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In The Media

What’s Winning at SXSW

by Larry Chiang on March 4, 2013

By Larry Chiang

I watch how tech conferences have inflection points

It is a pattern I recognize. These are the things that you should pay attention to about SXSW, what certain observations mean and how things might work out

-1- Hand curation is back

Automated RSVP’s died Automated check-in died Automated party list compilation sorta died.

Hand curated connections and manually generated organic connections work. For example, hand curated notes of presentations look super cool and sexy. They’re visual representations of what was said.

For example, hand curated RSVP lists work. Specific VIPs will host via a tweet or Facebook update. Hand curation occurs when you see it and text a friend to attend in an impromptu manner.

This leads to my next point…

-2- Semi Unified Messaging

Facebook promised unified messaging at Web 2.o Summit at the St Regis. It was set to coagulate email, SMS and chat.

While I’m waiting for that, I see that semi unified messaging works on your smart phone. It’s where your SMS, email and IM chat pops so hard on your three iPhones that it explodes your notifications.

-3- WordPress is Winning

Justin Timberlake is bringing sexy back but I am bringing WordPress trackbacks, back.

Long form blogging by hand will be produced by 1-3% of all SXSW attendees. Be one of those one-three percent.

-4- Appointment based education still lives on and thrives much to my chagrin

By appointment based I mean, tune in Sunday at 11:00 am for Brian Barela, from Cru’s message on my mentor, j.c. By appointment based I mean, watch “House of Lies” on Showtime Sundays at 8pm. At SXSW, by ‘appointment based education’, I mean wait until 3:30PM, March 12.

Me?! I needed the education of an MBA while I was an undergrad in engineering. If I made an appointment for that knowledge, I’d be getting flanked by a Thiel Fellow versus augmenting, accelerating and being a fan of Thiel Fellows (in my SPADES of spare time)

-5- Spare Time is Winning at SXSW.

I’ll expand more on this in a previous blog post. It’s the idea of time treasure management. Just like money treasure is allocated 70%-20%-10% (spending – investing – tithing), so should be your time.

Most startup execs are doing 110%-(-5%)-(-5%). My ideal is 50%-20%-30%.

-6- Marketing is Back

Sales helps. Selling is tough work. Selling helps here at SXSW

Marketing via sales is back. Lead generation via growth hacking in-the-trenches is still sexy.

-7- Launch Parties are Back

The (new) Launch Party is where you make money while you get more shareholder equity. In essence, you do what my mentor, Mark McCormack, taught me…, “Larry, you should make money while you’re making money”. An example of this is “Holiday Party 2.0”. It made money while celebrating baby jesus’ happy birthday party.

-8- The Advanced Stuff that’s Retro

Wanna Ga Ga Guaranteed exit?! Pull an idea out of Industry Standard or Red Herring and execute it. For example, Waze.

People will use it at SXSW. Waze is like a hive mind for traffic.

-9- Crossing the Chasm is Sexy

Crossing the chasm from the left sucks. Crossing the (innovation) chasm from the right is sexy and works at SXSW. Crossing the chasm from the right is a signature Larry Chiang maneuver. Thank you Geoffrey Moore for writing the 256 page book, “Crossing the Chasm” that I read and re-read a time too many

Here is how to “Crossing the chasm from the right”.

Yeah, I just open-sourced that Larry Chiang signature maneuver

-10- Just-In-Time Entrepreneur Education (JITEE for SXSW 2014)

I’m from the future. In the future, we combine appointment based learning with JITEE

Peter Thiel, Luke Nosek & Ken Howery may have financed my move out to Silicon Valley from University of Illinois*… So I can afford to pass the wealth on.

* I did lead generation for PayPal

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