Headset Buddy and the Highlights of SXSW Interactive 2014

As we mentioned in Headset Buddy’s Blog last week, the Interactive portion of South by Southwest (known to many as SXSWi) is the most interesting aspect of the festival for Headset Buddy. The marketing, technology, social, and (more than anything) information-based conference is filled with numerous opportunities for learning and business expansion. However, the Music and Film portions of SXSW have begun, and that unfortunately means Interactive takes a bow and closes out. As SXSW Interactive departs, let Headset Buddy recount the highlights of another awesome tech congregation.

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Image of Edward Snowden @ SXSW from digitaltrends.com

The largest story, without a doubt, is the teleconference given by world-famous NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden on Monday, March 10th. Possibly the most talked-about and controversial keynote in SXSW Interactive’s history, Snowden’s talk – which came via satellite from his new home in Russia – centered on the theme of tech security. Major outlets from all over the U.S. covered the event. Here’s TIME:

“Why did Snowden choose to speak before SXSW Interactive’s audience of techies? ‘They’re the folks who really fix things, who can enforce our rights through technological standards, even when Congress hasn’t taken steps,’ he told (ACLU attorney Ben) Wizner. The NSA and its counterparts in other countries, he said, are ‘setting fire to the future of the internet. You guys that are in the room are all the firefighters. We need you to help fix this.’

Snowden emphasized that he isn’t opposed to government monitoring of individuals suspected of crimes, but he said that mass surveillance makes such targeting harder, not easier. He pointed out that the U.S. government failed to adequately act on warnings it received about Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the brothers accused in the Boston Marathon bombings, and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called underwear bomber.”

No matter one’s views on Snowden’s actions and ideas, this was undeniably a culturally important moment in Headset Buddy’s hometown of Austin, Texas.

Another major moment (or moments, actually) occurred over two days (March 9 and March 10) at the Swan Dive bar and live music venue. These Interactive Day Parties, officially called The Paste Interactive Studio & Lounge, featured performances from comedians and actors like Todd Barry and Melanie Lynskey. It probably got a little loud inside the Swan Dive, so a Headset Buddy communication technology product like the GOLD 2.5 MM TO 3.5 MM SMARTPHONE HEADSET ADAPTER would really come in handy between performance sets.

And HB knows that many a startup head was at the Sunday, March 9 session with rapper Nas and venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz founder Ben Horowitz. This was the latest in a continued string of mingling between the hip-hop and technology industries. The talk focused on the parallel lessons that Horowitz and Nas have learned on their way to success. COMPLEXTECH, a great website, had this REPORT:

The nature of entrepreneurship, Horowitz believed, boiled down to one simple principle: You come up with an idea that everybody thinks is stupid and go out and build it, despite the inevitability of failure.

‘Things will begin to go wrong.” he said, “You can’t worry about the mistakes, because you’re going to make a lot of them. You’ve got to be thinking about your next move.’

Nas chimed in: That’s how I saw life, in a way, I had to find an opening.’”

We hope all the attendees at SXSWi learned as much – and had as much fun – as they could. Now it’s time for Headset Buddy – and everyone else – to enjoy some music and movies.

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