If you’ve attended South by Southwest the past few years, you know three things have become staples at the mega tech conference in Austin, Texas:
- Foursquare throws a raging party.
- So does Path.
- GroupMe feeds everyone free grilled cheese sandwiches.
This year, none of those things are happening.
Foursquare is only sending a few sales people this year. Path is partied out. GroupMe’s founders are all beginning new startups, and Skype doesn’t plan to keep the GroupMe Grill going.
The event itself has become so popular (about 40,000 people), regular attendees are less-than-thrilled to go. When Wall Street Journal reporter Evelyn Rusli — a first-time SXSW attendee — asked Twitter what she needed to do there, Google Ventures investor MG Siegler wrote back: “Run.”
The lack of startup traditions at this year’s South by Southwest leaves room for new companies to steal the spotlight. Secret, the buzzy anonymous app that’s like a “Mean Girls” Burn Book for Silicon Valley, is positioned to win the week.
How? Its founder David Byttow won’t say.
When asked what event he’s planning, Byttow replied:
“If I told you, it wouldn’t be a secret.”
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