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February 07, 2005

Style Master and the South by southwest web design awards

As readers here probably know, Style Master has been round for well over 6 years now. That's starting to look like long in the tooth for software (though as you should know by now, all good software takes 10 years)

As readers probably also know, we are based in Sydney, Australia. It's along way away from most of the people who use our software (only 3% or so of our users are here in Australia, and more than 50% are in the US).
Even as little as 10 years ago, a software company like ours simply could not have happened in Australia. Access to large markets like the US and the EU was only through large software publishers and distributors, and even getting to sit down and discuss such deals was prohibitively expensive.
The web has changed all that.

I guess most of our customers have no idea we are in Australia. We've never made a song and dance about that, in many ways (using American rather than British English, being a.com address, selling in US dollars) we've probably encouraged people to think we are American. I once had an email from an Australian complaining about this, and how he disliked Australian companies pretending to be American. The simple fact is, people are making a leap of faith purchasing anything over the web, so you need to make them as comfortable as possible. And familiarity (language, currency) makes people comfortable.

Over my last decade or more online, I've worked with, conversed with and generally got to know many people online. Yet, it was only when Doug Bowman, Joe Clark and Dave Shea came to Sydney for a conference westciv was involved with putting together did I appreciate how important meeting people is. Doug and I ended up snowboarding in New Zealand together, two weeks after we met.

After that Maxine and I reckoned it was time to get on over to the US to meet up with some of the many people we've got to know over the years, and South by Southwest in Austin seemed like the perfect opportunity. Everyone, it seems, goes.

So, we decided to go. Next thing you know, Maxine is speaking on a panel with Molly Holzschlag about women designers and developers and the web, while I have put together a panel with Dave Shea, Doug Bowman, Jon Hicks and Kelly Goto on the Tuesday at 10 am to consider what the web will look and feel like, and what designers and developers will be doing in 2010.

And in a final bit of exciting South by Southwest related news, this year's Web Design Awards, fast shaping up as the Emmys of the web, are being presented by none other than Style Master.
So if you are anywhere near Austin, get on down for SxSW, or at the very least the Web Design Awards. And drop us a line if you would like to catch up for a drink, I am sure we'll fit some time in for that too,

John

February 7, 2005 | Permalink

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Comments

I'm heading to SXSW this year too. The lineup of talent is pretty awesome. Would love to catch up for a drink.

Posted by: Dan | Feb 7, 2005 2:56:14 PM

Yo, you forgot me. What am I – pâté?

Posted by: Joe Clark | Feb 13, 2005 8:29:35 AM

Joe,

a very fine foie grois

:-)

john

(but given we are both vegetarins...)

Posted by: John Allsopp | Feb 13, 2005 10:27:40 AM

Hello,

Austin is veggie friendly town. i am not vegetarian but almost every place here in austin can help serve your needs..


SolarPunk

Posted by: SolarPunk | Feb 22, 2005 4:43:04 AM

SP,

thanks for that. I am very partial to Mexican food, but as you may guess, we don't do good mexican in Australia. In fact one Sydney restaurant reviewer once wrote, "there is no such thing as a bad thai restaurant, or a good mexican one" about eating in Sydney (it's essentially true, you can't go wrong with a thai meal in Sydney)

I even liked the Mexican in New York City, so I can only imagine what its like so close to the border,

thanks,

john

Posted by: John Allsopp | Feb 22, 2005 8:27:15 AM

I'll agree with you there John - Thai Intra do some amazing meals, and you've got a great restaurant just around the corner from you in Curlewis Street. If I find myself back in Sydney again (that would make it the 4th time, so it might not be in the immediate future!), I'll almost certainly head there for a meal :-)

Posted by: Ian Lloyd | Mar 9, 2005 12:58:45 AM