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How to Navigate #SXSW Like a Downhill Skier and get a 10x ROI

by Larry Chiang on February 18, 2014

By Larry Chiang 

Disclosure: I make money ‘selling’ credit cards. At SXSW, I will sell 5x the number of credit cards than official SXSW sponsor, American Express, will. Heck, I will even sell more Amex than Amex :-))

Disclosure: I make money sitting on 12+ boards of startups with a sum total of $0 money I’ve invested in them. 

I’ve transparently blogged what works and what to pay attention to. This moment, I’m noticing the push-back from the energy, awareness and gravitational pull of SXSW.

The definition of gravity is where two bodies are attracted to each other. The moon pulls on Earth’s water, skiers are pulled down the slalom and SXSW pulls on us.

Does the ocean water hate the moon for causing tides??

Let’s examine SXSW’s pull on me and the concept of “Engineering Up a Tidal Wave of Momentum, Perpetual Promotion Machine”. It’s a hashtag, #EUTWMPPM, that executes my minority opinion and focus of this piece: “How to Navigate #SXSW Like a Downhill Skier and get a 10x ROI”

/1/ A Shoestring budget is plentiful to launch at SXSW

I’ll start by stating something ridiculous: “SXSW is cheap”. This ventureBeat article is spot-on

/2/ “36 Minimum Viable Hours at SXSW”

Fly in. Fly out 30 hours later. I wrote a SXSW schedule up that you can google. It works. Consult your physician to see if you’re healthy enough to pull an overnighter.

/3/ 10x ROI is easy.

The public is out there thinking it costs $3k. My mentor, Mark McCormack, thinks that “You should make money while you’re building shareholder equity”. For example, Shark Tank is doing an event. Do points number one and number two from ( LINK and do an “afterparty”. After party is after the 2-6PM CST March 6 at the Black Chamber of Commerce in Austin.

/4/ Exercise with me: Cell 650-283-8008

It’s real.

4a) Read any two of my venture beat articles. Google a couple of hashtags I mention. Hint #EUTWMPPM has a doozie of a post as search result number one (

4b) text me and I’ll help walk you through popping your SXSW cherry as a… —

( this is a pay per read blog post, its 49.95 to read the rest. email me for a discount code where the first 5 are free!



FYI, we’re publishing a post by Jolie later this afternoon that takes a somewhat more cynical view. It’s good advice, but she fundamentally hates SXSW (her first 2 tips are “don’t go”).

So I’d love to have a guest post on how to hack the event / game it.


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