On Tuesday, I checked out TechCrunch Disrupt, a startup conference hosted by Michael Arrington's popular blog TechCrunch. The day's events included Charlie Rose interviewing Y Combinator co-founder Paul Graham and actor/investor Ashton Kutcher; panel discussions on the future of advertising and managing hockeystick growth; and demo presentations by promising young startups.
This is what I think I learned:
Paul Graham still thinks Microsoft is dead.
If you are thinking of starting a tech company alone, don’t do it.
If you are 30 or older and thinking of starting a tech company, don’t do it.
There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance.
But it’s invisible to many entrepreneurs.
Ashton Kutcher writes all his own tweets.
Kutcher, the angel investor, only invests in companies that solve a problem for a large subset of people.
But if you pitch Kutcher, you shouldn’t mention your industry’s market cap.
No one can agree on what the future of online advertising looks like.
My wife would love Lark, a new silent alarm clock.
A marriage proposal via a slideshow deck is as awkward in reality as it sounds in theory.
Founders need to be a little bit naughty. “We’re not looking for people who did what they were told in life.” - Paul Graham
Graham doesn’t care about your idea. (Well, he cares a little bit.) He cares much more about you and your cofounders.
“The biggest mistake startup founders make is to be disengaged from their users.”- Graham
“There are some people who just get what they want in the world.” - Graham. Those are the people Y Combinator wants.
Socks with sandals are still not a good look.
It’s easy to tell how intelligent someone is in a 10-minute interview, but hard to know how much determination they have.
My niece and nephews will love Happy Toy Machine.
The world needs more female founders.
Entrepreneurs love using the word “broken” when describing an industry they are about to “disrupt.”
“Forty percent of people are too tired to have sex.”— Lark CEO Julia Hu
Tumblr founder David Karp isn’t a fan of Android. “It…sucks to develop for.”
Content aggregation, in some form, is here to stay.
But users want curation.
I’m still not sure that The Daily was a good idea.
Instagram has one employee for every one million users.
I’d use Getaround, the car-sharing startup, in a second.
I’d like to start a company one day.
But I’m not sure I have it in me.