Congrats to XOXO on an Incredible Run!
The experimental arts, culture and technology event known as XOXO runs today through Sunday, September 11 in Portland, Oregon. 2016 speakers include Gaby Dunn, Simone Giertz, Amit Gupta, Jonathan Mann, Eric Meyer, Derek Powazek, Jenn Schiffer, Star Simpson, and various other folks with fresh, forward-thinking perspectives.
XOXO shares a lot of the same creative vision of SXSW, as well as a lot of the same speakers. However, somewhat differently what we do in Austin in March, the event has made a conscious decision to stay small. I love that decision, because too often (in far too many aspects of our lives), bigger gets confused with better. No, there’s nothing wrong with being big — but concentrate on making something better and the question of size becomes pretty much irrelevant. By contrast, if you keep something small, then the challenges of scale become a little more manageable — and XOXO’s decision here has served them well.
Co-organizers Andy Baio and Andy McMillan have stated that the 2016 edition will be their final go-round (or at least the final go-round as currently structured for XOXO). Instead, they are beginning to focus more and more of their energies on Outpost, which is the year-round innovation lab inspired by the event. Kudos for this bold move — transitioning from a once-a-year conference to a full-time shared workspace takes the concept of 21st century community-building to an entirely new level.
SXSW team members have attended XOXO in year’s past. While we won’t have people in Portland at this week’s edition, we will be fondly following the action online. Props to Andy and Andy for all the amazing work they’ve done with this event since 2012 — the annual gathering that they have guided so carefully over the last five years will be greatly missed!