From March 11 through 15, genConnect.com is onsite in downtown Austin, Texas conducting personal interviews with speakers slated to appear at the innovative South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Conference in Austin’s Convention Center.
We are at the event as credentialed press, hosting “2.5 Minutes With genConnect” in the Chevy Volt ReCharge Lounge during the conference.
Today we sat down with John Britton, Evangelist and Developer, who told genConnect’s Randi Zucker his very fascinating travel experience to get to SXSW. John rode to Austin on the “Start-Up Bus.” Want to learn more? Check out our interview with John below:
RANDY ZUCKER: Hi. What brings you to South by Southwest?
JOHN BRITTON: Hi. So I’m here for Twilio and Peer to Peer University. I came down just a few days ago on the start-up bus from New York. And I’m here to meet people and work on all kinds of cool stuff.
RANDY ZUCKER: The start-up bus? What does that mean?
JOHN BRITTON: So there were six buses. One from New York, one from Miami, Cleveland, Chicago, San Francisco, and Silicon Valley. On each bus there were 30 people, all hackers and business and designers. And over the course of two days driving to South by Southwest, each bus had about five or six teams form to build a start-up.
RANDY ZUCKER: And what start-up did you form?
JOHN BRITTON: I worked on a team that built a start-up called Lemonade Stand, you can see we made shirts. And Lemonade Stand is an easy way to sell things locally. So if you have something you want to sell, you just take out your phone, take a picture of it, type in a price and description, and you can share it on Facebook or other social networks. And people near you can see what you’re selling, without getting any of your personal information. They can click a button and they’re connected to you by phone over a private phone number, and you can sell right away.
RANDY ZUCKER: And if somebody wants more information about Lemonade Stand?
JOHN BRITTON: You can go to lmnd.st or call 888-907-LMND.
RANDY ZUCKER: Fantastic. So what brings you to South by Southwest, John?
JOHN BRITTON: So I work for a company called Twilio and I’m a developer evangelist there. What that means is I talk to developers about building applications with our API. So an API is a way for programmers to use an external service to do things that they don’t want to build themselves. So with Twilio, you can make and receive phone calls, and send and receive text messages, and it’s very easy to use.
RANDY ZUCKER: And also something that you do is p2p.org. Can you tell us some more about that?
JOHN BRITTON: I work on a project that’s called Peer to Peer University, and the URL is p2pu.org And it’s free learning online about anything. There’s a lot of free content online, MIT open courseware, Khan Academy, it’s great for educational purposes. But if you use it to teach yourself, and you get stuck, there’s not really anybody to ask. So what Peer to Peer University does, is it creates a community of people that work through these materials together to learn just about anything with a support group. It breaks the traditional model of a top down, teachers and students, and puts you in a more level playing field with peers that want to learn with you.
RANDY ZUCKER: So if I want to learn about poker, if I want to learn about chemistry, if I want to learn how to braid my hair, I can go to–?
JOHN BRITTON: Yeah, you can go to p2pu.org. And in addition to subjects all across the board, we also have a partnership with the Mozilla Foundation, and we’ve created something called the School of Webcraft. So if you want to learn about web development, you can go to the School of Webcraft and learn. And then once you’ve learned how to build websites, you can actually get a certification from Mozilla to prove to employers that you actually have the skill. And it’s all totally free.
RANDY ZUCKER: You heard it from genconnect.com. John, thank you so much for you time today, it was a pleasure.
JOHN BRITTON: Yeah, thank you very much for having me.
RANDY ZUCKER: And we’ll be here for the rest of South by Southwest, interviewing people like John and more key speakers.
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