In Alfred Hitchcocks 1959 classic “North by Northwest”, fugitive ad executive Roger Thornhill (a suave Cary Grant) says: “In the world of advertising, there’s no such thing as a lie. There’s only expedient exaggeration.”
South by Southwest (SXSW), the festival named after the Hitchcock movie, walks a similar fine line between sweeping prediction, genuine insight and outright promotion.
Of course, it’s also this (in no particular order): a giant Happy Hour with free booze available everywhere, a source of inspiration, a great way to re-learn how to stand in a line (SXSW veteran advice: never stand in line), a place of random meetings, and just plain fun.
For the third year in a row, Flip the Media covered the event through a whirlwind of panels, keynotes, parties and late night editing sessions. Here is what a few of our writers took away from the experience and what they think is hot in tech.
SXSW was a feast of ideas, color – but most of all, people. This slide show reveals a fraction of the things we saw. All photos by the author.
Something We Learned Today
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to make his city a hub for the tech industry. More and more businesses are recognizing that the Windy City is a great place to live because of its strong transportation system, affordable cost of living and vibrant arts and cultural scene, Emanuel said during his SXSW interview. He and Michelle Boone from Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs talked to Groupon co-founder Brad Keywell about the plans to establish the city as a destination for creativity, innovation and the arts.
“We create the platform for you to develop jobs,” Emanuel said, addressing the tech sector. “We make the city hot enough, the talent you are all chasing now (will be here).”
The mayor said a thriving arts community is important for making a city a desirable place to live and work. Fun fact: His commitment to the arts was informed in part by his background as a ballet dancer.
Disappointment of the Day
A highly noticed communication breakdown occurred today when Twitter was out of commission for twenty minutes.
Best Meal of the Day
Wait, a cookie? Well, it’s not any old cookie. This cookie is made with cricket flour and it tastes delicious (really). Each one contains 5g of protein and a couple of them could be a complete breakfast. Bitty, the maker of this treat is one of many well-funded Silicon Valley start-ups trying to make insect food cool.
Itsy Bitsy Cookie. (Photo: Hanns-Peter Nagel)
You may know Dana Brunetti from his work producing “The Social Network” or more recently “House of Cards” but you may not know that he started as an assistant for Kevin Spacey. He claims he has built his career through learning by doing, trusting his intuition. He believes that “anyone can be an executive producer”.
Producing “House of Cards” is the perfect example of following intuition. He just knew that this exclusive Netflix series was going to be a game changer. When Spacey expressed initial skepticism Brunetti responded: “We’re doing this show. Trust me. I’ll explain it later.”
(Graphic by Jenny Penny)
In a SXSW featured session “Are We All Producers Now?” Zuckerberg Media’s Randi Zuckerberg interviewed Brunetti on his career, artistic decisions, attention to social media and the content producing culture of today.
“Everyone has the ability to film and produce a video with their smart phone. It’s a fantastic time for content creators,” said Brunetti.
(Graphic: Jenny Burns)
My name is Cynthia Alice Andrews and I am a Spontaneous Planner.
Some of you may think that saying so is an oxymoron. Some of you may know exactly what I mean when I say that and others may have no idea what I am talking about.
So, what exactly does it mean to be a spontaneous planner? Rather than put it in my words, I took to the interwebz to see how others who identify as such explained it.
I found this quote online and thought it did a great job of defining this contradictory personality type:
“I don’t know if that makes sense. I love to be spontaneous, but then figure out how to make it the best situation possible.” – Jamie (The Red Riot)
In my mind, there are three steps in spontaneous planning:
1. Have an idea
2. Figure out the logistics
3. Make it happen
So, what does this have to do with SXSW?