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TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2013: A Rock Festival For Your Brain

TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2013: A Rock Festival For Your Brain

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If TechCrunch Disrupt were a rock festival, I wonder which one would it be… It could be Lollapalooza with its sheer metal loving grit and endurance over the years or maybe Coachella with its ultra cool line ups and velvet rope you yearn to get past. Maybe TC Disrupt is like Oz fest? Although, that means in this analogy that Michael Arrington would be Ozzy Osbourne… Not going there!

For the record, my answer to the question is Coachella. I love Outside Lands for many reasons, but I believe TC Disrupt feels the most like Coachella because it’s expensive but nobody cares because everything feels so legit. You are part of a scene that is happening. Last week I saw the rock stars of my industry, there were almost too many to count and it made my brains whirl.

“TechCrunch is a rock festival for your brain” -Anneboticus Geekonia

TechCrunch Disrupt is marketed well, cool kids feel like they *must* attend as a rite of passage. This year’s Disrupt in SF was no disappointment, they aimed to please, right down to the power strips. Only gripe would be the frostiness of the convention. However, we are problem solvers here at MobileFOMO.

Here we are having some fun with Owen Thomas sporting some MobileFOMO gloves. We had to dance just to stay warm! One of my favorite things about the conference is Michael Arrington himself. He’s an outspoken attorney that generally doesn’t lob softball questions at his guests. People who interview with Mr. Arrington know to prepare or suffer the consequences of his quick tongue. During Arrington’s interviews I was most interested by his persistence with regard to asking about Microsoft’s new CEO. I watched him ask Marissa Mayer, Mark Zuckerberg, Marc Benioff, etc. and the answer was always the same, the person felt awkward and said something like “oh not sure if that’s true, but that could be pretty cool?” Bill Gates is clearly a very well respected man due to what he’s accomplished and so not a harsh word was spoken. My fascination with this particular inquiry into Microsoft’s leadership came after Friday’s Twitter IPO announcement. One must wonder if the protracted Microsoft discussion was a diversion tactic for the press. Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo spoke at TC Disrupt this year, but he spoke about management techniques. What interested me the most was he talked a lot about not trying to be liked as a boss, just get the job done. From what I’ve heard, Mr. Costolo practices what he preached, because he doesn’t expend the effort to be liked. With such a valuable IPO coming up… Does it matter? Nobody else from Twitter spoke on panels or made themselves available for comment, could it be a conspiracy? Probably not. Looking back on it now, all the signs were there that Twitter wanted to be present at TechCrunch Disrupt, but only as background.


Overall the startup battlefield was a strong mix of apps and hardware, which was a really nice change from the normal fare. Our favorite battlefield contestants here at MobileFOMO were SoilIQ and Monsieur. Our admiration is here in Twitter form:


Overall this year was one of the most inspirational TC Disrupts to date. Companies continue to innovate with mobile and the stakes are getting higher. Despite the tasteless pranks, I think things turned out just fine.

And we want to give a big congrats to Layer! The company was founded by Tomaž Štolfa and Ron Palmeri. Layer is a communications platform that can be added to any mobile app by throwing a bit of code in there (less than 10 lines they claim). After placing the code in the app, users will be able to send text, voice, and video messages across all of their applications seamlessly. We are anxious to see what amazingly mobile things they can do with the platform….

This year's winners, Layer!

This year’s winners, Layer!