Crashing SXSW

by Larry Chiang on December 13, 2009

Larry Chiang finds comedy in how business really works. He identifies rising talent by character compassing and he identifies rising stars. His latest discovery is the amazing fluffy, kinda large and super talented, Mr. Andrew Hyde. If you liked “The Art of Changing the Deal“, “10 Things They Don’t Teach You at Business School ” and “Working a Twitter Party, Take 2″, you’ll love this guest post: “Hack SXSW”.


Larry’s book releases 09-09-09 and if Andrew buys 10 copies for TechStar entrepreneurs, Larry will break the 50 book barrier.

Andrew Hyde twitters @AndrewHyde.

He heads up TechStars in Boulder Colorado so listen to what he says about entrepreneurship, working a scene and getting acccess.

Edited by Larry Chiang

This was a guest post by Andrew Hyde

Austin, TX — March 13th — Design is Planning and Planning is Design.

Many of the tips on this blog involve the design of social situations and the ways simple social hacks can lead to great meetings and adventures.  One thing I have noticed is, although their emphasis is on design, it is rarely taught in this form.  The design in the way you network a conference (for example SXSW) is no different that the look of your business card or blog.  It is all about knowing your audience and planning accordingly.

I go to quite a few conferences a year, and have several habits for my post conference plan.  I send a hand written ‘great to meet you’ note to everyone with an address on their business card (I know, so meta-old school).  If that conference has a large amount of VC’s or entrepreneurs, I make sure the card cover has some well written startup humor from VCwear.com (a undershirt company I started to ‘solve the problem’ that VC’s undershirts are not funny).  Nothing says “I get it” more than satire.  Nothing says ‘I don’t want to pitch you’ more than wearing a shirt that says ‘Don’t Pitch Me Bro .’  We made the site as a social commentary and made it easy for people to distribute our work.  Proper planning.  Proper design.

Some of my best friends and amazing trips have come from connections doing just this.  The ‘stupid t-shirt company’ took off in a way I can’t imagine.  We still get almost daily orders for “Your Mom Is Not A Valid Test Market” and “F***, I’d Fund That .”  I have not met a VC in the last year that hasn’t been forwarded VCwear.  Know yourself, know your audience, and always put yourself in the situation where you can capitalize on chance happenings.

Creating content that others can cut and paste and become your advocate is a great strategy, that requires planning, openness and design.  The same goes for a conference, a blog, a site launch or a meeting.  Know how you are perceived, build upon this reputation in a positive way and help your friends be your advocates.

And be funny. Nobody invites a boring suit to the party.

END of guest post by Andrew Hyde

Larry Chiang is the founder of Duck9, which educates college students on how to establish and maintain a FICO score over 750. He has testified before Congress and World Bank on credit.

He is a frequent contributor to Business Week’s blog on “What They Don’t Teach You at Business School“. For fun, Larry blogs, cut and pastes bestsellers from the 80s and hoops it up at Arrillaga Center for Sports and Recreation. Text or call him during office hours 11:11am or 11:11pm PST +/-11 minutes at 650-283-8008.

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