What an amazing time SXSW was this year! The food, music, and people – all one great event I think everyone should experience at least once in their life. I hope everyone who attended was able to visit the Kings Hawaiian food truck. Courtney Taira, the granddaughter of King’s Hawaiian founder Robert R. Taira, and her team were swamped daily slinging sandwiches on their signature buns daily. I was able to get my hands on one, and let me tell you – by far the best meal I had while at SXSW!
What I thought was especially unique was all of the brands and technology on display. I had the chance to catch up with Randy Frisch, the COO and Co-Founder of UberFlip. They’re a great company who specializes in turning ordinary content into extraordinary content. Randy noted he “found less dollars being thrown around by early stage companies trying to get noticed and more of the big dollars coming from big brands. Last time I got my free grilled cheese from an early stage startup with a new social app and this time it was courtesy of GoToMeeting, and the easiest t-shirt I got came from Seth Myers (thank you NBC).”
Sara Grace of LiveWorld, a social media metrics company, mentioned one of the biggest technology trends she noticed were wearables. “All the Google Glass wearers in one panel said the reaction they get from people is 99 percent positive. And yet, as I see it, there’s a generalized cultural uneasiness around the technology and those wearing it. People sense that the early Glass adopters—the “Glassholes”—are pushing us to a place we’re not ready to go with technology. It’s that generalized uneasiness more so than privacy concerns that’s driving the Glasshole vibe.”
Frisch made the same observation, saying, “Seeing as this was my second SXSW journey, I was able to ignore the swag and zero in on what was trending. Lots of buzz around wearable tech – but most of what I saw looked more like a tease than polished product. Nevertheless I’m psyched by the concepts I saw – like bracelets fueld by cardiac rhythm from Bionym to others putting the power of gesture based tech into a ring around my finger!”
Mark Williams, Creative Director of LiveWorld, also noticed that a hot trend seemed to be gathering analytics from social data. “Right now, the tech folks are developing tools that provide a rich, almost overwhelming quantity of analytics and information. What I’m hearing from marketers here at SXSW, however, is that what they are really looking for is less information and more actionable insights from all that data.” Williams also predicted for next year that the hot trend would be the convergence of those two trends.
I’m looking forward to hearing more from the companies in attendance and seeing where wearable technologies come into play this year. Williams’s predication of the meeting of data and analytics with actionable insights will be necessary for businesses large and small, and something the c-suite will be ready to embrace.
If you had the chance to attend SXSW this year, what was your favorite part?
Jeffrey Hayzlett is a global business celebrity and speaker, bestselling author, Contributing Editor and Host of C-Suite with Jeffrey Hayzlett on Bloomberg Television. He is the CEO of The Hayzlett Group, an international strategic business consulting company focused on leading change and developing high growth companies. Connect with Hayzlett on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or email.