This is the archived SXSW 2012 schedule. Please see the current schedule here.

Engineering Serendipity to Instigate and Delight

#sxsw #serendipity


The non-mobile web has always offered on-demand experiences for users to search for and discover new online content. But with the proliferation of mobile phones that report real-time signals like location, apps and services have a new ability to serendipitously deliver contextually-relevant value through push notifications. If you’re building a mobile service and have access to this data, can you use it with push notifications to do what you do better for your users, wherever they are? Our panelists have all built products and platforms that illuminate the social and informational opportunities hidden around us everyday. We’ve balanced privacy, timing, and proximity in order to nudge our users off their familiar paths and into discovering the people and world around them, and you can too -- for fun AND profit!


Aaron Parecki Co-Founder

Aaron Parecki is co-founder of Geoloqi, a powerful platform that lets developers easily build location-based apps and bring large datasets to life. In his free time, he enjoys geolocation, linguistics, and building home automation systems and IRC bots with a sense of humor. For the past 3+ years, he has been tracking and visualizing his location at 6-second intervals. His fascination with location sharing and GPS began at the age of 6, when he traced the routes of family road trips on a map with a highlighter.

Aston Motes Coder Dropbox

Aston Motes was the first hire at Dropbox and over the last four plus years has worked on everything from the website to creating the API thousands of 3rd-party developers use today. Previous to Dropbox, he enjoyed a short stint at OkCupid where he was an early hire and one of the primary engineers on, a website that did exactly what its name suggests.

Ben Carey Artist Benrik

Co-founder of Benrik, with Henrik Delehag. Benrik are London-based authors and artists. Their output ranges across different media and includes the cult bestseller "This Diary Will Change Your Life" book series, as well as the geolocation app "Situationist", which creates random encounters between complete strangers.

Brett Martin CEO Sonar

Brett Martin is co-founder and CEO of Sonar, a location-based mobile application that leverages social network data to reveal hidden connections and interests you share with the people nearby. Prior to Sonar, Brett helped found AppFund, a seed stage mobile incubator from K2 Media Labs. Before K2, he studied early stage startups as a Fulbright Scholar in Milan, helped launch Vice Magazine's, and worked on Wall Street as an equity research associate. Brett attended Dartmouth College and grew up in Ocean City, MD.

Gabe Smedresman Co-founder Meet Gatsby

Gabe is a game designer and engineer based out of San Francisco. Coming from a background in tech (Google), architecture (Yale), and real-world games (The Go Game), Gabe specializes in integrating real-world data with gameplay and virtual environments. He designed a pioneering series of massively multiplayer games of RISK on college campuses, and his games and playful technology have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, Fox News, and most technology blogs. Gabe is currently working on a number of location-aware entertainment projects including Meet Gatsby, a mobile service that introduces you to nearby people who share your interests, wherever you do.

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