Archive for the ‘Event’ Category

Geeks Get Inspired at TEDxShanghai

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

By Tina Tran

The Geeks rang in the last day of our tour at TEDxShanghai. It was the first TEDx for many of us, and it lived up to the hype!  Presentations were given in either Chinese or English with the benefit of real-time translations as well as live broadcasting on Tudou, China’s largest video sharing website.

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Speakers inspired with messages of changing the world through travel and individual contribution, rediscovering common sense to live consciously with thoughtful actions, and investing in developing countries as the next big opportunity to both lift nations and earn a high return on capital investments.

Three soul-lifting musical performances elicited wide smiles, head bopping, and hand clapping from the enthusiastic audience. The afternoon session had a slightly web-focused theme, and continued the common thread of sharing, openness and community. The lively presentations served to accomplish the goal of TEDxShanghai: to inspire excitement and action by discussing ideas that are outside of what we expose ourselves to everyday.

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Big thanks to Sage Brennan and Christine Lu of Chinameme for organizing an excellent inaugural TEDxShanghai. Congratulations on eliciting so much interest from the community and gaining a turnout of 15,000 to watch the Tudou livestream!

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How to Pitch a VC at Startup2Startup Beijing

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

By Tina Tran

After an amazing hike up the Great Wall and a walking tour of the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square, we closed out the last day of our Beijing trip with a Startu2Startup dinner.

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Startup2Startup is a networking event where entrepreneurs are given the opportunity to pitch their startup to potential investors and get feedback from a panel of investing experts. Dave McClure of the Founders Fund, Joyce Kim of Soompi, and Jui Tan of BlueRun Ventures provided tips to three entrepreneurs who each gave pitches lasting thirty seconds, two minutes, and five minutes.

Before the pitching commenced, Dave gave a lively, no-holds-barred presentation that emphasized how entrepreneurs should pitch the problem, not the solution.  Check out Dave’s must-see presentation below.

Startup Viagra: How to Pitch a VC

View more OpenOffice presentations from Dave Mcclure.

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Geeks Climb the Great Wall of China

Friday, June 12th, 2009

By Tina Tran

Day two into the China leg of our trip, we spent the day sightseeing. We were blessed with amazing weather, a refreshing breeze and clear blue skies, which everyone tells me is incredible for Beijing. Our sightseeing group of seventeen played Half-baked on the two hour ride to the lush green mountainside. Half baked is a game where two people individually have to say the first word that comes to mind. Then a third person has to combine those two words to come up with a half-baked startup. Our half-baked winner was ElephantAnt.com – an online dating sight that matches small men with large women. Nice one, Dave!

geeks on a wall

The geeks stormed the steps up the Great Wall like champs and took the gondola back down.  There were hardly any tourists at the part of the wall we visited, though there were plenty of vendors – oftentimes popping out of nowhere with offers of Wrigleys gum and cold water and beer.

Big thanks to Jenny Bai, creator of The Red Connect for hooking us up at the very posh Westin Beijing Chaoyang, and big love to George Godula of Web2Asia for being the master tour guide and tech event organizer.  Tonight we are attending Startup2Startup in a Chinese banquet dinner setting, sponsored by Blue Run Ventures.  Thanks guys!

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Online Games Dominate Beijing Startonomics

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

By Tina Tran

Frank Yu, China game analyst at Gamasutra and COO of Shouji, rocked the house in Beijing today as he gave an overview of the China games industry to attendees of Startonomics Beijing. In China the game industry is 10 years old and dominated by the PC market, where anything with a keyboard is popular.

Though there are many differences between the US and China games market, the one that stands out most is China’s ability to massively monetize games.  Tencent, a leading Chinese web portal, social network and game developer, famously announced revenue of over $1 billion earlier this year, much of it coming from their avatar service.

From a cultural perspective, the One Child policy in China greatly impacts the way the Chinese interact with games. People play games in China because they are lonely and games offer an easy and relatively cheap escape into a highly active fantasy world. Games are much more than a form of entertainment. Aditionally, in China, games are made with a strong focus on audience behavior, so much so that there are a lot of games in China made for one-handed play — so people can smoke while playing!

View today’s game presentations below.

Online Games: The Coming Chinese Wave

View more Microsoft Word documents from Geeks on a Plane.
Social Games: 5 Minutes

View more Microsoft Word documents from Geeks on a Plane.


China Mobile Online Games Market Overview

View more Microsoft Word documents from Geeks on a Plane.

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Eric Ries Rocks Startonomics Tokyo

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

By Tina Tran

Day two of The Geeks on a Plane tour had us at the offices of KDDI Web Communications for a full day of presentations on topics ranging from the state of venture capital in Asia and the US, to an overview of the Japanese online games and virtual goods market, to US platforms and social networking. Eric Ries closed out the day with a dynamic presentation about how to run a Lean Startup.

Eric has led two startups.  The first startup failed fabulously, and the second startup, IMVU, is profitable and making millions in revenue. The difference? Startup #1 spent $40 million and employed 200 people before there was a launched product. Startup #2 launched a beta product quickly, and continuously released newer and better versions while engaging with customers early and often.

Take Away: The biggest source of waste in any startup is building something nobody wants.

Do yourself a huge favor and see Eric Ries present live if you get the chance.   In the meantime, you can view his presentation here.

To view other presentations from Startonomics Tokyo, click here.

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Tina Tran, Mark Hendrickson, Eric Ries, Larry Chiang, Joyce Kim

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Geeks on a Plane Invade Tokyo

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

By Tina Tran

After stumbling off our 12-hour flight from SFO to Tokyo, the Geeks spent our first evening at Tokyo2.0, a hub for the Tokyo web community that meets monthly. We joined over two hundred techies in a dimly lit, underground bar in the Roppongi Hills area to hear about new developments in natural language on the web.
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The two demos that stuck out as having the greatest potential to impact the way we interact with the Web were from Mozilla and Knowledge Creation. Mozilla demoed Ubiquity, an experiment into connecting the Web with language. Imagine that you are inviting a friend to a new restaurant and you want to include a map and restaurant review. In today’s world you would need to have one window open for your web email service, another for a mapping site, and yet another for reviews of the restaurant. You would then include several relevant links into the email that your friend would have to browse to. Enter Ubiquity, a new user interface that would simplify this process by allowing users to easily include the map, review, and any other relevant information, right into the email message itself with simple language-based instructions.

Knowledge Creation demoed Voice Delivery System, a web API for synthetic speech generation. The Voice Delivery system adds a “reading out” function to websites and is available in thirty languages without the need to download any software. Specifically created for the elderly and people with disabilities, VDS makes the web immensely more user-friendly and has the potential to be applied in a number of powerful ways. One application that comes to mind is to use VDS as a tool to aid literacy. Another is to use VDS to turn web pages into podcasts. Imagine driving, and being able to access a web page on your mobile device that is then read out to you – essentially turning your web device into a talking Kindle!

If day one is an indicator of what the Geeks will experience on this trip – there’s going to be a lot of learning with equal amounts of professional connections and friendships formed on the inaugural Geeks on a Plane tour. Go Geeks!
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Adriana Gascoigne, Markus Fuhrmann, Jon Yongfook Cockle, Larry Chiang, Tina Tran

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