My Calves Hurt But My Toes Are Fine – SXSW Interactive Days 1 and 2
Mar 12 2011

The second day of SXSW Interactive is still going on in downtown Austin.  I called it a night early since I’m too old for this stuff it’s become too mainstream and there are too many people.  I’m not a big crowd person, which is one of the reasons I have no real interest in going to Mardi Gras in New Orleans…I like a little bit of personal space.  As I mentioned in my first post about the conference, I was approaching this one in a zen-like, floating manner and so far I’m succeeding and my stress level and need to stay late at events has been very much reduced.

Yesterday, I made it to the keynote by Marissa Mayer, vice president of consumer products at Google.  As some of the panels/keynotes at SXSW Interactive are, her talk was pretty much a big commercial for Google.  They are focusing on location based services and maps.  I love Google Maps.  I don’t know how I lived without it since I’m directionally challenged and having a map on my iPhone telling me where to go, despite it being wrong about 10% of the time, has saved me much angst.  I have since transferred that angst to other things in my life, but still.

I then went to the Entrepreneur’s Lounge, co-hosted by the Austin Technology Incubator, where I work, (awesome new website alert!! – designed by Clutch Creative) and connected with people I hadn’t seen in a while and met some new people.  After that I went to Ignite Austin, but didn’t stay long because it was very loud so my friend Karen Banteverus who founded VolunteerSpot and I went next door to a restaurant to have hot tea and tortilla soup and catch up.  I did see Michael Dell and his brother Adam who were sitting a couple rows ahead of me at Ignite Austin.  I had met Adam for lunch with a couple of my co-workers before, but had never seen Michael that up close and personal before.  Then I went home.

I checked out the Blogger’s Lounge (sponsored by Samsung) yesterday and today and was surprised at how few people I knew there.  In just a few short years, the people I know/knew either aren’t here or aren’t at the Blogger’s Lounge.  Things and people move on fast in Internet time.

Today, I saw the keynote by Seth Priebatsch, chief Ninja at SCVNGR.  He’s something like 21 years old and dropped out of Princeton after his first year.  I was really impressed with his talk and how he delivered it especially given his age.  I think he’s someone to watch who will be doing some game changing things in the future.  It made me wish I was 21 again and knew what I knew now…how differently I would approach life and business.  He basically spoke about ways to apply a gaming layer to the world.  In other words, applying game theory to solving some of our biggest problems.  It’s not the first time to hear someone talk about this, but he presented it in a unique way.  The room was completely full and there were several overfill rooms where his talk was being simulcast.

Then I headed to the Entrepreneur’s Lounge again this evening and then to the uShip party at their new offices on 3rd and Brazos (sweet!).  I know the uShip founders from activities around the UT Austin business school and the CEO/Founder and I used to be in a Business to Consumer (B2C) group when I was running Babble Soft.  After that party, I realized my calves were killing me from all the walking around downtown in my Skechers, but my toes/feet were fine because I wasn’t wearing heels!  So I headed home to write this blog post and to see if there was a new episode of Grey’s Anatomy this past week that I could watch.

Author: | Filed under: austin technology incubator, conferences, entrepreneur | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Volunteering Made Easy
Oct 27 2010

Last weekend, my kid’s school, Magellan International, had its first Fall Festival.  We were one of the founding families of the school and it was a great event with lots of kids, booths, sno cones, dragon dancing, and pinatas.  I even got my hand painted with henna in classic Indian style.  It has made my recent business meetings quite interesting because I feel compelled to explain the ornate henna tatoo on my fingers and palms so that people don’t think I have some rare disease. 🙂  My daughter decided to get her face painted as Spiderman…but fortunately not with henna!

There are always so many things going on that are school related that I’m really impressed with the parents who coordinate events like these.  As a full time working mom, I feel like I can’t keep up most of the time so I’m grateful for the other moms & dads who get involved and organize events like these for the school.

The coordinators for this event chose to use VolunteerSpot as their tool to help organize the other parent’s contributions and activities.  I was excited they used VolunteerSpot because a friend of mine, Karen Bantuveris, is the founder of the company.  I had lunch with Karen last week and told her how I liked using the tool.  I signed up to bring paper plates and volunteered my time at one of the booths (mask making for the Brazil booth).  It was really easy to sign up and then I got an email reminder before the event letting me know what I had signed up to do.  I try to get everything on my calendar but as life and kid’s activities get more complex, I appreciate every little reminder I get.

Author: | Filed under: entrepreneurship, parenting | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments »