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How to Navigate #SXSW Like a Downhill Skier and get a 2x ROI (Before you fly JetBlue!)

by Larry Chiang on February 18, 2014

Peter Thiel asks of people, “What do you currently believe in that few others do?”
My answer is South By Southwest in Austin Texas.
Mr Thiel is seeking alpha returns for his portfolio. He asks this question over and over so he can seek out and filter those that shift, shape and lever the current market. And then beat it. Seeking alpha is a VC investor phrase for out-performing the market.
Allow me to expand on my minority opinion: SXSW is a good value and easy to launch at. This is in stark contrast to thought leaders I respect: Jolie O’Dell [link], Laura Beck [link], Mark Suster [link]
SXSW is something I study, hack, curate, judge and augment. And amplify when there is an arbitrage opportunity. Arbitrage is an MBA term for buy low, sell high. As a lead generation executive, I study arbitrage. Here is how to buy access to sxsw for a low cost or no cost and parlay it into something of higher value: (higher shareholder equity.
I know I said higher twice, but I wanted to emphasize the HIGH (after buying low :-). Here is how to navigate SXSW as an entrepreneur, skiing downhill, hustling and arbitraging (and making sure you don’t have to draft a startup postmortem! 🙂
/1/ Realize that there is no Google or Facebook party Saturday night (March 8, 2014) to steal your thunder.
Back in 2010, those two duked it out with dueling parties. This was pattern replicated by Netflix facing off HBO in the same hotel the night of the Golden Globes at the Westin in Los Angeles 2014.
Fb and G won’t be stealing your thunder.
/2/ Who’s your Thunder Buddy.
Me, I’m your Thunder Buddy. (Insert pic of me, Ted and Mark Wahlberg THREE SHOT movie poster). It’s a movie reference because it applies. Thunder and noise and rain are all around you where startups die. At SXSW, I’m your Thunder Buddy For Life (see Plancast company sale after the founder wrote the postmortem jan 2011 [link]
Back to Thunder Buddying: I wrote a post on VentureBeat called “Launch at SXSW on a shoestring budget”. As a curator or all things SXSW, I can say with the certainty of a SXSW scholar who set the AP test curve for Paul Graham essay*, “This VentureBeat post from 2011 and all it’s arbitrage opportunities are more alive and more well now in 2014, than back in 2011 when I wrote it.”
*i now administer the test and quote Paul Graham bit ly links during my Stanford (Mall) Office Hours. I also have a SXSW party “AP test for entrepreneurs interested in YC”
As your SxSW thunder buddy…, I will
/3/ Co-host a party for you in your honor.
Do a pre launch party in your hometown. Invite me. I’ll fly myself out if you go 50-50 on the flight. Jk, I’m rich. I’ll fly myself!!
Let me repeat. I’ll fly myself to a party you do, honoring you. Helping your startup. A party in your city BEFORE SXSW is point number 2 in
/4/ Your local tidal wave washes you to sxsw
Like a downhill skier, you will leverage gravity and the tidal wave. The wave method has a hashtag called EUTWMPPM

Text me after you read this

So your Thunder Buddy will know you started

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