how rackspace needs to talk to people at sxsw

[Download the printable version here etc.]

“”South-By” is almost upon us, and so here I am thinking up new SXSW Interactive ideas for my client, Rackspace, who will have a presence there.

We have a basic idea what we’ll be doing- I know Scoble is involved- but that’s all still under wraps.

Nonetheless, I drew the cartoon above.

As with my usual approach, the message is less about, “This is what we do and this is how much it costs”, and more about, “We hold these truths to be self-evident”.

Think about it: Rackspace is a fast-growing company. It needs to hire really good people. Lots of them.

And to do that, it has to convince a lot these really good people to relocate to their main campus in San Antonio, Texas.

Have you ever been to San Antonio? Exactly.

Now, don’t get me wrong, San Antonio is a perfectly lovely Texas town, hugely underrated compared to say, Austin, 80 miles to the North.

But still, it isn’t one of those towns where “Everybody” goes to, like New York, Chicago, Austin or San Francisco. It’s not a capital.

So in order to get some of the best brains in the country to move there, you have to offer them something else. Affordable housing, good schools, high quality of life, high standard of living etc. etc.

But you also have to offer them, as Rackspace Chairman, Graham Weston said in 2010, the chance to be on “on a winning team, on an inspiring mission.”

People don’t go to South-By in order to buy stuff, to buy Rackspace hosting. They go there to see their friends, to commune with their tribe, and yes, to look for opportunities that allow them to play on the aforementioned winning team.

THAT is how Rackspace needs to talk to people at South-By.

Doing something that matters. On a winning team. That’s why I wrote the cartoon the way I did.

Life is short. Make it amazing.

And so there y’are…


  1. Well said ;).

    I’m a long time employee and was recently transferred to Texas from Virginia. Had a choice between San Antonio and Austin and I chose Austin right off the bat. But some times I wish I had picked San Antonio because all the passion, energy, and action are there. It’s a trade off between the two locations. I love living in Austin tho!

  2. ….same with College or Business Schools. You don’t pick the school you go to based on location. You choose the school that is the best you can get into, has an amazing reputation…where you can make an impact and get unique experience to catapult your career.
    You don’t come to RAX for San Antonio (although the cost of living, no state taxes, & culture are fab!)

  3. Yeah, spot on.

  4. I hope you show up for SXSW. If not this year, some year.



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