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 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! 

November 1, 2012

Guide to events & conferences in December


A scene from Le Web London this summer. The original Le Web, in Paris, returns next month (Photo by kmeron on Flickr).

Ayelet NoffDecember, with all its holiday cheer, eases the pace of conferences and events in social media, marketing, and technology.

This December I’m most excited about Le Web in Paris, the city of lights, love and Internet innovation. This year Le Web will focus on how Internet-driven devices are taking over the world; just look at how much time people spend surfing “le web” on their phones. I’m also thoroughly excited for the 2012 startup competition where sixteen emerging startups will duke it out on stage. To learn more about this great conference read my take on Le Web.

For the full year, see our full Calendar of 2012 social media, tech and marketing conferences.

Continue reading

September 14, 2012

Up-close photos of TechCrunch Disrupt 2012

Mark Zuckerberg

JD LasicaIn the past two years, TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco has become the single most important technology conference on the planet. And so it was this week, as entrepreneurs and startup founders and marketers came out in droves at the SF Design Concourse for three days of preening, schmoozing and, yes, showcasing of cutting-edge technologies, many of them social tools.

I received a press pass to this year’s event, which ran Monday to Wednesday, and created this Flickr photo set of 174 photos, including Mark Zuckerberg, actress Jessica Alba, Newark Mayor Cory Booker and dozens of innovators, venture capitalists and tech fangirls and fanboys (I’m certainly one). Continue reading

February 6, 2012

TaskRabbit: Crowdsourcing comes to your neighborhood

A mobile marketplace for getting stuff done from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

Start-up offers location-aware marketplace for getting stuff done

JD LasicaOne of my favorite new iPhone apps and online services is TaskRabbit, a platform that allows people to hire other people to complete tasks in their own towns or neighborhoods.

The concept is drop-dead simple but difficult to pull off. Founder Leah Busque says TaskRabbit lets folks “outsource small jobs and tasks to other people in their neighborhood” — say, if you need dry cleaning or groceries picked up, house cleaning or yard work done, Ikea furniture assembled or a wifi system set up in your home.

“We’ve seen some really funny ones,” Leah said, “like, ‘Help me write a love letter to my ex-girlfriend to help win her back.’ Or, ‘Help me prank my office mate by wrapping all of his desk items in cellophane.’”

Here’s my 8-minute interview with founder Leah Busque on Vimeo.

A simple way to connect customers with a local workforce

TaskRabbit works like this:

• Sign up on the site for free.

• Post a task — what do you need done and at what price? Use the app to voice-record a description and upload photos.

• The task goes out to participants (“TaskRabbits”) based on their location. They bid on your job, you confirm the best match, he or she goes to work, and TaskRabbit gets a small cut of the price.

Well over 2,000 people have signed up to perform tasks in Boston, the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Portland, Seattle, San Antonio and Austin, with Atlanta, Dallas and Houston on the way. The company’s vetting process includes online applications, video interviews and a background check, which greatly weeds out the flakes (my term, not hers). Trust, safety and security are at the heart of the marketplace, Leah says.

Unlike online services like Angie’s List, TaskRabbit is not marketing the services of licensed electricians, plumbers and carpenters but instead is targeting regular folks — individuals in a community who can offer their free time, special skills and services.

TaskRabbit has 35 full-time staffers at its San Francisco headquarters with “city managers” across the United States, and it has $24.7 million in financial backing, TechCrunch reports.

In a phrase, TaskRabbit is about service networking rather than social networking. Check ‘em out.

Related

Do you have a strategy for social bookmarking and crowdsourcing?

Book: ‘A Guide to Open Innovation and Crowdsourcing’