Charging batteries is a priority, and there is major competition for electrical outlets at the Austin Convention Center. You can catch a buzz on the street: representatives from Sonos, a wireless stereo company, carry mini-generators in backpacks and let passers-by plug-in.

Really good stuff.

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu.