With the launch of Rackspace Digital last week at the W Hotel, we introduced our team of digital specialists laser focused on content, commerce and mobile. Over the weekend, as more of SXSW 2014 came alive, Rackspace deployed additional teams of specialists on the ground to engage with event goers at festival venues inside the Austin city limits.
After attending SXSW Interactive for the past two years, I’ve noticed the industry seems to be shifting away from the Age of the Apps to the Dawn of Data. Rather than focusing on that next killer application, it appears that more people are trying to tap into the data that is being gathered to create the next big thing—and companies are actively encouraging developers to do so.
Austin-based writer and artist Austin Kleon kicked off SXSW Interactive with his panel called “Show Your Work,” based on his latest book by the same title. Kleon argued that showcasing the creative process holds as much benefit for the creator as the end result. By showing your work, you are not operating in isolation, but becoming part of a scene. This community is where ideas are exchanged and valuable networks are made.
The trade show at this year’s SXSW is more international than ever before. Germany, Ireland, Canada and Argentina are all sponsoring booths to showcase their nation’s startup scene, but the Japanese expo space takes the cake.
The Startup Village is coming alive at SXSW 2014. On the 4th floor of the Austin Hilton, we’ve set up a studio to interview startups. One of the first to drop by was Felt, a new iPad app that takes the pain out of buying and selling greeting cards.
SXSW Interactive officially kicked off on Friday, but Rackspace had reason to celebrate Thursday night with a packed pool deck full of partners and customers at the W Hotel in Austin. It was there we unveiled our commitment to specialize in content, commerce and mobile with the launch party for our Rackspace Digital practice. Partygoers enjoyed great company, hors d’oeuvres, libations, music mixes, great visuals, cool swag and the chance to learn about our plans in the digital space from Rackspace specialists. It was truly a night that will be talked about long after SXSW is over.
The incredible networking opportunity is a key reason thousands of digital creatives flock to Austin for SXSW every year. There’s a certain rhyme and rhythm to making the most out of your ‘fest experience—and if you don’t have a clear strategy for success, you risk losing out on life-changing connections.