Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Swagapalooza 2011

What I love about events is that I always meet the most interesting people and with Swagapalooza I have the opportunity to meet people outside my normal set, get some swag and perhaps find a new product or two to love.

Last year I was happy to get my hands on a bendable tripod, which I can now use, having received a lovely camera for Christmas. This particular event was created to help give new products PR they might not otherwise get and gives us a chance to discover some great new stuff.

This year’s crop was pretty good though I have a few kvetches:
     1)  If you are going to have that many food bloggers in one room, do better than pizza, crudités and pinwheels. With the amount of amazing underground food in SF, it feels like a golden opportunity was missed here. Magic Curry Kart and Dishcrawl were in the house, magic could have happened!
     2) Have a plan for when you totally lose your audience as to how you will get them back. I admit a few of the speakers lost me, though I tried to rally. It wasn’t easy.

The Keynote was given by Justin Kan of Justin TV, who in my opinion should get a good sport award. We were a bit of hecklers, but part of what he didn’t realize was that we were a) talking about the jacket he was wearing and b) the women were checking him out. So Justin if you read this, we loved you Justin

Transcendent Man may just be the scariest thing ever. I am all about technology and the things it can do to make the world a better place, but this is also one of my paranoia issues. The idea that Ray Kurzweil seems to believe that we are destined to merge with tech in the near future? Uh, yeah, did you see a little movie called Gattaca? Freaky stuff.

Boom Boom! Revolution - A card game you play by performing 'underground acts of guerilla goodness'. I get the concept but I am really sad that we need cards to tell us to be nice to people. I try to do good every day, even if all I do is smile at a stranger, compliment someone or help a friend in need. I get that I am not the norm. I also don’t dig the idea that you do good and then go online about it. The point of a good deed is that you do it, not that you get credit.
On the plus side, I went to the bar and made a new friend who lives in my town, crochets and likes hugs. Win!

Stunner of the Month You know what? Um. No. This presentation totally lost me. And I was not alone. For so many reasons. Did these people speak? I got a flier in my bag, but I have no recollection of them.

SwipeGood - You want to do good and have guilt free shopping? Do you need to round up while shopping to feel good about yourself? I do volunteer work and have for years. Also, since we are already seeing more companies like Tom’s Shoes, I feel better knowing that if I buy something someone who needs it gets a tangible item, ala TwoDegrees who gives a nutrition pack to a hungry child for every bar you buy. This is the sort of business model that more companies could follow and gain a lot of support. Also, the gent who spoke was cute, so that helped keep people engaged. So there is a lesson here: we are just shallow enough to listen when a cute boy is doing the talking.

I love FlingsBins these Pop-up recycling and trash bins are perfect for Spring and Summer filled block parties and picnics. I can’t tell you the amount of times we have been at a park and the trashes are hard to find or full. The fact that you can now bring your own and make sure that all your recycling is neatly taken care of in a biodegradable bag? Great!

SourFlour – Danny made one misstep in his speech, when he said the bread he had baked for the event was mediocre. After meeting him, I understood where he was going with that statement, but my advice is never be too humble when selling yourself and never be humble in a room full of drunk people who might yell at you. And one more thing: Don’t be the drunk idiot who is yelling rude things at the nice guy on stage.

My favorite presenter of the night was Sabøteur, hawking the world's first tailored waterproof blazer. This woman is trying to bring some class back to the men in startups here in the Bay Area. I heard some people bitching that she doesn’t do women’s clothes but you know what? We should be thanking her, ladies! There is nothing wrong with a man wearing a nice jacket and shirt. Also, women really don’t need one more freaking designer, trust me.

We were given shirts to take home and Sascha of course complained about the color (why does it always have to be black?) but I love the blue stripes and thought it looked stylish.  For $75 you get a nicely tailored shirt, extra buttons and some very nice cufflinks. The only real complaint he had was that the underarm seam was a bit scratchy, so hopefully that will be fixed by washing it.

All in all, I think the event was great and I look forward to next year to see what amazing new products and interesting new people will be part of the crowd!


  1. It was interesting to say the least. :) I wasn't sure what to expect going in since it was my first, but I do look forward to the next if I'm so lucky to be invited back.

  2. Great post, Luna. You did a good job capturing everything. I wished the organizers had included a list of the presenters and contact emails or urls so we could follow up in a better way. Grub etc. did speak for a few quick minutes but the whole concept was kind of beta. Shared meals with strangers at vetted restaurants. You pay less the earlier you reserve since you don't know who else will take the seats.

    There was an after party Luna and I skipped out of -- at a porno studio -- anybody hear how that went???

  3. Great write up, Luna. I've baked with Danny and liked the bread he gave last night. There's nothing like being greeted at the door with a warm loaf of sourdough. Genius.

    It was like a great big frat party. Too bad there were trolls in the audience. I hope they don't get invited back. It's fun to be snarky, but also support is important to be fair, but some people did not get that.

    I liked the crumpled map, mine is on New York; could there be a bigger cosmic hint ? And the ball that bounces on water, I know who I'm giving that too.

    The after party was great fun, a tasteful route of the Armoury, a historic SF building. We did not see anything beyond G rated FYI. Seeing and hearing the Mission Creek was fascinating, it's all covered up except in this portion of the basement, the old shooting range for the army. We missed you!

  4. Thanks ladies! Suki, I am sure you will be invited back!

    Faith, yeah, it happened so quick I missed the Grub peeps, I was interested, it must have been when I was in back. I agree that it would have been nice to have an easier way to get ahold of presenters, I had to look up each site I added a link to, hence why I did not do them all!

    Heather, I am glad you had a good time, I will have to go next time, third invite is the charm, eh? Also, I kind of wanted to smack the chicks heckling Danny in the back. *He* didn't deserve that.

  5. I'm going to send out an email with the names and emails of all the presenters tomorrow afternoon, if you want it before then just send me an email.

    (I just need to figure out who came before I send it to everyone.)

  6. Great post. I agree mostly with all you said. I thought the blazer/ shirts were great, the two degrees bar was a wonderful idea, same with fling bins (in a different way), and the bread was delicious. I can't wait to take a.class and bake with Danny. Wish I could have met a few more people (thought there would be time after), but had a great time!


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