Coefficients of friction: It must have been amazing to live when the steam engine was invented. For millennia, human enterprise has tried to do one thing: overcome the friction of the physical world. From the first wheel and the earliest lever, to the structure of representative government and the design of broadcast TV, we’ve been fighting friction since we crawled out of the primordial ooze. That steam engine promised spare muscle, a beast of burden than never complained. Machinery would set us free. As it turned out, we were wrong. The answer wasn’t a better way to overcome friction—it was a move to the near-frictionless world of electrons. Today, every edifice we’ve erected to fight friction is crumbling in the face of a frictionless future. Join Alistair Croll for a wild romp through the economics of abundance, augmented humanity, home manufacturing, firing before aiming, coal supplies, education, and more, and see why there is simply no better time in human history to be a disruptor.
The age of entrepreneurial enlightenment: Today’s early-stage companies are obsessed with data. They rely on analytics to understand every facet of their business, optimizing the way they acquire and engage customers, how they spread the word, and how they extract revenue. After all, you can’t improve what you can’t measure. But this obsession with data has a cost. What if you’re optimizing the wrong things? What if you’re already better than the rest of the industry in one dimension, but falling behind in another? How would you know? In this session, Bjoern Herrmann shares his research into thousands of startups. Working closely with entrepreneurial visionaries like Steve Blank, Bjoern and his team have collected and analyzed the key performance indicators of a broad range of startups, and codified this data into a system that understands what “normal” looks like.
Random Acts of Marketing are Killing Your Startup: Marketing is a big term that covers lead generation, media relations, content marketing, social media, messaging, sales support and a huge heap of other things. Most startups have a puny budget and few (if any) dedicated marketing folks to get this stuff done. Yet many manage their marketing efforts more like a random to-do list than an integrated program. In this talk we’ll talk about the common pitfalls of disorganized startup marketing execution and outline a lightweight template for creating a marketing plan that makes that most of your limited marketing resources.
How to Startup something that puts a dent in the universe: Cindy Gallop, founder of IfWeRanTheWorld (changing the world through microactions) and MakeLoveNotPorn (changing the world through sex) provides some radically simple and highly subjective thoughts on why start up, what to start up, how to start up and becoming the next Steve Jobs. Bring hopes, dreams, doubts, fears, startup ideas and questions!
When you do things that Matter: Focusing on something important fundamentally changes the kind of organization you are. It instills a sense of purpose, and makes it easier to ride the daily ups and down of entrepreneurship—because you know you’re surfing the long waves. How do you know what a big bet looks like? And how do you resist the lure of the quick-flip, game-driven startup world? In this opening keynote, Guidewire Group founder and veteran observer of the startup world Chris Shipley looks at what it means to work on something that matters.
Getting bought makes you free: The best thing about an exit is it’s an entrance. What would you do if you didn’t have to do anything? When Craig Walker sold Grand Central to Google, he thought long and hard about this, and he’s here to tell us what he decided.
The good ol’ days: Numeracy is a fundamental skill for thriving in an information society. But only a few years ago, tables of figures belonged to accountants and mainframes, not bake sales and community theatres. The personal computer spreadsheet changed all that, giving us a fundamental tool for working with numbers. Dan Bricklin built Visicalc, the killer app for the personal computer. In doing so, he changed forever how the world works with numbers.
Motivation trumps knowledge. How do you go from nothing to millions in 1 year? Most think it’s know-how, Dan believes it’s motivation. During this talk Dan will share a personal story of one of the top entrepreneurs he’s ever met and how they went from near bankruptcy to millions in revenue in 12 months. The major lessons you will learn from your customers and applying Lean Startup techniques to a non-tech industry. You won’t want to miss this.
To Startup or Not to Startup, Geeks are the question: A Midsummer Night’s Dream had Bottom. King Lear had the Fool. As You Like It had Touchstone. Shakespeare loved his jesters—they told the truth, made everyone feel a little awkward, swore a lot, and ultimately, saw the future. Tech startups have their own jester. He’s called Dave.Like the jesters, Dave’s a famous curmudgeon who doesn’t suffer fools. But beneath this crunchy exterior is a soft-candy inside made from a degree in engineering and math, years of coding and managing at startups like Paypal, and one-on-one involvement with more startups than he can keep track of.For the last few years, as the chief instigator at 500 Startups, Dave’s been travelling the world, putting geeks on planes to the far-flung corners of the planet. He knows that entrepreneurship is universal, In this session, Dave will take us on a tour of startup ecosystems around the world. He’ll open our eyes to the possibilities of the coming years and, in true jester fashion, warn us why the coolest thing we haven’t yet heard of may come from a place we can’t quite pronounce.
The fastest growing tech company in Montreal — who knew?: The best kept tech secret in Montreal is a company called Lightspeed. CEO, Dax Dasilva, will tell us how a relatively unknown tech company in Montreal got to where they are today — $30M of funding from Accel Partners announced this month and coined the fastest growing tech company in Quebec. The who and how they got to where they are, plus the reality of where they need to go now that they’ve received funding, will all be covered in this talk.
Code shmode, it’s people that matter: Tummeling for success At Jewish weddings, a Tummeler is hired to encourage everyone to dance. It’s no secret why communities flourish—they’re catalyzed to do so through a combination of engagement and collaboration. In this session Tummelvision founder and Geek Interpreter Deb Schultz, a founding partner, now senior fellow at San Francisco’s Altimeter Group, talks about innovation, communities, and the compelling economics of giving in order to receive.