Voice-based search, cloud-based services & much more
Ialmost didn’t make it to my first TechCrunch Disrupt because of client work, but I managed to make the trek in, all revved for disruption!
Battlefield Session 1 Disruptors
The complete list of all Tech Crunch Disrupt presenters showed a wide range of start-ups and business models. A few that stood out in my opinion:
@Qwiki presented as a voice information experience platform. The use case scenario that the founders presented looked too futuristic, yet intriguing. I think it is just a matter of time before we will be switching to voice-based search with images to match.
@Storify, a social media flipboard that allows bloggers, journalists and social media enthusiasts to share stories, was another popular disruptor.
Meanwhile, Gunzoo, a startup from Japan, presented a new way to search videos. The concept of “fabric video” looked cool, but the presentation content failed to capture and deliver how cool this platform can be.
At the end of Battle Session Day 1 SeqCentral presented a cloud computing based tool that will help DNA scientists collaborate in the cloud.
Judges asked the hard questions on use case scenarios, revenue streams and distribution channels, which not many of the participants were able to clearly respond to or justify. Nerves? Perhaps, but these are three really basic questions that need to be defined when taking an idea into planning and execution to create your startup.
Glad I came to TechCrunch Disrupt because I would have missed the opportunity to meet Tara Hunt (@missrogue on Twitter), who launched @shwowp here while I lunched along the Start Up Alley hallway. Then a few minutes later Gina Bianchini, the former CEO of Ning, was waiting in line in the WC. In case you don’t know, both Tara and Gina are women who rock the tech world in the Valley and beyond.
Earlier in the day, I bumped into @socialtimes , who I met a year ago in Washington, DC, and was surprised to see The Hotlist dudes Gianni and Chris, who I hung out with at Fashion Week last year in New York City! Fun times!
At the same moment while I was waiting in queue to check out The Hotlist, @Plancast founder Mark Hendrickson strolled over. I couldn’t resist and said, “That penguin on your event badge looks familiar” and straightaway noted how I enjoy using Plancast. We immediately had a lively conversation on how his idea started and is growing. A good founder’s first question to a user is: “What can we do better?” My response: “I love the service and for obvious reasons I am very selective about who I follow, but I would like to learn about trending events the people I am following are not in the know. Perhaps based on my event choices, suggest people to follow that I am not.”
Later in the day for coffee I met the social media top dog at the World Economic Forum. Perhaps bringing in collaborative communication tools will help improve how countries cooperate and share knowledge.
Summing up day one
Meanwhile, inside the disrupt battlefield, I had a few side conversations with a fellow from Verisign Labs. He thoughtfully summed up the presenters today: “I was hoping to see a better set of disrupters who not simply aggregated or layered over the existing social media, search and geolocation tools available. Another place to check-in and collect a badge? Another app to scan bar codes?” I could see he was not overly impressed yet was quietly enjoying the presentations.
Startup @airbnb saved the attendees from the heatwave with refreshing popsicles and delicious creamsicles. In between watching the sessions and slurping on my creamsicle, I heard the news buzzing on Twitter about the rumored TechCrunch sale to AOL and Chief Segway’s unfortunate passing. What a day!
Finally toward the end of the session, I chatted with @SecretArtist about his work in the social media, design and art space. A nice little wrapup before facing my own personal disruption, in a good and purposeful way. Looking for ways to improve on something, whether it is for your life or the world, is always a good thing.
Cross-posted to Mavin Digital.Jessica Valenzuela is a tech-media strategist who works with global brands and startups throughout their product lifecycle in the areas of design, development and communications (marketing, PR and social media). See her business profile, contact Jessica or leave a comment.