You'll find many things at the Interactive Festival at South by Southwest in Austin, TX: robots with artificial intelligence, the latest advancements in healthcare technology and Grumpy Cat. This year there was also an entrepreneurial theme coming from people at the conference. Here's the best advice we heard at SXSW from those who have made it.
  1. Get in the ring!
    That's always the first and hardest step. Encouraging advice from Alison J. Herzog, Dell's Marketing Director of Global Social Business & Digital Strategy.
  2. To build a strong team, make sure it's diverse.
    Kevin O'Leary echoed this comment. "Not some of my returns, all of my returns, have come from companies owned and runned by women."
  3. Focus on voice when building your brand.
    In the digital landscape it's these voice-driven publishers that are doing well, Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff said at a panel with CNBC’s Julia Boorstin. “In order to build a brand, you have to build identity. In order to build identity, you have to have a good story."
  4. Be able to do these 3 things when asking for investment money.
    1. Articulate your idea in 90 seconds or less 2. Explain why you are the right person to execute on the project 3. Know your numbers "If you are asking for money, you should be wearing a tie," he added.
  5. Hire good social people.
    This advice has not been included in this list just because it is written by a social producer. It was solid advice given by Kevin O'Leary and Tim Love. ""Marketing' has gone from marketing to social media," Love said.
  6. Be nice online.
    Part of the vetting process Mark Cuban puts candidates through is a sweep of their online accounts. How do they interact and respond to people on social? "How you review a restaurant says a lot about a person," he said.
  7. Make your Snapchat experience personal.
    If there's anything we learned from Snapchat influencers like Metz044 or AaronFPS, it's that you have to turn the camera on yourself and create that authentic, creative, one-on-one experience.
  8. Give your inner critic a name.
    Author and Tedx speaker Jackie Huba has an idea for managing that voice in your head that's always negative. Give it a name, like Felicia. That way when it starts back up again, you can just say, "Bye Felicia!" And move forward!
  9. Expect the unexpected.
    The stars of Mr. Robot weren't expecting to see such success with the show. Now that they've made it, they're still pretty grounded.