Usually a big party for Silicon Valley investors and start-ups, this year the SXSW Interactive festival has diminished somewhat in importance. Although plenty still attend the annual Austin, Texas, event, there were signs of waning interest from some former SXSW Interactive mainstays.
Silicon Valley venture capital powerhouse Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers decided not to host its annual mixer, Yahoo did not take over Brazos Hall as it has over the past several years and many tech start-up entrepreneurs sat this year out. Executives from Yahoo and Tumblr did participate in half a dozen panels.
Some investors and entrepreneurs CNBC talked with blamed the relatively sedate mood on an overall cooling in the Silicon Valley ecosystem — from start-up seedlings to public tech giants. Also important, the event has become a harder place for start-ups to launch and break out, given all the noise.