SXSW Recap (2 of 4): Inspired

SXSW was a great chance to step away from my day to day workflow to see what the rest of the interactive world is passionate about.

My favorite talks were those that challenged me to look beyond “How to build a better website” to “How to build a better world.” Lofty sounding I know, but our industry has tremendous say in how the future plays out. The innovators I was inspired by have been doing things like solving the world water crisis, giving amputees their arms back, computing useful, even critical information from a vast seas of data, finally getting government off of crappy technology, getting kids excited about science and technology, and even creating a place to question whether anything in this list even matters. I believe that it does, so check this stuff out and be inspired to greatness.

Top 3 Talks:

  1. Dean Kamen: Innovation & Inspiration: Building a Better World
  2. Stephen Wolfram: Computation And Its Impact On The Future
    • Created the Mathematica and built Wolfram Alpha, the brains of services like Siri
  3. Rainn Wilson: The View From Rainn Wilson’s Brainstem

Best Food:

I’m seconding Doug’s vote and going with Frank. There is no better meal than a hot-dog stuffed with cheese, wrapped in bacon, deep fried, then smothered in spicy sauces and toppings with a side of jackalope (antelope, rabbit, and pork sausage) covered in huckleberry compote, cheddar and SRIRACHA AIOLI. #SOOOOGOOOOOD.

Best Band:

One Monster After Another - Nothing better than dancing in the street at 1am with strangers playing a banjo, washboard, saw, mandolin, and ukelele.

Miike Snow, M. Ward, and Kasabian were pretty decent too :)

Closing Advice:

  1. PLAN. Figure out what you want to see and do more than an hour before said things are scheduled to happen. There is so much going on at the same time, and its easy to accidentally miss phenomenal talks, events, and music if you’re not paying attention.
  2. Drink lots of water.
  3. Life can be beautiful. Let’s push it in that direction with what we create.

Dan works in our Falls Church, VA, HQ with clients such as PUMA, the Chronicle of HIgher Education, and Privial Medical Group. An ex-graphic designer who fell in love with code, Dan now spends his time building fast and accessible JS applications.

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