John Murch

SXSW Interactive 2009

25 Mar 2009
SXSW Interactive 2009

Takeaways from SXSWi 2009

This year I was lucky enough to attend SXSW Interactive. This was my second year of SXSW (I was there last year). 2009 SXSW Interactive brought a lot of memories back such as some amazing parties and conversations with some elebrities (celebrity + Famous Internet Stars).

Takeaways of 2009 SXSW Interactive

  • Outsourcing is now known as competitive edge, think about it
  • The age old question of making money vs spending money everyone needs to find their own balance for the lifestyle design they personally choose
  • You need to define your own happiness and stick with it
  • People want and buy experiences, create your market around it
  • ROI needs to be seen at other angles, such as cutting marketing spend to create an experience to increase retention and lifetime value of a user
  • JFDI aka Just Fucking Do It!
  • How are you adding value to the internet?
  • Don’t try and become a mind reader, and stop focusing on solving 100% of future problems before they happen because some problems will never come

That was a solid list of some of my own personal takeaways that I feel the various panels touched on. I also wanted to discuss Kathy Sierra, who amazed me last year with her speech and brought a great EQtool system that really makes you think.

The keynotes each day are always a big hit creating a lot of buzz around what’s next and what people are talking about. This year was no different hearing from Tony Hsieh, Nate Silver, James Powderly, Chris Anderson, and Guy Kawasaki was just amazing. Although last year’s Zuckerberg/Lacy interview will always go down in history, this year had some other interesting tactics in the making. For example, at the end of Guy Kawasaki/Chris Anderson interview Guy had each follow up question donate $20 to the Feed the Homeless cause, making me think, damn, questions at panels/events should require a donation (maybe ~$10) and if you give a plug (Hello my name is John Murch and I started this company SEO Drop….) you have to pay more (maybe ~$20). Anyway, it was interesting to see each afternoon session and hear the buzz around the keynotes.

I also wanted to point out that I am a bit of a Celebrity Apprentice fan and when I saw what Tony Hsieh did (or rather did not do) on the Celebrity Apprentice, he looked like a big ASS and very quiet. Well I admit my views have changed. Tony gave an amazing keynote and got me thinking about the ROI of a user does not always need to come from a product, but with an experience based market, you can offer a unique experience in addition to your product. For example, at Zappos some customers get overnight shipping on orders, the cost comes from the marketing budget used to keep users or find new ones, but with an offer like this, it causes the customer to become a advocate about their product and it sparks their friends/family to order from Zappos. I was also surprised that although Zappos was on the Celebrity Apprentice, they did not really do anything on their website other then a banner ad that went no where. I also do not see any use of the Zappos Mascot. I was a bit blown away that when searching for Tony Hsieh I saw that Zappos is bidding on his name in Adwords and links to the homepage of Zappos and not a bio/twitter page.

One last point that I touched on but want to focus on all this year, is JFDI. Just Fucking Do It! Each year I get pumped and bombarded with ideas of how I will do X or accomplish Y, but this year I want to take that bold aggressive action and plow through the hurtles I encounter. So with SXSW 2009 over, I am kicking ass and taking names doing the hustle that Gary V. talks so much about. I need to get stuff out of my head and onto other peoples computers. With my recent startup SEO Drop (yes the post is coming soon), I want this to be just the beginning and by next year have a wealth of fun and innovating products that bring value to both the customer and the internets.

Anyway, SXSW is a great experience and conference. I really enjoy going and am looking forward to what next year brings.

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