November 7, 2013

Roadmap conference: The rise of design culture

Jack-Dorsey
Jack Dorsey, founder of Square, talks user experience at Roadmap (Photo by JD Lasica).

‘Think of technology as a verb, not a noun’ and more wisdom from two days of design geekery

Target audience: User experience designers, entrepreneurs, investors, educators, businesses, marketing professionals, brand managers, Web publishers, journalists.

JD LasicaJust back from my first Roadmap, a two-day conference put on by Gigaom that explored the intersection of technology and design. I came away deeply impressed by the caliber of the conversations on stage and the makeup of the attendees: UX (user experience) specialists, designers, startup founders, venture capitalists, journalists — my kind of crowd!

Here’s a Flickr photo set of the event. And here are a few of the nuggets I scribbled down during the gathering:

Highlights and takeaways from Roadmap’s speakers

• Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter, said his new startup Square runs on two principles: show, don’t tell;and “responsible transparency.” One example of the latter: Whenever there’s a meeting, a staffer is responsible for taking notes and sharing them with the entire team on the company intranet (or whatever startups call it these days). That way, people know what they’ve missed and they can get involved with new initiatives that come up.

• Dorsey waxing eloquent about what we want to “paint” in the world: “It’s not about technology disappearing, or how we design or engineer things, this is what we want to use and we hope it resonates with other people. … To me, a lot of what great engineering is is taking something that’s very complex and breaking it into very simple problems that we can solve in sequence. It’s all about patience.” Continue reading

October 2, 2013

Photos of Launch conference for mobile startups

pablo-sandoval
Pablo Sandoval of the San Francisco Giants, former World Series MVP, demonstrated Zepp at Launch Mobile.

JD LasicaIspent the past two days at Launch Mobile & Wearables, a gathering of several hundred entrepreneurs, technologists and startup staffers in San Francisco organized by entrepreneur/VC Jason Calacanis and his team.

As usual, I did more tweeting than blogging, but I also captured more than 60 photos of the event, seen in the Flickr set above. (I still love you, Flickr!)

The grand prize winners were three startups:

SoundHound, a brilliant bit of software that helps users identify songs, summon up song lyrics on the spot, conduct voice search (including identifying radio segments) and much more.

Zepp Labs, which trotted out Pablo Sandoval of the San Francisco Giants and former Giants star JT Snow to show off a multi-sport training system, tiny sensors — and big crack of the bat.

MyTime, which lets you book appointments online with top-rated merchants, such as massage therapists, dentists, hair stylists, acupuncturists, chiropractors and other services.

I agree with the judges — terrific selections, all worth a look.

September 30, 2013

Ansa: Text friends safely, securely & without regret

Go ‘off the record’ when sharing sensitive messages

Target audience: Startups, network managers, college students, privacy experts, mobile users, educators, journalists, Web publishers.

JD LasicaMobile is taking over the world, as tens of millions of us migrate from desktops and laptops to smartphones and other mobile devices. Today I’m attending Launch Mobile in San Francisco to get a sense of the latest trends (see my tweets by following @jdlasica on Twitter). And earlier this month I attended TechCrunch Disrupt, where a number of young social and mobile startups were on display.

One of the startups that caught the eye of the judges was Ansa, a messaging app that gives you control over the messages you share. One judge called it “Snapchat for grownups.”

I interviewed co-founder and CEO Natalie Bryla in this 6-minute video:

Watch, download or share the video on Vimeo
Watch, embed or share the video on YouTube Continue reading

September 12, 2013

Photos of TechCrunch Disrupt 2013

mark-zuckerberg

JD LasicaIthink this is the seventh year of TechCrunch Disrupt in all its incarnations, and I’ve been to them all. Yesterday I wrote about some new social travel startups making their debut, and today I’m sharing my photos of the event.

Here’s my Flickr set of TechCrunch Disrupt (remember Flickr? I still prefer it to Facebook for sharing photos), and I’ll be adding more later today.

While some of the mainstays of the tech scene — Marissa Mayer, John Doerr, Jeff Weiner — remain the same from year to year, the new founders and startup teams — from startups like Udacity, Lyft and Snapchat — are what give TechCrunch conferences their sizzle. See if you recognize anyone! 

June 25, 2013

How to create a Social Startup

Bitspiration conference

At Bitspiration: An inspired gathering for European startups

Target audience: Entrepreneurs, startup teams, marketing professionals, social media strategists, businesses.

JD LasicaI‘m spending the week in Krakow, Poland, and gave a presentation yesterday as one of the featured speakers at Bitspiration, the second annual conference for entrepreneurs, startup teams and investors, chiefly from Eastern Europe. About 300 people have turned out to hear from a high-quality lineup of speakers from Europe and the United States, including four of us from Silicon Valley.

Here are the slides from the talk I gave on how to create a Social Startup, and why you want to do it: Continue reading