Highlights of my first day of SXSW

Highlights of my first day of SXSW Interactive: As typical of any gathering of human beings, the best stuff is in the hallways. In fact, I’m not a real big fan of presentations — especially if they are about a topic that I’m very familiar with. I find myself in the mode of agreeing or disagreeing. I’d rather be in the mode of discovering: of hearing things I haven’t thought of before and therefore don’t know whether to agree or disagree.

So, despite copious notes, I have little to blog from the sessions I attended as, well, I’ve pretty much said everything i want to say on those topics.

So, here are my highlights:

  • Lunch with Summer Huggins at the Las Manitas Ave. Cafe (which is on Congress Ave.) where we saw Ann Richards. That was a highlight because I’d just read she was battling cancer and, frankly, she looked upbeat and perky and quite healthy.

  • Ran into my young friend Taylor McKnight who I got to congratulate personally for creating Podbop.org — and having it become such an instant hit.
  • Ran into Khoi Vin, who recently became design director of the NY Times online. Back when I first met him (last year), he was merely an incredible designer. Now he’s got a following.
  • Speaking of following, Jason Fried is living someone’s dream. He’s created web applications that people like me are happy to pay a monthly fee to use. And he only has seven people in his company. And he gets to make speeches and write books about how one shouldn’t take VC money and how being small and lean is superior to being big. And he gets to say that having a feature specification before you develop a web application is a waste of time. I predict Jason Fried will be the next Mark Cuban. I can’t explain what I mean by that, but it’s a compliment.
  • Another highlight: This Austin sunset.
  • Not a highlight: The long registration line early this morning caused me to miss most of the first session.

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    • lcreekmo

      Man, it is hard to read about ANYONE eating at Las Manitas…I love that place. And you saw one of my heroes there?? (I don’t have all that many.)

      Sounds like SXSW is off to a great start.