We just got back to warm and sunny Pittsburgh from cold and wet Austin. A few quick bullet points about SXSW Interactive 2012:
- It rained. A lot. Damn near the whole time, in fact (although Sunday was gorgeous).
- Of all the people we wanted to see and hang out with, only about 25% actually made the trip to Austin. Contrast that to last year, where if you rolled a grenade into The Ginger Man after 9pm, web design as we know it would cease to exist.
- This time around, we focused on hanging out and eating. Some highlights: Hopdoddy Burger Bar, Torchy’s Tacos, 24 Diner, and Kerbey Lane. We drank a lot of milkshakes and Dublin Dr. Pepper (which is disappearing within weeks). And then there was the BBQ. You know what, BBQ deserves its own bullet point…
- Franklin BBQ. Accept no substitutes. We went with the Happy Cog Gregs to Smitty’s Market in Lockhart—the birthplace of Texas BBQ—but the old dogs can’t compete with Aaron Franklin’s brisket. Believe the hype and brave the line.
- Speaking of lines: imagine you’re a platinum attendee. You spent $1000+ to attend all three SXSW conferences. How would you feel about waiting in an epic line—a line that snaked around the entire convention center and at one point went outside into the pouring rain—to get your conference badge?
- The conference? Oh, right, the conference. Well, we didn’t actually go to the conference. Spend $1200+ for three or four quality talks? We’ll pass.
If there was one good thing about this year’s limited attendance, it’s that we got to spend quality time with the following friends, old and new. Thanks to everyone for their graciousness and hospitality. You’re welcome in our town anytime:
- Dave Rupert, Reagan Ray, and Trent Walton from Paravel
- Phil Coffman
- Gerren Lamson
- Naz Hamid, Scott Robbin, Laurel Hechanova, and Weightshift
- Aza Raskin and Massive Health
- Greg Storey, Greg Hoy, Joe Rinaldi, Mark Huot, Chris Cashdollar, Ryan Irelan, Jenn Lukas, and Stephen Caver from Happy Cog
- Ryan Clark, Brad Smith, and Virb
- Texas forever: TJ Taylor, Jonathan Bowden, Ismael Burciaga, Paul Russo, Robert Banh, and Sophie Shepherd
- Jess Brown, J Cornelius, Chris Coyier, Tab Atkins, Matt Riopelle, Jonathan Moore, and many others