The day kicked off with more sunshine and UKTI sponsored roundtables attended by Google, Twitter, Microsoft, Pepsi and Discovery – we each had 45 minutes with top 2 choices – I met with Pepsi and Twitter.
– Josh Karpf at Pepsi told us how they are actively investing in tech / development as a means of keeping up with what was going on and give back to the community. They really seemed to be following a test and learn philosophy and he claimed it was working well for the brand with new work coming out soon.
– April Underwood at Twitter explained how Twitter was going to be opening up to developers and developing partnerships with brands, publishers and content providers as well as users – loads happening – “watch this space” was her leaving comment.
The afternoon truly demonstrated the awesomeness SXSW for me.
It started with Ray Kurzweil and Lev Grossman who spoke about “Expanding our Intelligence Without Limit”#SXIQEpand which covered Watson, Siri, Google driverless cars, and other AI examples.
Then came Biz Stone – co founder and Creative Director of Twitter – talked about “Content as a means for social change”#SXContentAs – he essentially told us the story of Twitter in his words and some interesting perspectives on how to develop a great new company.
As if this wasn’t enough as a push for their new synching of AMEX cards with 4Square a one off concert was held in Austin featuring Jay Z and despite only having a UK card (which is currently exempt) as an prodigious UK tweeter and supposed influencer they gave me 2 tickets to the concert. The subtle branding and no mentions of AMEX and a 90 minute set was a great testimony to the brand’s commitment to rewarding their customers – the concert was as expected amazing.
The evening ended as the segue way to the music part of the festival at The British Embassy Bar where we watched the UKTI host some hugely talented bands from Northern Ireland.