Photo: Boonsri Dickinson, Business Insider
Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh was riding a bus around downtown Austin during SXSW.The bus was called the Happiness Bus, and went from party to party. Hsieh organised the group by yelling into a megaphone at various stops along the way.
When we took a ride, on board were the founders of Second Life and SecondMarket, employees of Zappos, as well as other entrepreneurs from San Francisco and Las Vegas.
The bus had two long benches for sitting, leaving lots of walking (and dancing) room down the centre. There was a fully stocked bar in the back. Pop music playing played loudly, and the disco lights set the mood.
Someone pulled out a lightsaber…it was the ultimate nerd party. (We got a photo, but the light was bad.)
But the real craziness went down the next night.
A source told us the plan was to visit a mansion in Texas.
Apparently, the bus broke down on the way to video game developer Richard Garriott’s house. This meant that about 50 drunk people climbed up the hill to Garriott’s place.
On the upside, it was an adventure and they got to work off all the calories from drinking.
When they arrived, they got a tour of the house (see the picture to the right). It had trapdoors and one of the largest collections of automata — non-electric machines that are designed to move like animals or humans.
The game entrepreneur even had his own observatory. In the basement there was a real human skull. Garriott is obsessed with Halloween.
Garriott’s indoor and outdoor pool was amazing. After about an hour or so, a shuttle arrived to pick up the SXSW entrepreneurs.
Well, that wasn’t a bad place to be stranded!
The SXSW bus is a smaller version of Hsieh’s big Happiness tour bus. It traveled around the United States when he was promoting his book, Delivering Happiness.