I’m at Austin’s airport waiting for my flight back to Boston thinking back on the last 5 days at SXSW. I used a very different strategy than last year – Instead of being crazy scheduled running from session to session, I came to Austin with a lose and flexible framework of what I wanted to do. The result was a much richer and serendipitous event for me – Instead of feeling mind-numb, I feel fulfilled and energized. The highlights:
- Cory Bergman in “protein form”: Lost Remote has been hugely supportive of my book and Hill Holliday. While Cory and I have had many interactions, it was great to finally talk with him in-person at the Miso “tune-in” event.
- Fast Company with BET: I loved the Fast Company Grill last year and even moreso this year sharing it with BET’s JP Lespinasse. We had an awesome chat about social TV, music, and the success of the BET awards. Loved that his colleague (Reggie) joined us who is a huge music exec for the network and we seemed to share a passion for 80s & 90s R&B.
- Sobbing at Frank Abagnale: In a serendipitous moment, I ended up hearing the true story of Catch Me If You Can from the very man it was based on. His account had the crowd glued to their seats with each word he spoke – and left many (including me) teary eyed as he spoke about the importance of parents in a child’s life.
- Keeping it real with Boxee: Once again, Boxee held it’s annual SXSW backyard keg party. There is something so real about those guys and its evident with the passionate fans it attracts. It was great to catch up with Andrew Kippen and finally give him a copy of the book which he’s been so supportive of.
- A “family” reunion with Wiley: Wiley held its third annual authors party and it was the perfect storm of awesomeness. A beautiful night to be hanging out on the roof of the Hangar Lounge learning from some of the best business authors out there and getting to catch up with a former client of mine.
- Power walk with Somrat Niyogi: Instead of sitting inside a dark restaurant, Somrat and I decided to hold our pre-scheduled meeting as a walk. Truthfully, my favorite kind of meeting (I can never eat and talk at the same time) – but walking and talking is the perfect combination for two insanely energetic people. Since Somrat went to college in the area, he took me around the less travelled parts of Austin – the whole time debating the future of the second screen. We could have walked for miles and talked for hours…I didn’t want it to end.
- Talking TV with TVGuide.com: A huge thanks to Christy Tanner who invited me along with other social TV execs to an awesome dinner where we chatted the night away about the future of TV and the crowded social TV guide space.
I met a lot of terrific people over the past few days and can’t wait for the many follow-ups that will ensue.