SXSW 2022: The Biggest Takeaways

South by Southwest® (SXSW) was back in full swing again this year. The yearly festival brings together a multitude of industries including tech, film, music, education, and culture to help creatives achieve their goals. CURAZE Co-founder Claus Schuster had the pleasure of attending and shares his biggest takeaways

by Claus Schuster | 18 Mar, 2022

It was great to be back in person at SXSW after three years. Even if some big brands were missing this year, it was another intensive week with again far too many exciting lectures and side events on current topics and the latest trends. In a very short time, intimate and deep talks with others and their tips have been helpful to fight FOMO and to make Austin great again.

1. The Metaverse is Coming

The big takeaway from SXSW is that the Metaverse is becoming an important component. While Germans are still fighting the metaverse internally, at SXSW there was no longer a discussion on whether it will come. There was a consensus in the community that it WILL come, and you see it as an opportunity. While, the Metaverse certainly carries many dangers, we should stop fighting against it internally. Rather, we should work to make it be a driver to do good.

According to a study by Darren Shou, people want to do things in the Metaverse that they cannot in the real world – be it for financial reasons or because they lack the skills to do so. Let’s embrace this. After witnessing a similar phenomenon on a business trip to Tokyo in 2008 when the topic of the mobile was first debated, Claus and his co-partner at DEFACTO X Jan Möllendorf fly home with the firm conviction that we need to deal more with the topic. The Metaverse is coming whether or not we are ready.

2. NFTs are Hot Shit

Let's imagine Salvador Dali was still alive. If there would have been blockchain and NFTs during his time, then he could have participated in every further sale of his artwork. NFTs can create many more benefits for brands and their customers. Most important are the individual benefits each user gains, eventually allowing them to take their NFTs within the Metaverse into other "worlds". For this, however, it is necessary to create a cross-platform consensus across all realms. At present, there is still much to be done in achieving true NFT cross-platform interoperability. Even though this challenge has not yet been resolved, one should never sign the exclusivity of NFTs for the Metaverse. Using cryptocurrency and buying NFTs has to be easier. As Todd Kaplan at PepsiCo stated, “Buying an NFT is a shitty customer experience.”

3. Start-Ups to Look Out for in Smart Cities, Logistics, and Transportation

The start-up pitches for smart cities, logistics, and transportation did not disappoint. The four that get the top vote:

  • 4.screen, a Munich-based automotive tech start-up connecting drivers with businesses. (Fabian Beste)
  • HeyCharge, another Munich-based start-up on a mission to make electric vehicle charging ubiquitous and affordable. (Chris Cardé)
  • JusticeText, a software development company supporting criminal defense attorneys with extensive video evidence. (Devshi Mehrotra)
  • Hope Hydration, innovation and technology for a future with fewer plastic bottles. (Jorge Richardson)

4. No Code Solutions

As a result of the discussion at SXSW on no code solutions, their use is recommended based on the benefits of more personalization opportunities, quick ROI rates, better user experience/less IT resources being used, their agility and low-risk factor, and finally the flexibility offered is unparalleled.



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