In times gone by, the fastest way was to get three friends together (ensure at least one of them can drum), learn three chords, choose a faintly ridiculous name, and form a band. Now, you get three friends together (ensure at least one of them can code), put together a pitch deck, choose a faintly ridiculous name, and form a tech start up.
The SXSW festival is merely the peak of a year-round tech mountain that everyone in Austin seems to be climbing. I was lucky enough to spend some time with @equintanilla, a very switched on Austin local who gave me a glimpse of how the whole ecosystems works – from the 80 to 90 tech, internet marketing and web service firms that have sprung up in the last few years, to the University of Texas with its tech-heavy curriculum and its incubator programs, the funneling of oil profits from Houston and Dallas into serious local VC firms – all the way up to the city and state officials who are determined to see that Texas does not participate in the recession that is clearly calcifying the rest of the United States. No wonder ad agencies are trying to work out how to think like software firms.
Need to rewind? Catch the previous episode, where Ad Agencies learn “Why You Shouldn’t Write Off Yesterday’s Hot Technology.”
Stay tuned for the next episode when ad agencies learn “What The Future Of (Almost) Everything (Possibly) Looks Like”