Monday, May 14, 2007

Austin MoMo

I've made it back from a successful trip to Austin. Of course I ate some of my favorite food and was able to catch up with some old friends.

Once off the plane I immediately headed for the Salt Lick, but only the one in the airport. I ordered a brisket sandwich with extra sauce. Just as I remembered it, wonderful. The last time I had Salt Lick was when I had Jacki buy some at the airport when she was returning to Atlanta. Her flight was delayed multiple hours and I ended up eating that sandwich nearly 8 hours after she bought it. It was much better to have hot and right off the grill.

Next stop, music. I left straight for Waterloo Records from the airport. Spent about an hour at Waterloo and picked up quite a bit of Texas music including Vallejo, Storyville, and Chingon. I also picked some other things that only a store like Waterloo tends to carry.

At this point I checked into the hotel, and then headed over to see Ron and Kat. I hadn't seen them in years and couldn't have asked for a better visit. Good drinks and even better conversation. Thanks for the great time.

Now back to reality. Although Ron and I stayed up too late, I had to get to work on my presentation first thing Monday morning. The Mobile Monday Austin was the purpose of the trip and I had a good bit of work to do. I put in 2-3 hours up until lunch, then made a side trip for another bar-b-q lunch at Rudy's. I worked at Rudy's for about an hour and then I met up with Enrique, the organizer of Mobile Monday, to work on my presentation.

We met at Opal Divine's on 6th street and worked there for several hours. We had a surprise visit from Tux, a former co-worker. We were able to show each other family pictures, catch up on what old friends are now doing, and then catching each other up on how life is going in general. We worked right up until the time Enrique and I had to go to the Omni hotel for the event.

I thought I was going to be nervous when I presented, but fortunately the audience was very laid back and I was able to have a relaxed and interactive discussion. I was allotted 30 minutes for my presentation and believe I ended up talking for over an hour. People couldn't get enough of Helio. I presented the Ocean and discussed how the key is communication over data services. All content must be discoverable and shared, usability is key, the simple things often have a greater impact than complex features, and shared my ideas for solving mobility problems server side.

This was my first opportunity to present to an industry audience and to hear immediate feedback. There is a lot of excitement about Helio and the audience seemed very pleased with the presentation. It's great to see so many people rooting for us.

Enrique gave a glowing review of my presentation on his blog. My favorite quote is "and today David is one of my mobility heroes". Too kind, too kind.

A special thanks to C. Enrique Ortiz and to Marisa Sladek. Thank you for providing me a great opportunity and for doing a great thing for mobility by carrying the Mobile Monday torch in Austin.

After the event I met up with Terry at Trudy's South Star. He's now my brother in law but that night it felt like we were just catching up over drinks back in college. One of the best times I've had with Terry in years. Terry and I stayed out until Trudy's shut down at 2am. Sorry to keep you up so late!

Since I had a 6am flight the next morning I just ended up staying up all night, the risk of falling asleep and not waking up was too high. I'm now back in Santa Monica, caught up on sleep, and back to my regularly scheduled program.

Thanks to everyone for giving me a better visit home than I could have imagined. It was great to catch up with all of you and I can't wait until next time.

Oh and how do I feel about going back to Austin? Other than the fact that it was 97 degrees and I was sweating everywhere I went, I was glad to see the spirit of "Keep Austin Weird" is alive and well. It was great to see that it still feels like home.

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