Saturday, March 08, 2008

SXSW is getting BIG

My brother Ralph, who has lived in Austin for about 8 years while working on DSPs for ARM, kept telling me about this hip little film and music festival called SXSW. Kept trying to get me to fill out a travel request so the college could pay for me to get out there! I did not feel it appropriate, though I could stay for free with him, with no lodging costs. I kept an eye on the SXSW web site from year to year, noticing the annual increase of bands, indie films and other media events. My brother, who is a techie who also loves music, must have really enjoyed seeing this annual growth.

It appears that SXSW has gotten real big this year, reaching national prominence, with a lot of buzz on the web 2.0, as its interactive program achieved critical mass. Even Twitter has upgraded their servers and "tuned performance" in preparation for this event.

There must be some "great stuff" at SXSW, here is a clip borrowed from Read-Write-Web regarding "Lessons Learned at 37 Signals", one of my favorite companies.

Lesson 5: Question Your Work Regularly
At 37 Signals they are always asking questions to make sure they are doing the right things. Internally, this list of questions includes:

- why are we doing this?

- what problem are we solving?

- is this actually useful?

- are we adding value?

- will this change behavior?

- is there an easier way?

- what's the opportunity cost?

- is it really worth it?

Many of the above questions are relevant in our instructional technology work at the college level.

I already made plans to go to NERCOMP for a work day, and then to Fort Myers Beach area for my vacation. Next year, I'll have to look hard at going to Austin instead for both!

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