Tech by VICE

The SXSW 21: The 21 Thoughtfluencers Who Won #SXSW

Spring break forever? No way! SXSW4ever, yall!​

Mar 20 2015, 6:05pm

Dave Grohl at SXSW. Image: SXSW

South by Southwest is not just a world changing technology conference. It isn't just a film festival. It's more than just your standard music festival. It is the number one gathering of thoughtfluencers, influencers, and disruptive leaders of thoughts in the entire world. That's why I played a thoughtfluencing, unpaid SXSW DJ set to a room of thoughtfluncers at ​Gorilla Vs. Bear's HypeHotel #FeedTheBeat party--to reach the people who are changing the world. Every year, the world becomes more relevant based on culture's dependency on technology. Therefore, every year, SXSW becomes the center of the newest, brightest world.

In a way, we're all on a SouthBySouthQuest to think more, influence more, then lead our followers with the thoughts that we have. This year's SXSW 21 highlights some of the most important people in Austin over the past week. You're not just changing SXSW, you're changing the world.

21. The guy/girl who 'got you on the list' for a party, but then you showed up to the venue and it was at capacity.
We all want to believe that we know important people. It feels great to be 'put on the list' and have a place to go. However, sometimes your plans go wrong. You show up at the door and a bouncer who is tired of all of the SXSDbags 'thinking they deserve to be inside' tells you that there is 'no list' and the place is at capacity. You have nowhere to go. You'll go somewhere else, 'make the most of it', and feel more meaningful about life.

20. Meerkat CEO Ben Rubin
Have you heard of Meerkat? It's getting ALL the tech buzz! (but mainly because Twitter got mad at it for generating 2 much buzz). From what I understand, Meerkat is a livestreaming mobile technology. Whether or not it is useful or scalable doesn't matter. What matters is that the company got mad buzz, and they 'won' SXSW. This will ensure rounds of funding, on its way to becoming a billion dollar company.

19. Another startup that 'didn't get as much buzz' as Meerkat.
I'm not even sure how tech company app services social networks get buzz at SXSW. Do they meet the needs of the general public that aren't at SXSW? Or do all of the thoughfluencers sit in a room and decide who gets the most buzz by way of vote? I hope that they spread the buzz around so that startups didn't get sad. We're all just trying to change the world with technology, which some people refer to as the master art.

18. The bartender who is 'making mad tips' from guilty thoughtfluencers
Did you know that bartenders working open bars make 42% more than bartenders working regular pay-for-drink bars? I read a smart person's thinkfluential book, where they gave stories about humanity that illustrated humans just WANT to pay for things--it makes us feel more human. I was actually talking to a top mixologist, and he claimed that mixing drinks was the master art, so it makes sense that we value drink pouring as a service.

17. Yung Lean
This rap producer thoughtfluencer from Scandinavia is having a HUGE SouthBy. The hip hop gamechanger mogul is attracting media attention for 'being horrible.' Youth culture and old folks who still want to 'influence' culture can't help but butt heads over this controversial young star!

16. Mark Cuban
This Shark Tank hottie is more than just the smartest thoughtfluencer in the world who can prove it [via his net worth]. He's also behind the chillest app getting buzz for people who are 2 old 4 snapchat, but still want to be discreet. Move over SnapChat! Cyberdust is kicking up lots of SouthBi dust [via disappearing messages within the system that may or may not be possible to quanitify because they claims messages are never stored in the cloud]

15. The guy/girl who lives in Austin and tells people how cool it is because of 'stuff like South By' but doesn't actually go to anything SXSrelated.
Props to you for living in the amazing city of Austin, TX! You love live music, tacos, and barbecue! Stay in your apartment that isn't really close to SXSW because you've been priced out by more successful thoughtfluencers who can afford premium real estate so the festival isn't that walkable anyways.

14. A film that wants to put the SXSW logo in its film trailer.
Every year, SXSW becomes a more identifiable brand with the general American consumer. If you are an 'indie' film, you need to makes sure you put the SXSW logo at the start of your trailer because it may have more recognition than Sundance.

13. Jimmy Kimmel hack bits
Some say the art of 'going viral' and capturing the imagination of Facebook users is the master art. Utilizing the SXSW brand as a way to generate even more interest in your content is key for all online media producers. Whether or not your 'humor' is 'funny' or 'original' doesn't matter. As long as you exploit the massmarket perceptions of Texas, Austin, and SXSW, you're on your way to blue-black-gold-white-dress viral gold.

12. The guy who claims to know 'the best' Mexican food/BBQ spot.Let's face it. Barbecue is more than just meat left over smoking logs of plywood for hours. Tacos are more than just. Food may in fact be the master art. Don't feel shame in being thoughtfluenced by online content to go to a widely acclaimed barbecue/taco-asian-fusion. Part of being a thoughtfluencer is continuing to try Modern American cuisine hyped by Modern American thoughtfluencers.

10. The Austin Police Department.
What would a listicle be without thanking people who are serving the community? In a way, SXSW is sorta like 'the new Olympics' except that 'the city' gets to 'make money' because you don't have to build new ski slopes, fencing arenas, and velodromes. Instead, you can just contstruct a shanty town of tents and thoughtfluencers will feel 'grass roots' vibes [via temporary structure-waves]. Besides the Austin police, there are tons of people who work 'behind the scenes' to make our thoughtfluencing dreams a reality.

9. The employee at the front desk of a hotel dealing with people calling in asking about 'crazy rates.'
Let's face it--we're all well-traveled humans with loyalty towards hotel chain brands. We all deserve free upgrades, free parking, and more importantly, everything free. SXSW hotel prices can seem outrageous. True thoughtfluencers can use their #klout to get steep hotel discounts. Break thru the noise to utilize your inner-Groupon, scoring massive deals with the employee who is tired of every one.

8. The couple renting out their condo via AirBNBMove over hotels! AirBNB is a great way to put yourself at the bottom of the online employment pyramid after just uploading a few pictures and letting strangers rub their dead skin cells all over your bed sheets. This billion dollar company gets buzz, while you get to host fun, interesting people who thoughtfluence the world by participating in the AirBNB experience.

7. The Uber Driver who is 'making mad bank' with surge pricing.
As a thoughtfluencer, I've had many conversations with Uber drivers about their existences. They have good nights, slow nights, and more importantly, hundreds of conversations about Uber. They will appreciate the nights of the surgiest surges in the world, making them important cogs in the thoughtfluencing economy.

6. The community of Des Moines Iowa.
As a content farmer, I was searching the internet to get ideas for this disruptive article. I saw that the Des Moines Register published an article that Des Moines is at the center of SXSW. Every local community needs to claim that they are the most important community at SXSW due to the fact that 'a few local bands' are driving to Austin in a van.

5. An online content farmer who is 'excited' to 'be out in the world'
The glow of the computer leaves the skin white, pale, and disgusting. SXSW is an opportunity for a 'media member' to go 'see the world' that they cover and 'form takes' on. It can make way for a creative #longform piece about 'the journey' of SouthBi, a look into how life continues 2 change.

4. Charging Station technology developers.
Let's face it--we're all afraid of running out of battery, whether it is in our lives' or on our phones. Fortunately, during SXSW, downtown Austin has the highest chargers amount of charging stations per capita in the world. Be careful… the new realm of affordable portable chargers is sure to make the buzz marketing opportunity of 'getting thoughtfluencers to stand next to a plug with your brand by it' a way of the past.

3. The band who is aware enough to understand they are being utilized as 'free labor' and posting a Facebook post about it.
You may have read an article about thousands and thousands of bands playing SXSW. The 'sad reality' is that the vast majority of them aren't paid in money, but only the sad unmeasured analytic of 'buzz.' Eventually, a band will 'realize that there is no real point' and no quantifiable way to measure 'success' by playing free shows to people who aren't there 2 see music. The band will 'take to social media' to 'voice their anger,' which may get more buzz than just playing shows anyways.

2. The Thoughtfluencer who 'broke thru the noise' with their understanding of technology, scalability, the world, business, art, music, film, interactivity, and highlighting keynote messages. All while utilizing an HDGoPro camera.
Let's face it, some say that the art of winning SXSW is the master art. If you have the proper perceptions of the world to 'win' anything, you are a true thoughfluencing winner. You transcend listicles and online coverage. Every decision you make iss thoughtfluenceworthy. All of this is even more remarkable because they captured it with the magical HDGoPro camera.

1. You!
​Did you go to SouthBi? Did you only read about SouthBi on the internet? Whether or not you participated in SXSW, it is important to know that you are part of the organic buzz cycle. By clicking on this link [via social media], sharing it, and 'talking about' the 'festival' in any medium, you are helping the SXSW brand continue to thrive, survive, and grow. SXSW allows us all 2 be thoughtfluencers, as long as we continue to think that SXSW is influential.

Spring break forever? No way! SXSW4ever, yall!​