If you want a fun one, maybe take a picture a day. Want a harder one? Since we're into the summer reruns on TV, why not give up TV for 30 days?
What are the trends you need to know at SXSW? You should know these four observations
Observation Set 1: In a sea of noise, new technologies emerged to foster intimacy
Observation Set 2: The Sentient World continues to emerge as appliances, cars, and body data emerge to glean intelligence
Observation Set 3: Corporate Business continues to adopt interactive technologies and their presence was felt
Observation Set 4: Hollywood appearances increased in frequency, crossing interactive and L.A.
So, later tonight I will join a line in New York to buy my iPad. Why here and not in Palo Alto?
Because I'm sensing a world shift and wanted to be here to participate in it.
What's the shift? Well, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple and the ecosystems that depend on them are increasingly going to compete on media, not on speeds and feeds.
We're already seeing this with Apple, even as it brings out a device with four times as many pixels on it that most reviewers are saying is stunning. Read those reviews at http://www.techmeme.com/120315/p42#a120315p42
These changes are underlined by Wall Street Journal reporter who says she's not buying an iPad. She isn't impressed by twice as many pixels: http://www.yukarikane.com/?p=139
I theorize that we'll get more and more bored with hardware over time and make more and more of our decisions based on the media that's available on that hardware.
New York is a leader in media, far more than San Francisco is (to highlight this tomorrow I'll be on Fox Business News talking with Varney and Company -- the network is headquartered in New York).
While walking around New York with Glancee and Highlight on today I saw just how different the communities in both places are. In San Francisco I see engineers, VCs, CEOs. Here I've seen people involved in advertising, financial institutions, and many media types. Last night I had dinner with Jeff Sica. Valley types know him as a financial manager, his firm is at http://sicawealthmgt.com/ . But he also helps make movies, including Hugo, through his involvement with New Deal Studios. He deftly switched talking about economics to talking about the next UFO movie and how the aliens were developed in it.
It's guys like Sica who are the new power players in the war between Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple and sitting with us at dinner was PR maven at Davos (she seems to know everyone who was hanging out at the Piano Bar in Davos), who got me invited to meet up with him at New York's famed private Grand Havana Room.
Sica bragged that Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, had just been there too which underscores that I'm not the only one interested in New York's shifting role in the tech industry.
It's this crossing of media, tech, finance, and startups like Foursquare that make New York so interesting. If Amazon can get movies or TV shows that iPad can't, that will make it more interesting to consumers (and vice versa).
Tomorrow I will visit as many startups as I can before hopping back on the plane to come home with my new iPad but I will be back a lot, I sense, as the ecosystems move their attention from the semiconductor-focused Silicon Valley to the media-focused homes of New York and Hollywood.
While waiting for the first iPad I met many of the developers who now are the rock stars of the iPad development world. Tomorrow it won't be apps, but media, that will get us to adopt new things and make the new rock stars of the world.
Are you sensing the same shifts going on? I hear that up in Seattle Amazon has only one company they are aiming at: Apple. They know that if Apple wins the media deals their business goes away (look at all their latest offerings, everything from eBooks to music to movies -- most of those businesses are headquartered in New York).
Anyway, meet me in line at the Fifth Avenue Store after about 3 a.m. in New York and we'll discuss this new power center more.
By the way, there's a new PR thanks to new people discovery apps Highlight and Glancee and Kismet and is hardly the only PR person on them. I have half a dozen PR folks, from +Brandee Barker (formerly of Facebook) to to quite a few agency folks on the service.
PR is all about relationships and walking around New York you can see just how powerful these new tools are. Within seconds of passing through the tunnel into New York I was chatting with an engineer at Foursquare on that service and I've found it to be bringing many interesting people, including many in media, into my life here in New York and that trend will just continue.
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My speciality helping hotels increase sales by using social technologies to provide remarkable service to their guests. (Everyone wins when we do this - travelers have more fun and hotels make more money.)
Love tea, writing, and everything related to design, art, and new media in New York, San Francisco, and Europe.
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