15. Live from SXSW with Elon Musk (Tesla CEO) and John Krafcik (Waymo CEO)

In this episode, Robert and Zaira travel to the South by Southwest Interactive Festival (#SXSW) in Austin, TX.  It was a very busy week. Together they saw over 30 different presentations and 20 different musical performances. The highlights include keynote speeches by Elon Musk (Tesla CEO), John Krafcik (Waymo CEO), Melinda Gates (Gates Foundation), and Ira Glass (This American Life and Serial podcasts). In this episode, we share a small part of the keynotes from Elon Musk and John Krafcik.

Waymo CEO John Krafcik at SXSW 2018. Photo courtesy of Stephen McCarthy (Creative Commons License 2.0)

As first time SXSW festival attendees, Robert and Zaira share their experiences and provide tips for others that may be interested in attending the festival in the future.

In summary, tips for SXSW include:

#1. If your primary purpose is to attend the keynotes and seminars, get an ‘interactive’ badge instead of the ‘platinum.’ The interactive badge will get you primary access to the interactive sessions and secondary access to most of the music and movies.  This tip can save you a couple of hundred dollars. alternatively, you could: a) get together four of your industry partners and submit a proposal for a panel, or b) volunteer for part of the week.

#2. Book your hotel about 9 months in advance. If you wait until January, like us, the cheapest hotels downtown are $800-$1200 for a basic hotel like the  Marriott Courtyard. We got lucky and got an AirBnB, but even those are risky. We had our original AirBnB cancel on us two months before the conference.

#3. Go with a strategic plan. Get your rest, drink your caffeine, and prepare for a lot of walking and waiting in lines.

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