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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Pick a Revolution and Join It; Disrupts TechCrunch

 Article first published as Pick a Revolution and Join It; Disrupts TechCrunch on Technorati.

Photo by:James Martin CNET

This week TechCrunch Disrupt has taken over San Francisco with its 2012 conference. The interview conversations with the entrepreneurial speakers from Silicon Valley have proven to be chuck full of inspiration and direction. Jessica Alba, Edwin Lee, Jack Dorsey, Kevin Rose, Matt Cohler and Mark Zuckerberg were some of the speakers with a mission to distribute.

On Monday, Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter and Square, spoke as the keynote. His presentation was short and amazingly powerful. He is a man with direction and vision. To Jack, "The future is already here. It's just not evenly distributed." This was his main point. Iterate and do it quickly. He'd like to see the buzz word disrupt replaced with revolution. "Pick a revolution and join it," says Jack. "Question everything." He believes civilization was meant to connect. "We don't want disruption where we move things from point A to point B. We want direction."

The Honest Company, run by Jessica Alba and Brian Lee, made an impact on stage discussing how they put their customer feedback as top priority and react quickly. Jessica talked about how it's hard running a startup. Both herself and Brian have families with children and work on making the best of a work/life balance. Jessica stole the stage with her honesty about what it's like raising a family and running a startup. It was great to see organic content like that disrupt the stigmas of working parents, yet still brings a sense of reality.

Tuesday, was full of even more wisdom for entrepreneurs and startups. Mayor Edwin Lee, of San Francisco discussed his strategy about supplying local San Franciscans with entry level tech jobs to support their economy and how they are using The Valley to build great relationships between the tech sector and the city. His enthusiasm, vision and candor seem to have only been helping the city of San Francisco.

Kevin Rose, Google Venture Investor and Milk founder had great advice. Some of the best advice he says he has ever gotten was, "Edit your team. Trust your gut." There are times where growth will keep you from always making the best decisions about who you hire. Kevin has found that as one realizes who fits best and who doesn't, that making edits to improve your team for your current needs keeps your team fresh. Ideas that VC's like Kevin are tired of seeing in the startup realm are cloning other startups and slightly changing them. Saying your version is better isn't going to win over VC's.

Matt Cohler, from Benchmark Capital and a prior Facebook product guy, had a great discussion about mobile and the continuing possibilities of growth with Michael Arrington. He says that you and your mobile phone have an emotional attachment and there have been studies to prove this theory. He believes that the mobile market place has exploding opportunities especially when we think of a smart phone as a remote control. The discussion about time to decision is imperative. Being able to use real time data while a customer is in the market place and interactive mobile apps to convert the transaction is key.

Mark Zuckerberg drew a standing room only crowd. He ran circles around Michael Arrington spewing out stats left and right about the growth of mobile consumers, engagement and usage. He said, "building a mission and a business go hand in hand." As much as he believes in the company mission of building a more open and connected world and a focus on long term growth; he recognizes the importance of both. He had plenty to discuss as his first public appearance since the IPO in May. He was laden with stats and what sounded like a plan that was now humming like a well oiled machine focusing on mobile. You could feel the energy exuding from Zuckerberg as he chatted it up with Mr. Arrington. He spoke quickly to get out all the data that he wanted to share with everyone. It was great to see Zuckerberg really does have things under control, despite investor feedback and forecasts.

Today's entrepreneurs have a large amount of support and feedback to work with thanks to companies like TechCrunch that run conferences such as these.

Wednesday is the final day of TechCrunch Disrupt full of speakers and a plethora of new startup company ideas. There is a lot to learn from these industry hackers.

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