SxSW: Our panel “From Freelance to Agency: Start Small, Stay Small”

A couple weeks ago I told you I was going to SxSW to participate in the panel “From Freelance to Agency: Start Small, Stay Small” with Roger Black and Kristina Halvorson, moderated by Jeffrey Zeldman.

I was nervous as all hell, but I had an absolute blast on the panel and am thrilled by the response.

We spoke for about 20 minutes and then opened it up to questions. Immediately 15 people lined up at the mic. We were only able to get through 5-6 people. Afterward, I stayed in my seat on stage and a group of kind folks came over to ask further questions. I’m so proud that we were able to help people and perhaps inspire them to make the next big move in their careers.

A few kind blog posts:
Ad Your Comment Here (near transcript)
Blue Flavor
Daniel Slaughter

Lots of great tweets:

Mike Rohde was in the audience and created these wonderful sketchnotes. Check out his awesome work from all of SxSW.

Free free to listen to the podcast to hear all the great wisdom we imparted ;)

And a big, big thanks to Jeffrey Zeldman again for inviting me to sit amongst these amazing individuals. It was truly an honor.

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  1. says

    For me, this panel was more inspirational than Guy Kawasaki's keynote and Gary Vaynerchuck's video blogging panel combined.

    Many thanks to you and your cohorts for sharing your stories of success and for proving that working 'til 4am can be productive. ;)

  2. says

    Whitney, thanks for your very kind words about the sketchnotes I had the pleasure of capturing at your panel. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing you guys talk about life as a freelancers and/or as owners of agencies.

    I appreciated that the discussion was fun and inspirational while also being very practical and realistic about staying small on purpose. :-)


  1. […] Hess has written a fine wrap-up of the panel, including a collection of tweets raving about it, some of Mike Roh’s visual coverage, and […]

  2. […] sounding podcast from our panel “From Freelance to Agency: Start Small, Stay Small,” which I participated in at SXSW. Now with significantly enhanced audio quality, courtesy of’s Peter Richardson, here, […]

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