March Madness – From Providence to Austin in 10 Easy Steps

March 18, 2009

As some of you know, I’ve been immersed in technology, blogging and Twitter for the past two weeks. But that immersion has precluded me from putting up posts because I was creating content for others.

First, I took part in the Innovators’ Road Trip and then I was at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. It’s a major blur right now, but I’m trying to piece it together for a bunch of blog posts. Here’s the first installment of my ten-part series.

March 9, 2009 – Providence to Detroit

In the car at dawn, I drove to Providence and TF Green Airport. I boarded a plane to Baltimore and then another from Baltimore to Detroit. It was the first day of the Innovators’ Road Trip project (#iroadtrip on Twitter) and I met John Johansen at the Detroit airport when I arrived.

After pleasantries we were collected by Scott Monty of Ford who handed us a 2010 Ford Escape to use on our road trip from Detroit to Austin.

We made a stop at the Henry Ford Museum and interviewed the facility’s curators. The video and photos can be seen at

Later we toured the Ford corporate headquarters, picked up Colin Browning and Jim Storer, and then went to a bar for a Tweetup (a gathering of folks that is coordinated using social media tools like Twitter).

With bags in the Escape, we drove to the worst Motel 6 I’ve ever stayed in. The room was laden with smoke (although it was labeled non-smoking), there were no towels, soap or shampoo, and there was only one roll of toilet paper.

After briefly discussing our mission – to find innovation and innovators in America’s heartland – we slept.

Part 2, tomorrow.