Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey has urged budding entrepreneurs to “pick a revolution and join it” at this year’s TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco.
TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2012, held from September 8-12, has featured a smorgasbord of high-profile start-ups, influential speakers and guests, including Dorsey and actor Jessica Alba.
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David Truong, founder of Melbourne-based start-up Broccol-e-games, ventured to San Francisco for TechCrunch Disrupt, regarded as one of the most hotly anticipated technology conferences of the year.
“It’s been great to hear from incredibly successful entrepreneurs and stakeholders in the Silicon Valley ecosystem,” Truong told StartupSmart.
“Hearing people like Ben Horowitz, Jack Dorsey, Salman Khan, Sebastian Thrun, Reid Hoffman, Brian Lee and, of course, Jessica Alba today was inspirational and informative.”
“Walking through Startup Alley has also been incredible, seeing the 100-plus start-ups covering all sorts of industries. Interestingly, there were exhibition stands for certain countries but no official Australian presence.”
According to Truong, the quality of pitches in Startup Alley – which hosted two demo days – was particularly interesting because “some of them are really good, some of them really bad.”
“It makes me hopeful for the Australian start-up ecosystem since we have a natural filter that stops crappy ideas from getting funded or getting traction,” he says.
Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter, used his speech to encourage entrepreneurs to “pick a movement, to pick a revolution and join it”.
“In our companies, Twitter and Square, we believe this to be true: an idea that can change the course of the company can come from anywhere,” Dorsey said.
“But a founder is not a job. It’s a role, it’s an attitude and it’s something that can happen again and again and again.”
“In fact, it has to happen again and again and again, otherwise we would not move forward… Our job, as founders, as entrepreneurs… is to distribute the future that’s already here.”
Dorsey encouraged entrepreneurs to focus on revolution rather than disruption.
“Disruption is like an earthquake. Disruption has no purpose, it has no values, it has no organising principle, it has no direction and it has no leadership,” he said.
“This is not what we want to bring into the world. What we want to bring into the world is revolution… Revolution looks at the intersection ahead and pushes people to do the right thing.”
“The thing I would love for all of you to consider is how we recognise disruption, how we recognise everything that’s going on in the world, how we recognise these intersections ahead of us, and how we take on the attitude of founders… and we distribute the future as quickly as possible.”
“The important thing to realise is that you don’t have to start from scratch to do something interesting. You don’t have to start from scratch to have a massive impact in the world.”
“You have to have a good idea. You have to convince other people of those ideas and you have to push as quickly as possible.”
Meanwhile, celebrity entrepreneur Jessica Alba, co-founder of The Honest Company, which sells eco-friendly products, highlighted the huge challenge of operating a start-up.
“You’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,” Alba said.