Heading to Austin after a night of 4 hours sleep.
Thoughts on how to do sxsw and most any conference
– don’t expect it to change your life. Go in with reasonable expectations of what it can do for your career. This starts with defining what you do expect.
– it is better to meet 3 people that you will stay in touch with than to meet 80 people who will not remember you
– it is better to make friends with people you enjoy hanging out with than to get to know someone simply because of their position. Great if you can do both, but the personal connection is far more important than the potential opportunity
-your personal interests and quirks , your story and personality are going to be far more engaging and memorable than your list of facts and accomplishments.
– be a person. Ambition clouds personality. It’s ok to have both but personality endures. Ambition, by its nature, is never satisfied.
– know your limits and push them. Know when to say no
– it is better to be the first to leave (and possibly miss something) than to stay too long (and possibly ruin it)
– maintain a sense of humor. Nothing smells like classless ambition than being over serious. If you go to a conference, you’ve already demonstrated that you’re serious. The trick is to be serious and still have fun.
– don’t feel compelled to do everything
– don’t be afraid to go out alone. It is often the best way to meet new people
– remember to listen. Ask questions. Stay humble. Learn things. It is easier to learn by asking questions and listening than by talking
– there are many people out there that know things you don’t. Learn from them.
– ask questions. Of others. Of yourself. Constantly ask yourself where you would like to be and how to get there. Ask for directions if you know the answer to the first but not the second