SXSW: March 14 2015

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It’s another beautiful day in the SXSW neighborhood. The city and the conference are really crowded now. I didn’t get to as many sessions today due to several factors: I was still tired from yesterday, I took time to eat real meals, and I attended two Film events, each lasting about two hours.

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Pardon the Disruption: Steve Case on Entrepreneurs
Steve Case, the founder of AOL, spoke about the history and the future of the Internet. His   job as Director of Pizza Development for Pizza Hut led to his interest in online services. He views AOL as the Internet’s “first wave” and noted that it was illegal for most people to connect to the Internet before 1992. He explained that AOL believed in community and thought that people were really the “killer app.” Since 2000, the “second wave” focus has been on content, and building apps. Steve thinks the next wave will be more disruptive to businesses, and will focus on areas such as health care and education. His predictions for upcoming trends include capital for all startups, re-emergence of strategic partnerships, social benefit corporations, and regional and global entrepreneurship.

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Angie Tribeca
SXSW hosted the world premiere of this new TV show. Today’s audience was lucky enough to see the first two episodes. Rashida Jones stars as an LA police detective named Angie Tribeca, and her partner, Jay Geils, is played by Hayes MacArthur. Steve Carrell and his wife Nancy are the show’s executive producers. These four, plus writer Ira Ungerleider, participated in a Q&A session after the screening. This show reminded me of Get Smart with its slapstick humor. The first season has just finished filming and will air on TBS later this year.

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PayPal Duel
The Austin Convention Center has several break areas set up for SXSW attendees. The PayPal Lounge, hidden in an upper-floor corner of the building, is a good place to grab coffee, water, and snacks. I happened to be there at the start of a session to award  $30,000 to a start-up business. The judge was Daymond Johns from the TV show, Shark Tank. (You can just barely see him in front of the cameras above.) Since the room was so crowded, I didn’t stay too long.

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Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine
This documentary about the late Steve Jobs was directed by Alex Gibney. (Last week Bill and I also saw him at a screening for another of his upcoming movies, Going Clear.) The film traces Jobs’ life from childhood, through college, his founding of Apple, his years with Pixar, his return to Apple, and his death in 2011. It’s an honest look at his many accomplishments as well as his personal shortcomings.

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