OK, so it's been almost two weeks since I got back to PDX from Austin’s SXSW Festival. I’ve had time to recover from walking about 15 miles/day and the exhaustion. Been thinking the last couple of days what I took away from the experience as my first trip to SXSW.

I left Austin completely re-energized about life. No shit. One living and working in Portland, Oregon, from home can get pretty isolated from the world, not to mention the incredible energy and inspiration that lies in other cities where there are thriving startup communities and bucks flowing. Portland isn’t exactly the Silicon Forest anymore with it’s flatline economy and relatively small startup community in tech/social. Not to say there’s no life here, but compared to the energy and optimism found in Austin.

What I took away is this: Life is what you make of it.

I know that sounds a little weak, but I’ve realized that I’ve been seeing things from the grey Portland perspective for far too long. People come to Austin from all over the world, with their perspectives, and I have to say it’s not all doom and gloom out there. There are TONS of people living their dreams being entrepreneurs, artists, producers, investors and entertainers. We all got to feed off one another’s perspectives, energy and hope for a better future. It was like an energy and hope feeding frenzy, and I recommend it to anyone here in Portland who could use a change of scenery.

So, I’m off to coalesce some great ideas into plans to manifest into reality. I think hope was the greatest take-away from SXSW. I can’t wait to go next year and make a bigger splash than we did this year. Erik Duisenberg, Dave McLaughlin and I put in a ton of prep time for our presentation at the Interactive Accelerator competition (which we didn’t win), but it gave us some great lessons, solid contacts, and hope. Also helped us figure out some new angles on the tech we’re producing, and how to get more traction with the investment community.

Back at it!

AuthorJohn Skelly