This year, TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco was held on the 5th – 7th of September 2018. Me and my friend, Stefan (checkout his site here), was fortunate enough to visit San Francisco at that time, hence we volunteered for the event (ticket wasn’t cheap, so by volunteering, we got free tickets!). It was an amazing experience that showed how much Sydney is lacking in the tech scene. Just by catching an Uber Pool in Palo Alto, you are guaranteed to bump into someone in tech and network with them. That’s what we did anyways.

TC Disrupt this year was held in Moscone West. Venue size was tripled from last year and attendance doubled . This year saw speakers such as Ashton Kutcher, Whitney Wolfe, Priscilla Chan, Eric Ries, Reid Hoffman, Dara Khosrowshahi, Michael Seibel from Ycombinator and other well known tech industry leaders give their insights into the industry, provide advice to startups and share their experiences with running a business.

This is like the simplest one of them all in so much as nobody wakes up in the morning, opens their front door and says ‘god look at how many cars there are, they’re parked everywhere.’ They are fucking parked everywhere! There are cars parked everywhere! It’s ridiculous! They’re clogging the roads, they’re making it impossible to get anywhere you want to go. ~ Ashton Kutcher on scooters & cars in his talk.

There was an exhibition hall where we saw many startups ready to impress. (Even an Australian Pavilion where Australian startups presented -> Owneroom.com there next year?) Startup battlefield at Disrupt SF 2018 was won by Forethought. There was a lot of focus around quantum computing from IBM, which was super awesome.

The afterparty was held at the Midway, it was a great opportunity for exhibitors, investors and attendees to network, enjoy the music, dance, drink, play games and exploit the photobooth! Super fun times here.

I got to meet a loads of people that are like minded, shared similar interested and much, much smarter than me. This was such an amazing and fun experience where I learnt a lot, and hopefully one day, be able to come back and pitch on main stage with a startup of mine!

If there was 3 things that I took away from my time here is this:

  1. SF is still definitely the place to be for growing a tech startup. Investors are more risk taking. You can find people anywhere on the street that is ready to talk about startups. You’re more likely to bump into someone in a startup than in a corporate bank. Things move a lot faster here. 
  2. If you’re gonna start a startup full-time here, get ready to live under $10 a day. It isn’t cheap. Be ready to room share, eat cheap and lose that social life. Don’t worry, there’s a lot of awesome free things to do in SF that won’t break the bank.
  3. You won’t get laugh at for failing. In Sydney, people will tell you to go back to working FT. In SF, they’ll tell you to try again or hire you to work for the next big thing. Inspiration is everywhere here. That extra 5% success rate helps.

You can watch some of the videos here from TechCrunch Disrupt.

Check out some photos from our time here at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2018

the constellation party at W-Hotel
the constellation party at W-Hotel
reid hoffman talking!
reid hoffman talking!
the midway!
the midway!
pose with confidence
pose with confidence
with the TC signs!
with the TC signs!
with the sign!
with the sign!
Awesome experience
Awesome experience
aussie startups!
aussie startups!
priscilla chan talking!
priscilla chan talking!

Biggest fail on TechCrunch part:
The Disrupt App (to get replays of talks, schedule of agenda and chat with other attendees) was only available on the US App store (andriod and ios). I had many people from overseas coming in and asking why they couldn’t find the app.. It would require international attendees to change to the US app store, which require a US address, credit card etc..wasn’t a good User Experience.