|By||http://e27.cohttp://e27.sg/2012/09/11/what-you-need-to-know-about-techcrunch-disrupt-day-1-keynotes/||| Sep 11, 2012 | Asia|
So TechCrunch Disrupt is happening in the Valley now. For those who are unfamiliar with TechCrunch Disrupt, it is one of the world’s most anticipated technology conference run by leading tech blog TechCrunch. TechCrunch Disrupt brings together thought leaders in the technology industry to discuss the state of technology innovation around the world. TechCrunch did an excellent job covering the event which is currently ongoing. However, there are a lot of posts and information. Hence, we took the liberty of highlighting some key takeaways from some of their keynotes yesterday.
On running startups – You need passion and a good attitude
So we have heard this all over again, but this time it comes from famous actress Jessica Alba. Yes, Jessica Alba runs her own startup The Honest Company. Honest is an e-commerce startup offering eco-friendly products for baby, family and home. In her keynote, Jessica shared that you really need passion to keep the startup running. “It’s so hard,” she said. “[Y]ou’re working day and night. It actually never stops. If you’re not so passionate and working day and night, it’s not going to happen.”
Last year, we also interviewed the CEO of Affle, Anuj Khana Sohum, who gave excellent advice to startup founders. The first on his list was passion. “A true entrepreneur is very true to his idea, just intent on making the idea a reality regardless of how much they make or how much (of the company) they own,” he said. As an entrepreneur, you will have to believe in the idea in order to be passionate enough to just go out and do it.
In a separate keynote, Jack Dorsey, founder of hot startups Twitter and Square, shared that being a founder is a role, not a job. “It’s a role. It’s an attitude. It’s something that can happen again and again and again,” he explained.
On getting the first 10,000 users – The power of social networks
Another panel which caught our attention was the user acquisition panel. TechCrunch Disrupt managed to put up a panel to talk about how startups founders get their first 10,000 users. Present on the panel were Airbnb founder Nate Blecharczyk, Brit + Co founder Brit Morin, TaskRabbit founder Leah Busque, and Lyft co-founder John Zimmer.
Lyft and Brit + Co took a similar approach to acquire their early users: leveraging social networks and word of mouth. TaskRabbit, on the other hand, focused on a particular customer segment first — a group of mothers — in certain areas before expanding geographically. AirBnB, meanwhile, rode on a trend during a political campaign to get publicity.
The panel was very much similar to our user acquisition and scaling panel at Echelon earlier this year. The Echelon 2012 panel consisted of Cubie Messenger (currently serving more than 3.5 million users), SideReel (2 million registered users), Kiip (40 million monthly users) and Dropmysite (900,000 users). During the panel, our speakers shared that they leveraged various social network channels to acquire users and scale their startups.
Finally, another keynote which caught our attention was the one by Path’s founder, Dave Morin. Earlier in July, we reported that Path added support for Asian languages. In the same article, Patch CEO Dave Morin revealed that they are seeing a huge growth in new users from Asia. In the TechCrunch Disrupt keynote, Dave Morin reaffirmed this again, this time, naming that China Is Path’s Second Biggest Country.
Today we see the same trend with other companies. Zendesk is also eyeing an Southeast Asia expansion. Global Brain is dedicating a large amount of funding to focus on Southeast Asia. Leading cloud platform Akamai is focusing on the APAC region, as well. Mobile advertising platform Amobee sees huge opportunities in Asia. GREE Ventures is likewise dedicating US$ 25 million funding in Southeast Asia. The region is definitely in the center of all the excitement.
Image Credits: Lazytechguys, Wikipedia