I was always told that if you want to be successful, you should hang out with successful people. It makes a lot of sense to me. Many people are not risk-takers. They are not innovators. When you try to explain your vision they tend to spend a lot of time shooting it down and telling you to "be realistic". The future has never been built on being realistic. It's always been built on people doing crazy things that have never been tried before. It's been built on relentless persistence and a refusal to believe in the word "impossible".
That's why I'm so excited about the Austin Innovators and Entrepreneurs Series. It gives a chance to meet regularly with people who are actively shaping the future and overcome some of the discouragement we get from the rest of the world. I guarantee that spending time with these people will fuel your entrepreneurial spirit and help you keep on your own road of creation.
I also like that the topics and presenters are very diverse. I think that sometimes it is difficult to retain some of the lessons when you only hear from people who are working on ideas in your own arena. I can be too focused on my own problem-solving to really absorb what there is for me to take away. However, when I am dealing with someone from another discipline, I find the overlaps more easily. At SXSW, I learned as much from filmmakers and musicians as I did from developers about creativity and moving projects to completion. I'm anticipating the same sort of gold with these -- and they are a lot less expensive... like... free!