Some thoughts following the blur that was SXSW Interactive 2012:

  • I very much agree with the sentiment that "nobody won SXSW" this year, but I also don't think you can expect that every year.  Twitter "won" the conference in 2007.  4sq arguably stole the show in 2009.  GroupMe "won" in 2011.  In my mind, the latter won it only because the tech press had to give the title to *someone*.  But also look at the years… in the even years nobody "won" at all per se.  You don't have a  "press-designated" winner every year and this year was no different.
  • Location-based services proved again that their primary use case is in places where a lot of people are in the same place at the same time.
  • Interesting to me that Facebook, Apple, Twitter, and Square… amongst others… had little/no presence at SXSW.  A few folks wandering around but no "presence".
  • Again, the action for startups was in the hallways and backroom meetings, small group VIP events, etc.  The action for enterprise folks remains in the sessions and in the private parties, where basic education takes place.  I don't mean that to sound bad, but it's almost two different shows depending on why you're there.

Looking forward to a great show in 2013!