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Twitter (2007)

Hands-down the biggest success story to come out of SXSW is Twitter.

While the site didn't launch at the show, as some think (it was three months old when the show started), it gained traction in a big way by spending its marketing money not on a flashy party or some PR stunt, but by heavily marketing the service (and showing what it could do) in the Austin Convention Center hallways – where so much of the business of the show gets done.

Photo: Twitter