The Brooklyn United crew made its annual pilgrimage to Austin, Texas earlier this month to attend SXSW. We brought our largest team yet consisting of Brian, John, Pritika, and myself. In the face of heavy demand for hotel rooms, we found refuge in a nearby house we snagged on Airbnb—a huge success and a great team experience. If your team is tight like ours, hanging around in a living room sipping beers at the end of the day sure beats meeting up in the hotel lobby.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be covering various topics that not only created buzz during this year’s festival, but have generated discussion across the industry.
In addition to hitting panels by day and parties by night, we ate a lot of local cuisine guided by the fact both John and Brian have called Austin home in the past. Highlights included daily breakfast tacos at Taco Shack; dinner at Ruby’s BBQ and Perla’s, and nightly treks to Amy’s Ice Creams.
We also had the pleasure of meeting part of the team from 10,000ft, a terrific project and resource planning tool we use to run our studio. We got to know more about the 10,000ft team, talked a bit about the festival, and were gifted with one of their beautiful bottle openers. Thank you!
Our last night in Austin, we had the pleasure of catching an unannounced show by Reggie Watts at Hotel San Jose thanks to Brian obtaining some local intel.
As a third-year attendee of SXSW, the big thing that stood out for me was the significant decrease in the number of marketing efforts (read: swag distribution). Anyone who knows me, especially the BU crew, knows I rock a lot of startup wear while I’m in the office including Foursquare, GroupMe, Foodspotting, Twilio, and of course our own. It’s less about a free wardrobe—I promise—and more about supporting the companies I stand behind and love.
There was a big drop in the number of startup teams roaming the streets of Austin. And sadly, there was no Foursquare court. It seems to me the continuing transformation of Austin’s downtown is leaving less and less vacant space to be consumed by temporary installations, typically where the startups hangout. I’m sure, however, most people were glad there was a lighter marketing presence this year.