It's time to find a better way to measure the success of SXSW than whether it launched the next Twitter or Fuelband.
To that point, I've got a post about that now in Ad Age:
With so much anticipation for South by Southwest (SXSW), how can it possibly deliver on the hype? If you're obsessed with coming away having annointed the "next big thing" it most certainly won't, but then you'd be missing the point. It's fashionable to declare SXSW "over" every year, but I actually think it's even bigger and more important than people realize. But to get value out of it you have to start looking for the small things.
Last year the big stuff at SXSW was easy to identify. It was the year the Nike Fuelband launched, which became a hot, mainstream consumer product. It was the year American Expressconnected its Sync program to Twitter, making a company founded in 1850 one of the pioneers of social commerce; sponsoring a free concert by Jay-Z helped too. It was the year that an agency turned homeless people into WiFi hot spots, leading Jon Stewart to remark on his show, "So rather than train people to become computer workers, we're training them to become computer equipment." Events just don't get much more memorable.
So what really matters? Read on in Ad Age.