March 11, 2013 (4 weeks ago)
Archive for the ‘SXSW’ Category
March 7, 2013 (5 weeks ago)
[One of the e-stickers…]
The big news for us this week was, we were part of the Path 3.0 launch that just happened at SXSW.
Basically, we designed a bunch of e-stickers for the new store they built inside the app. It was a fun gig that will hopefully get our work in a different, new context. From The Next Web link above:
The stickers have been put together in collections called ‘packs’ that run $1.99 and contain a dozen or more stickers. Two packs are free with the latest update and Path says that it has worked with artists like David Lanham, Hugh Macleod and Richard Perez to make more packs that you can snag via the shop.
Very cool. Jason and I visted the their offices in San Francisco last week for the first time, just before the launch.
What struck me was how the dining tables were the most architecturally dominant part of the space. By far the largest room in the office.
There’s a reason why families have always eaten together, down the ages (and you could call a startup a ‘family’, of sorts). Sharing food is one of most important and inclusive rituals.
The “friends gathered round” idea seems to be an apt metaphor for Path itself…
Congrats to the Path team for the new launch, very exciting!
[P.S. Dave Morin, the founder and CEO of Path is also a good friend and long-time customer of gapingvoid, he’s bought a ton of art from us over the years. We also met for the first time last year at Techcrunch Disrupt. Thanks for bringing us in, Dave!]
March 19, 2012
Rackspace printed up 2,500 gapingvoid t-shirts to give away. When the doors opened at 10am, we had 50 people already waiting in line. We ran out of shirts by day’s end.
Get your awesome on, indeed…
We like creating schwag. Schwag is fun. The challenge is to actually create something that transmits REAL MEANING to people. Otherwise you’re just adding to the slush-pile.
And it’s the slush-pile that kills most businesses in the end, schwag or no schwag.
March 10, 2012
March 11, 2011
[The view of Trade Show Booth # 345 – 347 etc.]
[This is my official landing page for SXSW. I’ll be keeping it at the top of my homepage for the duration…]
I will be spending most of my time at the trade show booth. That’s the best place to find me. Booth # 345 – 347.
12.10 pm. Book singing at the Barnes & Noble stand.
4.00pm My old highschool buddy, the director, Dave Mackenzie has a film premier I’m going to.
Lunch. Barbecue with Scoble, Tony Hsieh and Rackspace…
NB. I’m writing this on the hoof, so if it all looks a wee but incomplete. Too busy running around, trying to see Everybody…
January 24, 2011
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…
March 16, 2010
To mark the occasion we created nine prints, “The SXSW 2010 Series”. We were showing them at the trade show booth and yeah, they were selling like hot cakes.
Anyway, if you had a great time at SXSW ’10 (like I did) this print series will make for great little souvenirs. Rock on.
March 13, 2010
Spent the first day talking to people and signing drawings. Feel free to stop by my trade show boot # 1302 and say “Hello”…
March 10, 2010
Tomorrow I head for Austin, for the annual 5-day drunken orgy that is South By South West Interactive. Here are some thoughts:
1. SXSW is the only “MUST ATTEND” event on my calendar. It’s the one show I never miss, ever. Unless you’ve already been, it’s hard to convey JUST HOW MUCH more fun, interesting and full of business opportunities it is, compared to other shows. I can’t emphasize enough, if you’re into the Internet, just how much you’re missing out if choose not to attend. Sure, the price of going [entry fee, plane fare, hotel bill, taxi rides etc] might be quite daunting for some of us, but compared to the business and networking you could EASILY end up doing there, that cost is minuscule.
2. So you thought last year was crazy? Last year had ten thousand attendees. I heard on good authority from somebody inside the org that this year’s numbers have doubled. Hope you got a good hotel booking.
3. I’m on a panel on Monday. I hope you’ll come see us. All the other panelists are good friends of mine, so it should be fun…
4. I’ll be signing books. Barnes & Noble will have a little micro store on the fourth floor of the convention center, selling books written by some of the attendees. I’ll be there to sign copies of “Ignore Everybody” on Monday, March 15th at 5.20pm. My signing will last for 30 minutes.
5. Free Booze! Free Sex! A lot of companies sponsor parties, so as long as you have a pass, it’s pretty easy to go the entire five days without ever paying for a single drink or meal. Plus with all the young singles everywhere, everybody’s trying to get laid. X-thousand geek twenty-somthings trying to hook up en masse is pretty entertaining to watch. By Sunday or Monday everybody’s a basket case.Which is why the veterans are always telling the newbies, “Pace Yourself”.
6. Creating an island of calm in a sea of bodies. It’s going to be a madhouse this year, so to make ourselves easier to find, gapingvoid has hired a trade show booth for the event. If you want to meet up, that’s where you can find me. I’ll be selling art, doing business, signing drawings and exchanging business cards. My focus this year will be much more about business, than my usual hallway wanderings.
7. I’m better organized, this time. Pretty much all the parties and events I’m planning to attend are already in my calendar. In past years I just turned up and went with the flow. It was exhausting after about three days. Never again.
9. SXSW makes me proud to be Texan. I’ve seen this a lot: People come to Texas for the first time to attend SXSW, and “fall in love with the barbecue”. Texas has always been a very misunderstood State, if you ask me. SXSW does a great job of helping to fix that, at least with my crowd.
March 15, 2009
March 23, 2008
[Cathedral Mountain, 6,122ft. Picture taken bu my father, about 20 miles South of Alpine, Texas.]
It’s been just over a week since I got back to Alpine after SXSW Interactive. Here are some random notes.
1. I’ve not much to report, to be honest. I’ve deliberately been living as slowly and quietly as possible. I think a lot of us are still recovering from SXSW.
2. I have no idea how long I will stay in Alpine. All that I know is that I don’t want to leave right now. I have no plans of going anywhere else, except on business.
3. It looks like I found me an office. Sul Ross [the local university] rents out some office units as part of some sort of “Entrepreneur Center” program that they’re running. Fax, photocopier, all that good stuff. Cost: about $150 dollars a month.
4. Housing is not a problem, either. I was staying with my dad and stepmom, but recently I moved into a cheap and cheerful motel. Hotels, Motels and rented places go for between $500 and $1000 a month, which after London and New York, is not something that worries me too much. Housing prices are about $80-$150K, which again, compared to what I was used to seeing in Europe, is peanuts.
5. If I decide to stay for a long time, I’ll need to buy me a car. I’m thinking a used pickup truck, the kind that runs forever. The local classified ads are awash with them. In the meantime, I just placed an order for a new Raleigh from the local bike shop. The town is pretty flat, and only two miles at its widest, so getting around isn’t much of a problem.
6. Dad and I had a fun time a few days ago, driving up to Odessa, Texas, 140 North East of here. He had a doctor’s appointment up at the Medical Centre there, and I had to go to the Social Security office to get me a new copy of my Social Security card, in order that I could reapply for my old Texas driver’s license. Including the wait in line, I was in and out of the office inside ten minutes, I kid you not. Could you imagine how long that would have taken had I been in New York, London, or Paris?
7. About thirty miles North of Alpine you start leaving the mountains and start entering the cotton fields. Flat landscapes that seem to go on forever, interrupted only by telegraph poles. They’re growing some cotton up there, but a lot of the field are not being currently used– the current high price of oil makes running the irrigation machinery prohibitive. A bit further North and you start entering oil country ands the Odessa environs. Oil Derrecks, Pumpjacks, and lots of semi-ghost town with disused mobile homes and spare parts lying around the place. It takes a lot more people to set up the oil fields than it takes to maintain them, so abandoned dwellings are a pretty common sight.
8. Up in this part of the world [50 – 100 miles North of Alpine] the one thing you don’t see is a lot of cattle. There simply isn’t enough water for them in those parts, so I’m told.
9. Once you enter oil country you are immediately hit by the rather unpleasant smell of the oil and gas fields. The locals like the smell, though. “Smells like money,” as they like to say.
10. There’s not much I can tell you about Odessa. On first impression, it’s not a pretty place. About 100,000 people. Pick-up trucks, Strip malls, bungalows, oil industry stuff and little else. The aforementioned medical center and the current high price of oil seem to be the main economic engine.
11. We never made it to Midland, the next town over from Odessa, about 30 miles East. That’s where George W. Bush calls home. I’m told it’s not too different from Odessa, only a bit more upscale; Generally it’s regarded as the nicer town of the two. This is where you catch a plane if you’re heading East, from Midland-Odessa airport. If you’re heading to the West Coast from Alpine, you fly out of El Paso.
12. While Dad went for his doctor’s appointment, after I had gotten my Social Security business settled, to my delight I found a Starbucks only a block or two away. So I ordered my usual Grande Latte, hooked up my computer to the internet and entered the same world I enter when I’m in Alpine, New York or London. The internet has become the great leveler for me.
13. Though hardly the most authentic place in the world, if you want cheap and cheerful Italian cuisine in Odessa, you could do a lot worse than go to Corino’s. The people there are pretty friendly.
14. My intention is, once I get settled [Place to live, office, car, driver’s license etc], my plan is to go into overdrive for a couple of months. I have a lot of work needing done.
15. Happy Easter, Everybody!
March 12, 2008
[Me wearing my “thug hat” at the very groovy “Marketing without Marketing” panel Dave Parmet put together for SXSW. Details here. Nice to see Tara Hunt et al in such excellent form].
I got back to Alpine, Texas late last night utterly exhausted, but woke up this morning totally feeling like a million dollars, very glad to be back.
Since I left Alpine on February 26th, my travels have taken me to San Francisco, San Jose, Miami, New York, New Jersey, Miami and Austin. Anyone who follows my Twitter feed will know it’s been fun and interesting times.
But now, as they say in Scotland, it’s “Back to old clothes and porridge”. Got a lot of work on my plate. My original plan was to return to England after these travels, but I think I’ll stay in Alpine instead for the next wee while, and finish off this one big writing project that’s been taking up a lot of my brainspace these days.
Alpine has everything I need at the moment. Peace and quiet, a decent cafe and a university library where it’s easy to get a lot of work done. So that’s me for now. Rock on.
March 8, 2008
[Valleywag blogged this Hughcard yesterday. Rock on.]
I’m blogging this from the Bloghouse here at SXSW Interactive.
Come on by and I’ll draw you an original “Hughcard”.
We’re on Level 3, Room Seven. It’s already filling up with people so come soon.
March 7, 2008
[The SXSWi 2008 schwag bag, designed by Yours Truly. Photo courtesy of Laughing Squid.]
Arrived in Austin late last night for the SXSW Interactive Conference. Blogging light for the next couple of days– so is Everybody Else, it seems. It’s only jsut beginning and already it’s going crazy [in a good way].
The way to keep up with it all is to follow people on Twitter. You can follow me here, you can follow the Bloghaus gang here, and there’s a SXSWi central Twitter aggregator over here on Hashtags.
March 5, 2008
I’m writing this from the comfort of my friend’s condo in South Beach, Miami. Chilling here for a couple of days.
Tomorrow I’m headed for Austin for the annual SXSW Interactive conference, probably the most fun conference in America. Then I’m headed back to Alpine, Texas on Tuesday, where I’m going to be staying for the next wee while, finishing off a large writing project that I’ve been working on.
My decision to go to Austin was pretty last-minute, so I haven’t really made any big plans. I’ve been invited to speak on a couple of panels, the details of which are still be worked out. The other thing I plan on doing is hanging around the Bloghaus for most of the duration, drawing cartoons live and handing them out to people. So if you’re in town and fancy an original “Hughcard”, come pay me a visit. Details here on Stephanie Agresta’s blog.
SXSW is usually a bit of a madhouse, so the best way to keep track of what I’m doing, as always, is to follow me on Twitter.
See y’all in Texas!