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Steve's ITK: Without notes


Steve's ITK

December 9 · Issue #6 · View online
Steve's In The Know: Everything I published recently, commentary you won't find elsewhere, write-ups of events I attended or spoke at, and industry rumours.

Me and Amy Chang at Disrupt
Me and Amy Chang at Disrupt
Opening thought: Sleep disrupted
This week has been both exhilarating and exhausting, dominated, of course, by TechCrunch’s Disrupt London conference.
On day one I got to do an on-stage interview with Amy Chang, ex-Googler and co-founder of digital chief-of-staff app Accompany.
The Disrupt London stage is huge
The Disrupt London stage is huge
In our fireside chat – which you can watch here – we waxed lyrical on what it’s like to go from being an operator and high achiever at Google, where Amy headed up Google analytics, to ‘doing a startup’. Topics we delved into ranged from fundraising, hiring and firing, to diversity in tech.
Amy also shared with the audience what she had learned about me by using the Accompany app, which was fun and kinda touching.
In all honesty I can never really tell how well these things have gone till after I either watch them back or forensically search twitter. However, by all accounts the interview was well-received in the hall and on the live stream, and by colleagues at TechCrunch.
And, just like last year, I did the whole thing without notes or forgetting anything. Take that Ed Miliband!
I also got to watch my amazing colleagues at work – my favourite talk on day one was with Deepmind’s Mustafa Suleyman – and hang out a lot backstage, including meeting Jon Russell, TechCrunch’s man in Asia and someone who routinely sticks it to Rocket Internet. It’s always nice to put a face to a byline.
Boston Dynamics' robot Joule and I
Boston Dynamics' robot Joule and I
Another highlight was meeting Joule, one of Boston Dynamics’ robots, and chatting to the Boston Dynamics CEO about the potential for robots to be assistive devices. Watch my first encounter with a robot here.
Day two was more relaxed as I didn’t have anything on-stage, and was mostly spent taking in the talks and panels, drinking tea, meeting a bunch of interesting people, and, once again, hanging out in the green room.
Me with Andrew Sweeney, TechCrunch's Chief Happiness Officer (real job title!).
Me with Andrew Sweeney, TechCrunch's Chief Happiness Officer (real job title!).
Midweek was spent frantically catching up with writing, including a fun little Facebook scoop (see below), before heading out last night to be on a panel at ITV organised by the amazing Code First: Girls organisation.
The topic was media tech, something I know a little about, and it was really inspiring to meet so many ambitious (and intellectually curious) young women at the start of their careers. And I’m not just saying that because they laughed at all my jokes. Which they did. Obviously.
Code First: Girls at ITV for 'Hack your career in media tech'
Code First: Girls at ITV for 'Hack your career in media tech'
Things I wrote this week (and last)
Facebook just secured an e-money license in Ireland, paving the way for Messenger payments in Europe
Mojiworks is a new UK startup building games for iMessage
Dubsmash syncs €9 million Series B
After bump in the road, Movinga raises €17M Series C
Design and prototyping tool Marvel scores £4M Series A led by BGF Ventures
Belgium’s Doctoranytime raises €1M
SuperAwesome’s PopJam Platform lets developers add kid-friendly social feed to apps
Closing thought: SPADtacular
Brexit: WTF happend next?
Brexit: WTF happend next?
We ran two panels on Brexit at Disrupt, the second of which proved to be anything but a snooze-fest. It featured two previous Tory SPADs (special advisors) Steve Hilton and Daniel Korski who both worked for David Cameron at one time or another and were prominent Leave and Remain campaigners respectively.
Moderator Natasha Lomas fired the first shots, pointing out that Hilton (or his startup) doesn’t even reside in the UK and yet he took it upon himself to try to ensure the UK left the EU, and that Korski was one if not the leading architect of the failed Remain campaign.
(Korski also helped organise that infamous letter where members of the UK tech industry came out publicly in favour of re-electing a Tory government whilst conveniently ignoring the EU referendum elephant in the room. I know, I really should let it go by now!)
Things between Hilton and Korski soon got a little heated, and as the panel went on it morphed into a post-mortem of the Cameron administration, with both SPADs clearly feeling they left government with unfinished business. Fantastic.
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