I just returned from Austin, Texas and the SXSW Interactive Conference where I was invited to come and speak about Evergreen. The conference was jam-packed with some of the most influential thought leaders in the business world including people like Dan Pink, Dorie Clark, Biz Stone, Nir Eyal, and Jack Welch, to name a few – and let’s not forget yours truly.

With just hours to go before my session, I realized I needed to change up my message.

You see, phrases like “high-tech, high-touch” have been around for at least the past 20 years, and the high-tech half has always been sexier.

[tweetable alt=””]The truth that every successful company knows is that business growth is rarely sexy. [/tweetable] It’s rarely a flash of genius.

Instead, it’s the thousands of hours of hard work that goes into igniting the flash.

A conference like SXSW, on the other hand, is a VERY sexy conference.

It was built on sexy and continues to be extremely sexy (have you heard of the new Meerkat app yet? If not, you will soon!).

But I decided to risk my time on stage and be the boring Canadian guy talking about the importance of the unsexy parts.

I explained to the audience that building lifelong relationships with their customers and clients could keep their companies strong for decades.

Many of the companies at SXSW are in the start-up stage of the tech world. The only real power in the tech world is in having a crazy loyal user base. Without that, they’re all vulnerable to being the next shiny thing.

So I’ll ask you again, have you heard of the Meerkat app yet? Maybe you never will. It’s the darling of the moment and will probably be valued north of $100M within the next few months, but there’s still a good chance you’ll still never hear of it.

But, as I explained to the audience:

When you crack the code of Community, Character, and Content and the philosophy of Evergreen in a way that allows you to connect with your customer base, you’ve made the path to longevity much more likely.

And as you know, this isn’t just true for the tech world. It’s true for any company, in any industry.

Which path is your company on?

P.S. Check out this Evergreen visual that an audience member drew and tweeted during my talk. One of the things I said was that CRM was dead and CRL was in. I’ll explain that next week…