L.A. Tech Community Does it Better: Put Up or Shut Up at SXSW Interactive

Sloane Berrent and Andrew Warner for L.A. Tech

Erin BroadleySloane Berrent and Andrew Warner for L.A. Tech

The audience at Sloane Berrent's and Andrew Warner's L.A. tech scene panel were a group of people I could name off the top of my head entirely in @s -- @andrewwarner, @sloane, @seanpercival, @lauriepercival, @shiralazar, @jackiepeters, @wmmarc etc. -- and it was the rowdiest and hottest panel I've seen at SXSW so far. Let it not go unnoticed that L.A. WAS THE ONLY CITY TO HAVE IT'S OWN PANEL, as few can deny that there is an energy and enthusiasm in L.A. that is unprecedented in the world of tech. Los Angeles has three of the crucial elements for potential success:

1. Major Universities like USC, UCLA, CalTech, etc.
2. A large talent pool.
3. Companies willing to hire.

The point of this panel was to how to change that potential in to action, whether that be new technology or just a straight up flood of capital. Hey Los Angeles, are we just hanging out or are we doing business?

L.A. Times' David Sarno and Alexia Tsotsis

Erin BroadleyL.A. Times' David Sarno and Alexia Tsotsis

The best thing about the community here according to Panelist and founder Andrew Warner is that "everyone in L.A. is in charge of something."  Los Angeles is full of events, I know - I cover them almost everyday. As someone who is entirely absorbed in L.A. tech 24/7 for a living I can say that we all have relationships with each other - and business and creating value is all about those relationships. We also have the fortuity of having evangelists like Sean Percival who gave his advice for making your tech scene a success: "Publish, publish, publish" (a Web 2.0 riff on the "Carnegie Hall" joke).

Coming back to the aforementioned fact that I now can link more faces to Twitter names than actual names, my vote for the that has made the tech scene successful so far is along the lines of @seanpercival's - we tweet like no other, being generous with the re-tweets and promoting our friends enough that they inevitably take us along for the glamorous ride. It's time for L.A. to, as Warner put it, "put up or shut up." L.A. won't shut up so it'll have to achieve the alternative one way or another. 

The @'s of the L.A. Tech Community

Erin BroadleyThe @'s of the L.A. Tech Community

Follow us on Twitter at @alexiatsotsisand @laweekly. Also, check out Village Voice Media's SXSW Festival site for more coverage.