Get All Access for $5/mo

Parting Thoughts on SXSW Interactive South by Southwest Interactive may be over, but the lessons learned will carry on -- at least, until next year.

By Bryan Keplesky

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Parting Thoughts on SXSW InteractiveAnother SXSW Interactive has come to a close. And while every cell phone is getting a much deserved recharge, it's a good time to share a few observations about this year's conference.

The SXSW Interactive brand: The final numbers are not in yet, but there's no reason to doubt that Interactive will once again beat out Film and Music for most paid attendees. Last year a few overflow panels were held at only one hotel. This year, four nearby hotels hosted Interactive events. And, as our Dailies have shown, entrepreneurs and startups love SXSW. They love it for the panels, the networking and the parties. No other conference is attracting this level of talent.

Tech Trends: Crowdsourcing continues to be a major topic of interest as evinced by the fan-made Star Wars movie and a website that allows you to distribute money to things you're a fan of. This year's festival has reiterated and reinforced the notion that crowds offer some pretty powerful things – chiefly, safety in numbers and the beauty of a collective experience by supporting people, places or things. In contrast to crowds, we also have "pods." Specifically, the small groups of friends you create in Beluga, a much-talked about mobile application that allows you to communicate privately in group chats. Beluga was acquired by Facebook on March 1 -- just four months after its initial launch date in November.

Startups: Brennen Peters from Qlobe put it best: "People at SXSW are willing to experience new things, so there's no friction." Instead, he adds, "there's a mutual respect for wanting to start something new." Plus, many entrepreneurs have benefitted from all of the networking, rubbing elbows with like-minded business people and learning about the latest and greatest in technology.

While we met engaging entrepreneurs every day at the Convention Center and found their energy and positivity inspiring, there were legions of young, bootstrapping startups with whom we didn't meet. With so much enthusiasm, it's starting to feel like technology has finally caught up to people's ideas and imaginations.

Our constantly evolving technology -- and dependence on it -- especially in the mobile and web spaces, create new problems, new solutions and new ideas about how our lives can be better, richer and more meaningful. Now more than ever, with SXSW Interactive still in recent memory, it must feel really good to be an entrepreneur.

You tell us. How does it feel?

Door Number 3-- Bryan Keplesky is Senior Art Director at Austin's Door Number 3, an independent branding shop. Bryan has covered SXSW since 2005.

Bryan Keplesky

Art director, designer, writer

Bryan Keplesky runs his own creative studio in Austin, Texas, working in design, branding, art direction and writing.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business Solutions

Increase Productivity with This Microsoft 365 Subscription, Now $25 Off

It can make the entrepreneur life a lot easier.

Business News

Apple Pay Later Is Ending. Here's What's Taking Its Place.

The program was available for less than a year.

Leadership

This Artist Answered a Businessman's 'Powerful' Question — Then His Work Became 'the Poster Child for Juneteenth': 'Your Network Really Becomes Your Net Worth'

Reginald Adams was the executive director of a Houston-based art museum for more than a decade before he decided to launch his own public art and design firm.

Leadership

Harvard Business School Professor Says 65% of Startups Fail for One Reason. Here's How to Avoid It.

Team alignment isn't nice to have -- it's critical for running a successful business.

Business News

Here's What Companies Are Open and Closed on Juneteenth 2024

Since it became a holiday in 2021, Juneteenth has been recognized by some major corporations as a paid day off.

Growing a Business

I Hit $100 Million in Annual Revenue by Being More Transparent — Here Are the 3 Strategies That Helped Me Succeed

Three road-tested ways to be more transparent and build relationships that can transform your business — without leaving you feeling nightmarishly over-exposed.