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This past weekend, Mike Schwartz and Lauren Smith from the Alliance team attended the SXSW Conference in Austin, TX. Each year, thousands descend upon the beautiful “Silicon Hills” for SXSW Interactive. The city was buzzing with startup pitches, happy hours, parties, barbecue, and networking. 

The Alliance team embraced the opportunity to support our member companies and connect with potential new members. Our jam-packed schedule included stops along 6th Street, parties on Rainey Street, and of course the renowned Driskill Hotel. Along the way, we shared laughs and drinks with Twilio, Microsoft, Flurry, BlackBerry, AT&T, American Airlines, Hinge, Salesforce, Sendgrid, PromoJam, PayPal, Techzulu, Techweek Chicago, and many more. 

If for nothing else, SXSW is great because of serendipitous moments with like-minded folks. You never know who’s in the same room, or even standing right next to you, until you ask.

Here are a few of our highlights: 

AT&T and American Airlines Travel Hackathon
One of the more interesting presences at SXSW was American Airlines. The company has taken an unmistakable interest in one of their most important - and fastest growing - customers: startups and SMBs. The airline opened its dataset to developers in the official hackathon with AT&T. 

BlackBerry House
Found at 78 Rainey Street, BlackBerry took over a house for the entire weekend (and continuing all this week) to demo their new BB10 platform. The house was constantly buzzing with folks testing out some of the amazing new BB10 features, and enjoying some delicious food while waiting for one of BlackBerry’s SXSW 2013 t-shirts. We were thoroughly impressed with the features that the phones have to offer. 

Techzulu Trend Lounge
Our team spent quite a bit of time on the 18th floor of the beautiful Hilton Garden Inn. The team from Techzulu hosted three day’s worth of interviews, panels, presentations, and pitches from the Techzulu Trend Lounge. 
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The Alliance was at FailCon in San Francisco yesterday. FailCon is a one-day conference for technology entrepreneurs, investors, developers and designers to study their own and others' failures and prepare for success. 
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The Alliance's Sr. Advisor for Policy and Law, Tim Sparapani, is in Uruguay this week for the 34th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners.
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"I am not sure that I ever chose to "start" coding; it’s something that I have just fallen into."
Meet our Developer of the Week Brendon Schenecker who designs apps for Travel Vegas. Read more about his app industry predictions for the future and his work for Travel Vegas at http://bit.ly/TbGfOY
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Last week, the Alliance attended LAUNCH Festival in San Francisco, CA. The event featured over 5,000 registered attendees all huddled in the San Francisco Design Concourse and swarming booths to see the newest and most interesting apps, devices, and ideas.

The event brought together hundreds of companies, ranging across industries and stages of growth. Throughout the event you could interact with robots showing off their “people skills,” hear pitches flying from dozens of mouths on the next big storage solution, and watch apps and services bravely demo their companies in front of an audience and panel of experienced judges; including Alliance board member Robert Scoble. The concourse floor was filled with more than 250 companies, each with an eager founder ready to share his or her vision. We could spot the little guys starting out and the ones who knew their products were great. 

We watched as these companies rotated, first explaining their products and then receiving feedback from the panel on stage. Some were praised, others were torn down. It definitely takes confidence and courage to stand in front an audience of nearly 1,000 people and potentially hear that your idea just isn’t good enough. 

Here are a few of our favorites:
Ubooly (http://www.ubooly.com/)
Ubooly is an interactive app for kids. It responds to voice and touch, answering questions and also playing learning games. The app is for iPhone, with your phone fitting into a plush toy, making it kid-friendly.

Instant API (http://www.instantapi.co/)
Instant API is a FREE way to create, integrate, and published APIs. 

Chipotle Labs (http://chipotlelabs.com/)
Chipotle Labs is a mobile app development shop. Their app Instaplayer is available in the App Store.

Attachments.me (https://attachments.me/)
Attachments.me allows users to share and organize your files and documents from web, mobile and Gmail.

Launch Festival is just a snapshot of the highly-competitive startup market. Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or knee-deep in building a company, understanding your fit in the market is key. You can find great resources for turning your ideas into businesses in DevsBuild.It.
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Research by the Application Developers Alliance and CTIA (The Wireless Association) was included in Rep. Anna Eshoo's op-ed in The San Jose Mercury News on tech and the election: http://www.siliconbeat.com/2012/11/05/anna-eshoo-on-what-this-elections-means-to-silicon-valley/
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Tim Sparapani shared this photo from the conference he is attending in Uruguay this week. 
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Social media and mobile devices are adding a whole new dimension to the retail experience. According to new research by Symphony Teleca, 64% of smartphone owners shop online using their device. Check out this infographic via Mashable athttp://on.mash.to/P8q9dB 

What websites do you shop on with your smartphone? Share your comments below. 
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The average developer is not who you might think. We released a study with GigaOM that surveyed Alliance members and a wide audience of developers. The study found that the average developer is a well-educated, mid-30s professional who works at a small firm and mostly builds paid apps. Read the rest of the study at http://bit.ly/OZJRIC
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The Voice of the Industry
Introduction
We are a non-profit industry group founded to serve developers, the people who power and expand the world through software.

We work to ensure that developers have the tools, network, and policy environment they need to innovate. We champion the work that developers do through every channel open to us.

Join the thousands of developers and corporate partners who are working together for the benefit of the apps industry nationwide. Why join us?

Network: Access to a network of corporate partners and developers
 
Policy: A voice with legislators and regulators
 
Services: Information and discounts on tools that support developers
 
Events: Networking opportunities, education, and professional development