Not spending the weekend at SXSW Interactive feels gnawing and incomplete. I am a tech entrepreneur, after all. Shouldn’t I be running around 6th Street, badge dangling around my neck, iPhone out, tweeting #SXSWi hash-tags all day.
The answer is probably. I’m pretty sure that I missed out this year, especially given the panels by such Thought Leaders as Gary V and Ramit Sethi, not to mention missing any opportunity of carousing with Jonas and Kevin.
Why am I not at SXSW this weekend? What’s the real reason?
The real reason is that I don’t own an iPhone, and everybody knows that you have to have an iPhone to attend SXSW. I’m only partly kidding.
But in actuality, my lack of an iPhone is causing problems. Keeping me out of South By is just one of them. As much loyalty as I have to my Sony Walkman phone (I know, right), I’ve begun to realize that working with a bunch of techie entrepreneurs makes not having a smart phone a liability. I owe my phone some loyalty. The camera broke, it doesn’t record video clips anymore, and it hasn’t worked as a walkman since it survived being run over by my Silverado. I’m blown away the thing hasn’t left me by this point.
This isn’t the 1980s, but status symbols are alive and well. If your gadgets don’t show how geeky you are, you’re out. From the CTAN investor who publicly mocked my phone at a Door 64 meetup, to the girl who asked me to text her my phone number only to stop and ask if I, “could text on my phone,” I’ve gotten the hint. I hear you world. It’s time for the iPhone.
Now the question is how practical I should be about getting the dang thing. Fortunately, my last 2 year phone contract just expired, so when I’m ready to go buy the phone, AT&T (or Verizon) will take the brunt of the iPhone’s cost. At this point, I have 2 questions that will determine when I pick up the phone.
1. What new features will Apple inevitably roll out in June for the next generation of the phone?
2. Will the iPhone finally loose its bonds to AT&T and will I have the option to join the far superior Verizon network when I upgrade to the iPhone?
The first question is kinda geeky, I understand. But if the new version of the iPhone upgrades to 4g speed, that’s surely worth waiting for. Apple tends to roll out new and necessary features with each iteration, so it’s something to always consider when buying their stuff.
The second question is pretty important. The AT&T network can really suck wind at times, and the biggest complaint I hear from iPhone users is the spotty data coverage. Even Steve Jobs gripes about it. If I’m going to take the plunge, sell out, and buy into the tech hype, I’d better have a decent wireless network so next year at South by Southwest, I can judge all the people who show up with cell phones that look like this one:
I only sorta hope this helps…