain willingly holed up in their cells, praying for the prison guards to the restore order they will rail against. The rest of us will be laid up at home recovering from SxSARS.

  • http://www.michaelridley.info/ Michael Ridley

    Hi Mark-

    Thanks for the writeup. I didn’t really notice any obnoxious name dropping. I read it simply as giving the reader, me, a sense for the atmosphere. Perhaps I’ll finally make it out to Austin next year. We’ll see.

  • http://www.twitter.com/biggiesu Mike Su

    nice…wish i coulda been there…btw, apple is like china imho, i did a post on it last year http://aproductguy.wordpress.com/2010/02/01/were-doing-it-wrong-why-apple-china/ i guess next year i’ll have to make it out to the mind meld to debate in person :)

  • http://hirethoughts.blogspot.com Donna Brewington White

    Things actually starting at midnight?

    I have found my people!

    Next year. There.

    Thanks, Mark. For those of us who couldn’t be there, this is a great peek into the inner workings of SXSW. Salivating.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/austinclements Austin Clements

    “Just a guess.” Haha, classic.

    Mark you did mention you do like to see progression. My guess is Blorch is just setting the initial dot reeeeally low. $20 says he’s planning to pitch you next month lol.

    Great SXSW follow up post btw.

  • http://www.victusspiritus.com/ Mark Essel

    I can certainly see value in the sleep deprived brainstorming brought on by startup people density, but timing is everything. As a VC or founder seeking “advice” SXSW sounds great.

    I purchased tickets last year but questioned the trips value without an agenda. Not being part of a startup was the killer. It would be fun and educational, but not worth the time or money. Plus I get to mind meld with your and Steve’s blog posts and get a snapshot of your refined takeaways.

    Looking forward to your next post, and enjoyed Steve Blank’s historical review applied to today’s market.

  • http://about.me/humphrey HumphreyPL

    Hi Mark,

    Great post just some notes from your post:

    You mentioned organising dinners with small groups of people. Did these people know each other? Were they from the same startup? Or where they mutual friends you thought would benefit? Also what is the optimum size? Did you change seats so you got a chance to talk to everyone?

    **********
    Love your 2am eyes but I think you look more like a mole :) (Please see attachment) I also hope Steve didn’t think you were trying to stay awake!

    **********
    So true about the size of connected devices nowadays. I never really thought about the addressable market but saying that wouldn’t the market be more diverse as well language wise? Actually I did a quick search as of 30 June 2010 the language of internet users are divided up as 536 Million English Speaking, 444.9 million Chinese speaking and 1 billion everyone else (http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats7.htm) Really interesting.

    **********
    I was surprised you wore that t-shirt especially when while interviewing Dave McClure :) Great to see your level of commitment! Also great interview really enjoyed hearing his philosophy.

    **********
    Another general question: Are all these events you attend special events or require invites/vip passes? You are a pretty well connected and powerful guy so I am sure no bouncers stopped you from entering a party but what about an average Joe?

    **********
    Late night waffles ahh man that would of hit the spot. Did you actually have waffles with fried chicken, bacon and syrup on top? All mixed in? Never seen that before?

    **********
    Your T-Shirt for next year “Turning MBA’s into Entrepreneur since 4am!”

    **********
    High school Social Networking – It is crazy but you are right. I am 32 and it is amazing how one day you wake up and then you realise “Man I really do know nothing about what is cool for teenagers”.

    I was at the doctors today and I saw a young girl maybe 9 or 10 talking to her mom saying “Ah Dad emails me on my gmail and emails Stacy (Younger sister maybe 7) hotmail” Mum said what about the school email and she replied “no one uses that mom.. {sigh}” as she went back to her smart phone and mom went back to her Nokia very non smart phone.

    I really wanted to start quizzing the mom about what her pains are to understand the Mom market better (Since your chat with Jody Sherman) but I left it at that. I did find it funny that she was helping one of the girls with her reading and at the end the child said “He mom can I get a badge now?” Mum said “Sure you can” I then asked what it was for and she said “For 15 days straight of reading.”

    Mom then turns to the back of the book and then gets this big sticker and then both of them place it in their book. It wasn’t small.. it was HUGE! Why not! Have massive stickers it will make you feel better and it’s a great prize for great work.

    Then I laughed at myself and I mentioned to the mom about how a mobile game called Foursquare also uses badges. She hadn’t heard of it but her 9 year old had. It’s so funny how the same thing we use to get kids motivated also work on adults.

    I even though after seeing how much joy the kid had in removing the sticker and sticking it in her book about how much nicer it would be if you could peel off a badge in foursquare when you earned it and stick it to your card yourself. That would be fun and make the badges mean more :)

    **********
    Okay how many babies did you kiss and did mums look at your funny afterwards :)

    **********
    Finally I just told William Jr on one of your other blogs in a reply post that I couldn’t afford the time, money or lost earnings/wages to attend SXSW but you have singlehandedly changed my mind with that write up!

    I am buying a ticket today and booking my flight! Hope I can buy you dinner/whisky when I get there next year!

    Thanks for the great insight Mark. Chat soon cheers, Humphrey

  • http://about.me/humphrey HumphreyPL

    That is sow awesome Robin. It must of been like Kansis City but just more famous people :)

  • Kevin OBrien

    Great post. My first time at SXSW. With this conference, what you get out of it is truly based on the level of effort you put in ahead of time. True for many conferences, but more so with SXSW due to the events being spread out so far. Have to have a plan and things scheduled in advance.

    As far as the late night things go, I did have productive breakfast meetings 3 different days, so things were happening in the am…maybe b/c everyone else was asleep!

  • http://twitter.com/judyshapiro judy shapiro

    As a newbie SXSWi traveler (they asked me to do a panel based on my Ad Age article – “Has Fb jumped the shark”) – I was less mind melding and more just trying to navigate through the iphone tethered crowds.

    SXSW was a mind trip — but unless your in the “in crowd” – (which usually means being a guy and in jeans) it is far more difficult to make the connections that are worthwhile.

    I wish I had a “guy avatar” to help me get “in” to the culture. Someone should develop an app for that – maybe next tear.

  • http://twitter.com/samrzrkat Samer Zureikat

    This reply is one of your best posts, Mark!

  • http://twitter.com/austinbillc Bill Clark

    I saw you host the accelerator. You gave some great feedback to the presenting companies about their pitches.

  • http://www.enterthegroup.com Sal Pellettieri

    This sounds too good to be true! I’m going to have to check it out next year.

  • http://twitter.com/robbieab Robbie Abed

    Mark,

    Great Post & Great 2am picture. I have never been to SXSW, but If I did – I would do it the same way you did. I know a lot of people are going there to “learn”, but I believe the panels and speakers are really just a filler for the real event which is the networking.

    As far as the name dropping is concerned, I’m sure they’ve been known to name drop you as well!

  • http://RogerEllman.com Roger Ellman

    I’ll row, pogo-stick or parachute in t0 be there next time. Exciting.

    This is a great pitch for a movie I think!

    The Network Network.

  • http://analytikainc.com/blog/ John R. Sedivy

    I appreciate the update on recognizing the name dropping aspect while clarifying your intent. That being said, I continue to enjoy these types of posts as it makes me aware of individuals and companies that I was not previously aware. Good stuff.

  • http://profiles.google.com/heygreg Greg Magarshak

    I love it, because this is what life is all about. Everyone’s got this far, and here they get to hang out and enjoy life together, meet awesome people, and generally have fun. There should be more conferences like this.

    That’s it, I’m gonna be there next year :)

    PS: You have a problem with your DISQUS facebook set-up… I’m not able to log in using Facebook (which is what I normally do). That’s probably why you don’t seem to be getting any posters using their facebook account.

  • http://donaldryan.net DonRyan

    I got tired just reading that post. You sir, are a warrior.

  • http://twitter.com/wfjackson3 Willis F Jackson III

    Vitamin C is your friend.

  • http://twitter.com/dan_osullivan Dan O’Sullivan

    Nice Ace!

  • http://twitter.com/Headblownov Blorch Headblownov

    Last time I checked, I’m not the person spouting bullshit and trying to sell my services off it.

    I never said VC’s were “too busy”. You did, in prior posts.

    P.S. Write back when you find real work, mom misses your letters.

  • http://twitter.com/alans Alan Seideman

    Wow! Mind blown. Wish I had been there. Looking forward to hearing you speak next week here in San Diego. Maybe another 4am night should be in the works ;)

  • http://profiles.google.com/mvg210 Mike Gnanakone

    “It has to do with the future of social networking. And what I hadn’t realized was how the behavior of mainstream, young people – high schoolers – has already changed in ways that I was not even aware of.”

    I have been thinking about this for a couple of days, and I think the landscape of social networks are going to change. Encompassing mobile, location and game mechanics all will be essential features in any new social network.

    Of course, it should also make getting a date an easier, less public event than it is on Facebook. I am working on a project that deals with the problems of Facebook, one that focuses on interests and community rather than status updates.

    SXSW sounds like an epic party. I hope I can go next year!