I got back late last Wednesday night from this year’s South by Southwest Interactive Festival (aka “spring break for nerds”) with my head full of new ideas and my body sore from abuse. This was inspired by Scott Porad’s list of learnings and when I read his, I realized that mine were completely different, illustrating how different an experience SXSW can be for different people.
- Tiny cheap computers (Raspberry Pi), 3d printing (MakerBot), practically free sensors & low power connectivity (Fitbit) are an amazing marriage that will create a future I can’t predict (but it’s happening now). The Raspberry Pi is about the size of Altoids tin, how small can this go? What other applications can a connected, low powered sensor drive? I think the key to this future is thinking about what we can (or should) do with all this power. No one wants SkyNet, but I think there are other more pleasant possible outcomes.
- Peter Thiel has a depressing outlook on the United States, but in some ways, it’s hard not to agree with him. I guess I should move to China if I want happy times?
- John Biehler reminded me that hobbies can lead to interesting new things to work on. Everything I’ve been successful in life doing has started off as a hobby.
- Most product people wrestle not having enough capacity to do all the things they want to do. Capacity to build still outweighs deciding what to build.
- Creating a social/mobile/local marketplace is super difficult, but if you nail it, you can own it. The trick is identifying the market and starting VERY specifically (a neighborhood or a demographic in a city). Some examples include Zaarly & Lyft.
- There are lots of hosting companies that offer hosting for free for a limited amount of time. Img.ur used 3 providers before moving into AWS. Bootstrapping means a level of frugality that might be tough for people who are accustomed to having the “best” or “easiest”
- Having a team of crack networkers working together and understanding each other’s agenda’s is a great way to divide and conquer (even if we were the “Grumpy Old Men” of the Internet).
This past week, I was in Austin, Texas for this year’s SXSWi Festival. This is my sixth time at SXSW and I always return a little rougher than when I left. This year, I have stats!
I took roughly ~15,000 steps or put another way, walked about 7 miles a day, including two travel days, which reduce the averages a bit. While there are lots of ways to get around without walking (cabs, petticabs, HootSuite buses), walking is usually your fastest way to get short distances. ProTip: always bring 2 pairs of shoes.
A little less measurable was the undesired side effect of talking loudly at parties as my voice is still a little scratchy. RAWR.
So, a little while back my WordPress theme was hacked to serve up all sorts of awesomely terrible, hidden links to a number of sites that I normally wouldn’t link to. It took a little while to track down the source of the issue and once I did, it seemed the easiest thing to do was to remove the theme and start from scratch.
The blog looked the same for a really long time, so even going with the theme you see today, Twenty Twelve, (aka default) it feels fresh to me. I’ve made a deal with myself that I won’t poke around in the CSS or change the theme (ok, I set Helvetica as the default font) until I’ve posted at least 10 more posts. Maybe its fresh, new, uninspiring look will inspire me to spend a little more time blogging.
I was down in LA for the Twitter Conference, 140TC, last week. The conference was slated to be the intersection of Hollywood and Silicon Valley, which might be two of the weirdest places on earth. The conference didn’t disappoint. I mean, where else could I meet Tony Robbins, The Iron Sheik and Biz Stone, all on the same day?