February 12, 2015

Startup Grind: ‘Find your golden purpose’

Jeff Hoffman, who was part of the founding team at Priceline and now runs ColorJar.

Target audience: Entrepreneurs, startup teams, businesses, anyone who cares about innovation.

[author]I‘m back from Startup Grind 2015 in Silicon Valley’s Redwood City, an annual two-day affair that attracts thousands of entrepreneurs and innovators from around the world.

Here’s my Flickr photo set of 47 shots from the conference, which featured Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger, Bill Maris of Google Ventures, Stripe co-founder Patrick Collison and Houzz co-founder Adi Tatarko, among many others.

But the talk I was most taken with was by Jeff Hoffman, a veteran entrepreneur and public speaker who was on Priceline’s founding team and now runs ColorJar. Jeff encouraged the assembled startup founders to “find your golden purpose.” Continue reading

November 7, 2013

Roadmap conference: The rise of design culture

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.

[author]Just 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 of the San Francisco Giants, former World Series MVP, demonstrated Zepp at Launch Mobile.

[author]Ispent 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


[author]Ithink 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! 

December 13, 2012

Latest trends powering the Innovation Economy

Tony Perkins, organizer and founder of the Venture Summit Silicon Valley.

Target audience: Startups, mature businesses, technology innovators, funders and venture capitalists, marketers.

[author]I‘m just back from the Venture Summit Silicon Valley (“where Big Ideas meets Big Money”). And so here’s a short report from the frontlines of the key players — entrepreneurs, firms and investors — powering the Innovation Economy.

“There is no little kid hoping there’ll be a laptop with Windows 8 under the Christmas tree.”
— Jay Samit of ooVoo

Let’s start with this Flickr set of 51 photos — you’ll recognize some of the speakers, like TechCrunch founder Mike Arrington, AlwaysOn founder Tony Perkins (the conference’s impresario) and other notables from the tech world.

The 250 to 300 folks who turned out at the Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay were a mix of business executives, VCs and startup founders. I was here to report some highlights for Socialmedia.biz as well as to soak in some wisdom around social data for the geolocation start-up I’ve begun working on, Placely. Continue reading