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In Austin, Design, And Everything Else, Is Hot

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Three ways we knew we were on the way to SXSWi:

1. “Well, she’s got two blogs” was what the gentleman two seats away from us said to the woman three seats away from us on the plane from LAX.

2. Ran into some AIGA/LA pals at the baggage claim in Austin. As well as some fluorescent-clad hipsters chatting with a guy dressed as a pirate.

3. As we passed The Landing Strip, a gentleman’s club located a few blocks from the airport, our cabbie started text messaging while he was driving.

It’s hot and moist down here but in an endearing Midwest-in-the-spring kind of way. In addition to the chartreuse buds of deciduous trees, however, there are palm trees, cacti, and bats.

What we missed was described to us as some pretty inspirational opening remarks, with Coudal and Fried (is that some kind of English breakfast dish?) talking about, really, how to go out on your own. Their focus for the conference represents a bit of a departure from years before. In the past, SXSWi has been all about tech tools, or CSS, or web standards; this year it’s about creating successful design-based interactive businesses.

We love that.

Over El Agave margs at Iron Cactus, we ran into Jim Coudal–he sends his best, whiskey-and-coffee drinker of the north–who said it was a great audience.

Off to play with the frog design kids. We’ve got a lot of catching up to do, so stay tuned.

Listen to the Coudal and Fried podcast.

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