What happens when 75,000 professionals at SXSW (South by Southwest) from 74 countries with backgrounds in music, technology, and film get together for 10 days in Austin, TX? Quite a lot! Normally we write about investing but this week we’ve got a very different topic. I spent a week at SXSW 2014 and here are some of my favorite highlights.
Intellectual meets creative
SXSW (South by Southwest) began as a music festival in 1987 and has since grown to be one of the largest gatherings of entrepreneurs and entertainers in the world. While still retaining its core value, providing an audience for new and upcoming musical talent, SXSW has become a destination for motivated professionals to get creative, swap ideas, and collaborate in future business. It’s huge, and amorphous, sort of like the internet itself.
A focus on the need for privacy
SXSW is evolving little by little from a product launch festival to a global technology meeting of the minds. SXSW Interactive, the technology and startup side of the festival, focused this year on privacy issues. Addressing the crowd via satellite, Edward Snowden gave a keynote speech highlighting the current state of privacy as “at a crossroads”. While some argued to just adapt to the reality of a post-privacy world, others insisted on creating solutions to take back our privacy. Either way, these are the programmers who make it all happen so expect 2014 to include many privacy related startups. In that sense SXSW serves as a dense look at the bigger trends.
Here is a quick recap of my favorite moments of SXSW 2014:
- The modern equivalent of the 1938 War of the Worlds radio broadcast panic may have happened when thousands of twitter users mistook the MIT Media Lab’s “one sentence science fiction” twitter stories as actual news events. Don’t believe everything you read on the internet.
- There was a Bitcoin ATM on wheels – we love the irony of selling Bitcoins lemonade stand style. Don’t expect to be able to come back to complain. (picture at bottom)
- To get into the free Jay-Z/Kanye West concert, all you had to have was a Samsung phone. Predictably, many bought new Samsung phones just to get in.
- Just to remind us that not all tech innovation is as innocent as streaming music services or fitness tracking bands, the award for the most terrifying innovation on display was the Stun Gun Drone, a small and nimble flying drone outfitted with a stun gun.
- And last but not least, local Bostonian Joi Ito of the MIT Media Lab was inducted into the SXSW Interactive Hall of Fame.
(The Official Oh-So-Inviting SXSW Mobile Bitcoin ATM)
This communication may include forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements (including words such as “believe,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “may,” “will,” “should,” and “expect”). Although we believe that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, we can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Various factors could cause actual results or performance to differ materially from those discussed in such forward-looking statements.”
“Historical performance is not indicative of future results. The investment return will fluctuate with market conditions.
Past performance is not indicative of any specific investment or future results. Views regarding the economy, securities markets or other specialized areas, like all predictors of future events, cannot be guaranteed to be accurate and may result in economic loss to the investor.
Investment strategies, philosophies, allocations and holdings are subject to change without prior notice.
This communication is intended to provide general information only and should not be construed as an offer of specifically tailored individualized advice.
While the Adviser believes the outside data sources cited to be credible, it has not independently verified the correctness of any of their inputs or calculations and, therefore, does not warranty the accuracy of any third-party sources or information.
Adviser does not endorse the statements, services or performance of any third-party vendor.
Unless stated otherwise, any mention of specific securities or investments is for hypothetical and illustrative purposes only. Adviser’s clients may or may not hold the securities discussed in their portfolios. Adviser makes no representations that any of the securities discussed have been or will be profitable.
Any IPO alerts are purely informational and should not be construed as recommendations to invest.
Adviser is not licensed to provide and does not provide legal, tax or accounting advice to clients. Advice of qualified counsel or accountant should be sought to address any specific situation requiring assistance from such licensed individuals.
Any case studies or hypothetical client profiles are for demonstration purposes only. They illustrate the breadth and depth of the many clients we represent at various life stages. Any similarities to actual Adviser’s clients past or present are strictly coincidental. Individual advice and results will vary based on each client’s circumstances, objectives and prevailing economic conditions.