John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

TechCrunch40: In the Beginning…

Digital Daily’s John Paczkowski is live-blogging TechCrunch40, a two-day conference in San Francisco highlighting what its organizers consider “40 of the hottest new start-ups” from around the globe. Additionally, another hundred or so companies are demoing their products, some of which he’ll feature here.

OK. After a registration foul-up (don’t you know who I am?!!!!!!!), and innumerable technical difficulties (I am, indeed, writing this on my iPhone, and I’m beginning to realize that Steve Jobs may not have been exaggerating when he said that after a few weeks of typing on this virtual keyboard, “you’ll be flying.”) I am finally up and running.

(Eric Savitz of Tech Trader Daily got in a good post on the five search-and-discovery demos that started the conference in earnest this morning, along with comments from the panel of judges.)

Given these early difficulties, I have no detailed posts on the first round of presentations, just some general observations:

  • Big focus on video from first presenter.
  • All presenters seem to suffer from the same Web 2.0 Tourette’s Syndrome, uncontrollably spouting Web 2.0 jargon: Ajax, long tail, etc.
  • Note: if a drinking game existed that required participants to take a drink every time a presenter used a boom 2.0 cliche, I’d have alcohol poisoning by now.
  • Conference co-sponsor Jason Calacanis just told everyone with iPhones to turn their Wi-Fi feature off because the devices are “crashing our Wi-Fi network.” How frigging Web 2.0 is that?
  • Judges panel: Seated next to Marc Andreessen, Engadget’s Ryan Block
    looks like a Mini-me version of the Netscape founder.
  • Yahoo presents a new service, not yet available. Long-winded intro. Conference organizers should have forced “big presenters” to adhere to the same eight-minute pitch rule.
  • It’s called Yahoo for Teachers. Online lesson plans. Social networking for social good. (Wonder how long it took Yahoo PR to come up with that one?) Bit of a yawner, this one.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik