After 7 days, 1500 miles, 3 unexpected detours, 10,000
calories, 7 kegs, 7 headaches and one amazing time, we have finally
recovered to the point where we are able to put together this blog
post. Whilst some of us, (Sarah, Andrew and I) are now enjoying a
delicious juice cleanse to eradicate the toxins from the sins of
SxSW, we thought it would be timely to put together a recap for you
all to enjoy.
Our pilgrimage started Monday the 5th with a 7am start and a
filthy GMC Yukon thanks to our friends at Hertz. First stop, Coffee
at La Colombe Torrefaction. Avner drove the first leg with his
soulful blend of road-trip tunes ranging from Lana Del Ray, to The
Lion King Soundtrack. Our first stop was D.C which took us roughly
4 hours. We set the tone early for a week of calories with a quick
meal at Ray’s Hell
Burger which was closely followed by another coffee at one of
our favorite little cafés, Baked and Wired. We were told to
look for a single geared pink bike (fixie) out
the front. Needless to say, there were plenty of Instagram
opportunities in this hipster hangout.
Next, we were off to George Washington to heckle Andrew from the
back of the classroom during his guest lecture on marketing in a
start-up environment. Avner was especially distracting which may
have been indicative of his time back at school. It was a solid
dose of nostalgia for all of us.
We left Andrew with his minions in Lecture Hall 104 whilst
Sarah, Avner and I went to our next engagement to speak to the GW
MBA Entrepreneurs & GW Tech Collective. We had roughly 12
business leaders of tomorrow in attendance asking some very
interesting and hard hitting questions. At one stage,
Avner had offered 3 people jobs and asked all of them to quit
school citing the success of Steve Jobs & Mark Zuckerberg.
After that we were off to The Big Hunt for our D.C meetup.
We had a solid crowd of about 60 people with yours truly providing
the beats via a digital jukebox and an exorbitant credit card
transaction process. The stupid
human tricks started slowly here with one man ‘teleporting’ to
New York and back without us noticing his absence. The winner was
eventually awarded for a Michael Flatly style performance of River
Day 2 started with breakfast at Tryst in DC followed by a long
commute to Knoxville, TN. It was decided that to break up the drive
we should do something fun. Our chief navigator Sarah chose the
Jack Daniels distillery in Lynchburg. After navigating us there
perfectly, we discovered that we were in Lynchburg VA and not
Lynchburg TN. Before long (2 hours) we were back on track and
stopped for Pulled Pork Sandwiches at Still Porkin’, a little Mom
& Pop operation running out of a trailer in a strip mall car
We got into our hotel quite late that night and retired
Day 3 started with, you guessed it, another trip for gourmet
coffee followed by breakfast. We found a cute little place
called Old City Java
that had a 4 day process for crafting croissants. Unfortunately we
arrived on the 3rd day of the cooking process and the built-up
anticipation was lost. We were still treated to cookies, sandwiches
and great coffee. Before long we were on our way with a quick stop
over for horse riding in the Smokey Mountains. This was my first
horse riding experience and the others did their best to ensure my
anxiety remained intact. This was followed by BBQ at Moogies Drive
thru which put us well behind schedule. As a result Andrew tested
the threshold of the spedometer on the Yukon to get us into Memphis
We arrived at 5:30pm at Emerge Memphis, an amazing
Business Accelerator and Tech Incubator right on the
They threw an incredible party for us on their rooftop complete
with 100 guests, a DJ, a Keg and extremely talented stupid human
tricks. It came down to a pitch perfect rendition of Al Green’s
Together, and a spoken word poet reminiscing of his love for
Jane. There were no losers in this competition. Meanwhile
we spent the night talking with local startups and press about
Boxee, lessons we’d learned, and new startups they were
After that, we went to a warehouse party followed by soul
burgers and table top dancing at an old (and retired) Brothel.
Andrew showed us some of his moves in an old school dance off with
some of the local talent. Needless to say he did us proud!
Memphis turned it on for us, and we left with extremely fond
memories (read: huge headaches)
Thursday morning started with Advil, Coffee and a long drive to
Dallas. Avner stopped off at the JFK Sixth Floor Museum upon arrival into
Dallas which put him in a sombre mood for our 3rd Meetup. Our
meetup was at the Press Box
Grill where we had roughly 35 devoted fans come out to see us
on a cold miserable and rainy night. The Boxee Box winner went to a
swing dance teacher who performed a perfect recital of the Charleston
Day 5 was a day for discovery. On our trip to Dallas we
visited the Monolithic Dome
Institute, where we were taken on a private tour of the
president’s house. We inquired about purchasing/building a dome,
and were taken to the boardroom where we can only assume serious
deals are done. A cozy 1 bedroom will set you back $100 per week
for rent. This price obviously increases exponentially once you
consider multi-room domes or even multi-dome dwellings. We
also visited the Texas Ranger
Museum for a solid dose of Texan history. Chuck Norris was
nowhere to be seen.
Lunch included a mandatory stop off at Salt Lick BBQ in Round Rock for some
delicious sausage, brisket and pulled pork. Next stop was Walmart
as part of our team had already arrived in Austin and informed us
that our RV had not been supplied with Linen. 8 sleeping bags and
towels later, we were back on the road and in sight of our final
We arrived in Austin shortly after 6pm to torrential downpour
and an RV set up with a ghetto-rigged heater made from a large
cooking stove and a cinder block from a nearby shed. Not kidding
That night we watched Avner speak on a panel at the Driskill
hotel which was followed by a Samsung Party, a return to The
Driskill lobby bar, and Korean Tacos before a relatively early
night in for the 7 of us in the RV.
Cafe Medici for Coffee, the YMCA for showers and then off to
Heart of Texas Pedicabs, the venue chosen for our Kegger the next
day to set up and get ready for the big party. The weather had
shown little to no signs of relenting as we hung signs and
finalized the last remaining outstanding items.
That night we went to the Suicide Girls party, followed by the
gingerman and finally with Andrew and I convincing people that he
was Jimmy Butler, Gerard Butler’s younger brother. Kudos to Andrew
on 30 minutes in Scottish brogue. Kim Chi fries and burritos may or
may not have been consumed later on in the evening.
Day 7 – Boxee Kegger
We woke up to billowing rain echoing loudly against the fragile
frame of the Austin Rental RV. Despite the forecast promising
clearing weather, mother nature had decided not to play fair.
Off to the YMCA to find out it was closed – no showers…Not a good
start to the day.
We went to Cafe Midici for coffee, It was at this point that the
sun poked through the clouds and it began to clear up into an
amazing day. Meanwhile the Spider Man moon bounce, DJ Gear, Kegs
and Snacks were all being delivered to our space. This was going to
be a huge party.
We opened the doors circa 1pm to a line 50-strong. There was a
steady flow of people coming in throughout the entirety of the
party. Salt Lick arrived around 3:30pm and provided a delicious
round of sausage, brisket, beans, and coleslaw. The boys from epic
meal time, including the Sauce Boss, arrived shortly after that to
meet the guys, sign some autographs and enjoy some bbq.
4 out of the 5 kegs were floating by this time so we arranged
for an urgent delivery of two more. At this stage there were about
350 people in the party with another 300 that had come and gone.
Tunes were provided by DJ Andrew Kippen as the two new kegs arrived
to a standing ovation (most people were already standing). There
were games of Flip Cup and Tackle the Tortoise (not entirely sure
what that is). We closed off around 6pm pushing the last few people
out with old mops and broomsticks. It was a rousing success.
The Boxee team headed off to Barton Springs where we enjoyed a
very chilly dip in the water. Then we hit up one of our favorite
spots in Austin, Juiceland, for a quick dose
of nutrients and Home Slice for sharing pizza on the car hood. We
hit up the foursquare party shortly after this and ended up at an
alcohol free (liquor laws) rave (networking event) around 2am. It
was a big day.
We had a great time and enjoyed the many stories shared along
the way. Special shout out to our friends at Turntable.fm and
Sling who supported
the entire roadtrip, and were great partners during the trip.
The annual road trip offers us a unique opportunity to meet one
on one with users around the USA, demo new features like Live TV,
and hear first hand why you love Boxee and what could be improved.
It’s also spawned numerous business development and marketing
discussions with new partners. A big thanks to all of our
fans, users & SxSW party goers for making the trip a rousing
We look forward to seeing you all next year.