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SXSW Success! f*ck Luck?

Editor’s Note: This guest post is courtesy of Francisco SáezNixter CEO.

Since January (2012), the Nixter Team has been working in Sunnyvale (CA) as part of CORFO’s Global Connection program, which allows Chilean entrepreneurs to incubate their project for 3 months in Plug & Play Tech Center.

In this post Francisco shares the experience they lived at SXSW 2012, while doing a NIXTER demo at Startup Spotlight event.



What’s the first thing you think when you hear South by Southwest(SXSW)?
Twitter?  Foursquare? Fast and explosive success right?

Yeah, we thought the same when we got a spot at “Startup Spotlight” event at SXSW.

I thought… this is it!

Few people know the real story behind those startups that “RE-launched” at SXSW…
Too many people think that they started at that event but Twitter had worked about a year to get traction before they rocked at SXSW.

We knew that…

I read a lot about other successful startups,
so I knew we had a few chances to have the same luck as they did…

Did I just say luck?

My bad, sorry, that’s not luck…that’s commitment and hard fu”·$n work!!

Things happens for a reason… I like to believe that sometimes…

You guys remember we had lots of troubles to get to the US, right?
… and also that we got free miles to fly with AA?


Well, after a few emails, tweets and phone calls we were able to get First Class tickets to SXSW for just a few dollars!

hahaha, that’s a good start!

Nixter HQ had moved to Austin, TX!

Austin convention center was sick!

…what a huge place full of people (30.000 approx) eager to show their startups and a chance to meet the next Zuckerberg’s!

I’ve never been in a place with that vibe… it was amazing!!!

The competition was very hard. Every step we made we got a different brochure from different startups or big corporations. So if we wanted to be known… we needed to make a bold and cool move to be under the spotlight.

This is an official Google brochure haha. It's supposed to be a Google logo where the Nixter logo is now :P

Startup Spotlight, SXSW 2012

So our legal place and time to shine was “Startup Spotlight” event on March 9th, Hilton’s 4th floor.

We had 2 hours to demo our app in a special reception for VIP, gold and platinum assistants.

By the way, there were 10 other startups showing their apps or businesses.

Weeks ago I was spamming every editor at TechCrunch, VentureBeat, Mashable, among other sites with NO results… I wanted so bad to get an article on those sites… but they didn’t answer my emails… (and that’s luck).

We spent (sorry, invested), 2 hours talking to over 400 people at our demo place….showing our app, our video and the whole concept behind Nixter…

I’m not kidding, it was so busy, we couldn’t even take pictures!

I think this was the only one that we did take :(

15 out of 10 people loved Nixter. We had so much feedback and got a good vibe…
It was just what we needed to take Nixter to the next level!


As that was our first approach with real users, we started to realize all the bugs our app had!

I wanted so bad to start getting 10’s of thousands of downloads
and getting press and media exposure…
(and be the next big thing… eventually we will be…)

But then I realized…

We are not ready.

After taking all the feedback from our new users… we realized that we had lots of problems with the sign up (it was too long), also with the profile (nobody really understands the display) and the “groups” feature?… don’t even want to talk about it.

So technically we didn’t win… BUT WE DIDN’T LOSE!

Imagine an article of Nixter at TechCrunch…
500k visits… 1000’s of downloads and every user saying “this app sucks

Things happens for a reason…

Now we have our re-birth… next week at Plug & Play Spring Expo 2012!

Our development team at Sunnyvale, CA has been working non stop trying to fix all the things that we realized at SXSW… and the next update is gonna be nuts! Hold on tight!

we had one of the most exciting, inspiring, exhausting, useful, greatest weeks ever!!

Chilean entrepreneurs included!

Luckily we had the chance to meet Leo Prieto (I always wanted to meet that “·$%&), Caro Rossi (Startup Chile), Francisco Kemeny and Alan Nudman (, Miguel Paz (Poderopedia), David Assael and David Basulto (Archdaily) and the Hadza team.

That’s a lot of Chileans!! Hopefully, next year we will be hundreds!

The real show is in the hall!

We also met people that I thought I would know within the next 5 years! haha Robert Scoble !!

What a legend

It’s almost impossible to schedule a meeting or a call with him for the next year!! And we had the chance to spend a few minutes with him.


We also attended to a great panel with AL GORE and SEAN PARKER….

Al fuck’n Gore and Sean Fuck’n Parker!

Can you picture that?!?!?! No words to explain it.


Well, that’s all for now

I’m looking forward to writing another article for the ones who want to attend to SXSW 2013…
do’s and dont’s, for launching at SXSW” :P

I’m tired as hell. It’s 5:30am and my flight is leaving at 9:30am :(

I have to take a plane back to CA to get ready for Plug and Play Expo… our second chance to shine and pitch to VC’s…

BTW, I’m sorry we are not ready yet to launch Nixter in Chile!

And for the Chilean people that’s reading this article…

This is our time, this is our moment, and this is time for Chile to shine.

Viva Chile mierda!!!

Francisco Sáez Cerda

Success, fuck Luck.