Dispatch from SXSW: Have Startups Become a Fetish?

Preparing for South by Southwest Interactive every year, I'm inundated with pitches for services (now they're apps when they used to be social or merely Web-based products) that are fun, sometimes useful, and generally something I wouldn't pay money for. Since the magical breakout of Twitter in 2007 and the Foursquare success of 2009, SXSW has become more and more cluttered with startups trying to break out. It has also become a celebration of startups in general. That celebration has turned into a fetish, however, placing the act of creating a startup on a pedestal without casting any sort of critical eye on the quality or likelihood of the startup or idea succeeding.

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