I am finally recovered from my flash travel/party tour. Being shuttled around the country going to parties is a rough life - let me tell you. It was awesome. I met some great people and saw some really cool stuff. It was really cool how much overlap occurred between the boulder crowd and SXSW.

Startup people are fun.

I want to run down the events and how they turned out. The first was boulder. Boulder is a weird place. Seriously. It is strange. The boulder event was at this bar called the Foundry. I am guessing that if it wasn’t packed to the gills with tech people from the front range, I would never go there. It was a pretty hilarious venue, however the tech people really filled it out. So it turned out to be a great choice.

In boulder there were a lot of cool startups presenting. The one that really caught my eye was Socialthing. These guys are sweet. They are doing a very simple and elegant solution for the crowded social aggregation space. Although I really like the community features of their direct competitor FriendFeed, I like the design and interface of socialthing alot. It is great - and they are sweet guys.

There were a fair number of other startups, but unless they have real words in their names - i won’t link them. Just kidding, but seriously - there were a fair number of people with startups that plain didn’t have the best names. It is a bummer. Especially because the people were so nice and their ideas/technology seemed solid. It is hard to name a company. Anyway - some of the not so awesomely named but awesome technology and problem solution startups in boulder are:

Lijit.com - doing search for your blog. kinda like google site search, but with your social graph built in. Really cool stuff.

Villij.com - not my favorite name. The guys are cool and they have some cool ideas about recommendations in the social graph space.

I also met a really awesome “startup enabler” named Jeremy Tanner. He seems to do what I do at Threadless for various startups in the Colorado scene. Jeremy moved from Detroit to Colorado - so he had a lot of input on how it was going from city to smaller city. He had great things to say about being able to jump on his motorcycle and head to the canyons for an awesome lunch time experience.

After this event, I crashed at my hotel. Spent some time with my parents and was off to SXSW for ONE day!

With much insanity, I finally made it to Austin and barely made it to the People Powered Powwow. It was awesome. Hearing the experiences of Etsy, Timbuk2, Moo, JPG and all the other awesome companies was quite inspiring. It was also awesome to meet the people who are behind all these awesome brands. It was like a secret people powered club where we all tell our people powering secrets. A really powerful meetup. I am glad that Richard (from moo) set it up. it alone was worth the trip.

Some of the companies that were there that I really liked:

Styleshake - I was surprised by this one. Styleshake is a neat community that helps facilitate custom dresses. Another thing I would have never guessed would be made into a crowd sourcing enterprise - but it works. And it seems to work well. The dresses are cool and the variations are impressive. If I was a svelte young woman I would certainly check this out.

BurdaStyle - I thought this was the coolest idea i had heard in awhile. Open source sewing patterns. Taking various patterns and releasing the designs to the community to create and manipulate. Helping to foster the crafting, sewing world as well as create awesome clothes.

After the mini conference, I was fortunate enough to have dinner with the JPG people and Wilson Minor (EveryBlock). We ate at some nice Mexican food place. It was good, better than Chicago Mexican food. Then I made my way to the soon to be bumping party.

The party was fun. There were a lot of people. Floss seemed to be well accepted and it was awesome to meet kid kameleon. Around this time I had the awesomeness to bump into a dude from Threadbangers. he was able to capture my natural retardedness for an episode of threadbangers. haha. Whew.

After my debut in amazing, I was able to take a minute and meet up with some friends. It is fun to hang out with Chicago friends when not in Chicago. I met up with Jacob DeHart, Aza Raskin, Scott Robbin, Andrew Wilson. Another person I was thrilled to meet up with is Heath Row. Heath has always been a favorite person of mine and it is great (and rare) to hang out in person.

After the party died down - we all went to the Pure Volume ranch for the Social Thing party and my trip came full circle. I was able to meet up with the Lijit, Villij and Socialthing guys. After rocking out there for a couple hours i decided to head home, sleep and finally attempt to make my way back to Chicago.

I barely made it. ;)