As many can tell you, SXSW is what you make of it. I have attended some really great conferences in the last year but none have replaced the opportunities you have to connect with uber amazing people like SXSW. Not only does Austin provide a great campus for meeting new people, SXSW gives you the timeline to make something of those opportunities. Conversations I took part in ranged from design inspiration to web education to fostering creativity on a design team. I even got in some nerdy web typography talk with Yves Peters. It was sort of fantastic.
The conversations I had and panels I watched got me thinking about a lot. Some takeaways were personal and others were themes for our industry to embrace. This is what I left with:
- Always recognize great work, especially if you wish you did it.
- Sharing takes courage, let’s promote positivity to lift our community up.
- Humble designers (& developers) are the most fun to be around.
- Respect and encourage those who really do dance like no one is looking.
- Most web designers face similar challenges, let’s work together on the solutions.
- Hard work sometimes gets buried under politics; give greatness the benefit of the doubt.
- Competitiveness between web designers is toxic. It only breeds pettiness.
- When in doubt: More cat photos.
- Worcestershire sauce might be the missing ingredient in my Bloody Marys.
- Hydration helps sleep deprivation.
- Surround yourself with people who are better than you.
- The best BBQ in SF will never come close to anything in Austin.
- The definition of innovation depends on your perspective.
- Good things happen outside of your comfort zone.
Many thanks to all the great people who shared their time with me at the event, it was all very very badass.