by Wenxiang Wu
At the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival, Zopim (www.zopim.com), a leading provider of cloud-based Customer Engagement solutions, will hijack the city of Austin, TX to sow the seeds of customer love.
Leveraging SXSW attendees' infamous love for the fun and wacky, "The Support Grinch", a superbad green monster will be unleashed onto the streets on 9th March 2012. He will terrorize innocent civilians with his unsanitary vocabulary, outrageous hairdo and evil smirk.
Fortunately, his green Achilles' Heel is well-documented - the Support Grinch hates hugs. This SXSW, join hands with thousands of heroes on HugTheGrinch.com to hunt the Grinch down. Snap photographic evidence of your loving heroics, and stand a chance to win great prizes, including the ultimate MacBook Air, sponsored by the customer lovers from Zopim!
Very much like the free hugs movement, our goal is to spread spontaneous fun and happiness at SXSW through this mobile game that we conceived in our spare time over the past two weeks.
Linking back to our business, customer engagement software is only part of the equation for customer happiness. We see our users inject great passion, humor and spontaneity when using Zopim to chat with their customers. This reinforces our belief that true customer joy can only be delivered when people within the organization are truly happy, in line with the values of the Delivering Happiness movement.
Aside from this fun HugTheGrinch side project, our full time job is building amazingly simple customer engagement tools. Our award winning flagship product - Zopim Live Chat - has helped more than 35,000 online businesses wow their customers through real time chat engagement. With Zopim, our customers are happily targeting high-value website visitors, chatting directly with customers, building great relationships and increasing brand equity, everyday.
by Eric Ries
The Lean Startup debuted at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list. This talk draws on stories and insights from the book, explaining the new science of entrepreneurship. Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable. The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched. Eric Ries defines a startup as an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty. This is just as true for one person in a garage or a group of seasoned professionals in a Fortune 500 boardroom. What they have in common is a mission to penetrate that fog of uncertainty to discover a successful path to a sustainable business. The Lean Startup approach fosters companies that are both more capital efficient and that leverage human creativity more effectively. Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, it relies on “validated learning,” rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counterintuitive practices that shorten product development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want. It enables a company to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute.
In June 2011, Vivek Wadhwa wrote that we need a black Mark Zuckerberg. But, what about Markia? Is it hard to imagine that the next big thing could come from a Black woman living in an urban environment instead of one of Indian or Asian descent? What about a woman with Spanish as her first language? Where are the Black, Latino, and female Mark Zuckerbergs? There are plenty of underrepresented minorities and women who have achieved success in the tech field, but not to the level of a Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs. It is a mission impossible or more like improbable?This is not a session that will re-hash and re-frame this familiar problem. This session will present out-of-the-box-thinking solutions to address the issue of diversity head on. It will also present challenges to and action items for attendees that will help to move the needle forward to truly increase diversity in the tech community.
This workshop session is taught by Black Founders Startup Ventures. Black Founders Startup Ventures was founded to increase the success of black entrepreneurs in tech through educational workshops and events. What is little known about Black Founders is the stories of its co-founders and how helping others has led to a path of opportunity for their own independent tech startups. Meet the co-founders of Black Founders, a coder, lawyer, marketing guru, and product guy, and learn how their contributions to their community has ultimately taught them to be better entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurs often look their own backyard for the right customers and business partnerships to launch their businesses- yet many times, the best opportunity for sales or collaboration are with business people in other countries. Kevin Koym, Founding Partner of Tech Ranch Austin, and Leonardo Maldonado, Founder of Region Fertil in Antofagasta, Chile, understand this well, for both have supported the teaming together of entrepreneurs in the US, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Honduras, and Panama. Kevin and Leonardo will share their approach giving economic development focused community leaders and entrepreneurs a chance to build a framework for success to get ventures off the ground faster and take them further than they ever could on their own.
During this session, Steve Case, one of America’s most iconic entrepreneurs, and Tim O’Shaughnessy, CEO and co-founder of LivingSocial, will explore the role entrepreneurship plays in launching some of the world’s fastest growing businesses. As LivingSocial’s first investor, Steve (and his investment firm, Revolution) was one of the earliest believers in the transformative power of local commerce. Tim will share his experience working with early investors and building one of today’s most promising new companies, as well as his vision for how LivingSocial is poised to bring local commerce to a new level. And looking more broadly, Steve will talk about his efforts to support entrepreneurs through his investments at Revolution, as chair of the Startup America Partnership and a member of the President’, and what we can all do to tap into “America’s secret sauce” to ensure that the US continues to be a leader in innovation and growth.
by Drew Houston
Drew Houston, CEO and Co-Founder of Dropbox, has led Dropbox's growth from a simple idea to a service millions around the world rely on – a modern day Network Effect. From the classic example of the telephone to today’s social networks, every so often a new medium grows from obscurity to ubiquity because the more people that use it, the more enticing it becomes. That nearly 60% of adults online own at least two Internet connected devices not only increases the capacity of sharing but creates a need for it. In this session, Drew will sit down with a well-known tech influencer to discuss how to take a need in the market and turn it into a service so fundamental to people’s everyday lives, that it encourages them to recommend and share it with everyone.
If you’re an artist or work for a young arts organization, you run a start-up. A start-up where the product is culture, the audience is becoming more and more segmented by age, and the metrics for success are hard to come by. Lots of rewards and just as many challenges, right?
In this session we'll discuss the triumphs and challenges encountered once we turn a passion project into something bigger--fundraising, developing business models, audience building, and collaborations--to name a few. This Core Conversation provides the venue you need to problem-solve and idea-share with others. Not involved in the arts but starting something new in another industry? Join us anyway! A lot of what we’ll discuss will cross over to other genres.
by Shahed Khan
Entrepreneurship has been growing exponentially, Teen Entrepreneurship has been rising alongside. What motivates teens to start their companies at such a young age? I would like to share the statistics of successful teen entrepreneurs who started at an early age, and encourage younger entrepreneurs to start pursuing their dreams at an early age.
You've seen his films, bought his DVDs and followed him on Twitter.
You know him as an actor, writer, director and founder of View Askew Productions and the SModcast Podcast Network. He's also the author of bestselling books and smash-hit comics. Kevin Smith has built a highly successful and profitable media empire over the course of his career, and he's done it on his own, sometimes-controversial terms.
In the realm of Direct-To-Fan Marketing, Kevin Smith's only true peers are Radiohead, Trent Reznor and the PIXIES. His true super power is the ability to think and act like a fan — a skill he's used to build a loyal audience that sticks with him across all manner of projects and platforms.
Moderator Bob Moczydlowsky, VP of Product Marketing for Topspin, will lead a discussion with the polarizing-but-never-boring entrepreneur on the ins and outs of direct-to-fan marketing, the disruption of Red State's 2011 release and his future beyond filmmaking.
Don't miss "The Business of Kevin Smith."
Startup Village brings together the startups, entrepreneurs, investors, and cutting-edge digital tastemakers within the 2012 SXSW Festival. You are invited to come network with others interested in startups Monday, March 12 from 4:30pm-5:30pm. The Meet Up Pavilion provides a space for representatives in media, technology, and capital to interact within the greater Trade Show floor. Startup Village at the Meetup Pavilion cuts across all of the industries present in Austin for SXSW (Music, Interactive and Film).
In the strange new world of micro-entrepreneurship, roaming, independent publishers operate from Buenos Aires and Bangkok. Indian bloggers make $200,000 a year. Product launches from one-man or one-woman businesses bring in $100,000 in a single day, causing nervous bank managers to shut down the accounts when they don't understand what's happening. Oddly enough, many of these unusual businesses thrive by giving things away, recruiting a legion of fans and followers who support their paid work whenever it is finally offered. How is this possible? And how is this model different from all other Internet businesses? *** To be published by Crown/Random House in May 2012, 'The $100 Startup' is based on a comprehensive, multi-year study, and is accompanied by the world's first 7-continent book tour. This session at SXSW will be the first public presentation of the data.
Network with fellow female music professionals who have the drive and the ideas to create substantial art. Support and competition are not mutually exclusive. If only the strong survive, a strong network can help you thrive in the music industry. Come find that network at the Meet Up Pavilion in the SXSW Trade Show.
9th–13th March 2012